Jamaican Proverbs and Sayings

  1. You too red eye”, Meaning, you’re too envious.
  2. Me bleach hard lass night”, I partied straight through the night.
  3. Coo pon dat bwoy”, “Look at that boy”
  4. Heart No Leap”, “See and Blind”. These sayings are similar to “hear no evil, see no evil”.
  5. Chicken deh merry, Hawk deh near. (Where there is too much merriment and excitement, danger lurks near.)
  6. Di daakes’part a di night a when diay soon light. (When thing and times are the hardest brighter times are near.)
  7. Howdy an ‘tenk yu, noh brok noh square. (To say howdy and thank you is not a bad thing)
  8. Noh cup noh brok, noh coffee noh trow weh. (If you survive unharmed, everything is fine.)
  9. Wha’ noh poison, fatten. (If an experience doesn’t destroys you, you can benefit greatly from it.)
  10. Hog say, di fus water im cetch, I’m walla. (Make use of the first opportunity.)
  11. Bucket wid hole a battam have no business a riverside. (Mind your own business.)
  12. Rockstone a riva battam noh know’ sun hot. (If you are in a sheltered situation, you don’t know what hardship is.)
  13. Yu mek yu sail too big fi uy boat, yu sail wi capsize yu. (Don’t be someone you’re not.)
  14. If you want half a bread, beg smaddy buy it, but if yu want a wan, buy it yuself. (If you want it done right, do it yourself.)
  15. “Ston a riva battan nuh know sun hat” (Stone at the bottom of the river do not know how hot the sun is). Meaning – You cannot relate to someone’s experience if you are not in similair conditions.
  16. “Cockroach nuh business inna fowl fight.
  17. (Roaches must not get involve in chicken fight.)
  18. Meaning – If you can’t add value to a situation or argument, don’t get involved, because if you do, you will wish you didn’t.
  19. Mi come here fi drink milk, mi noh come here fi count cow”. A reminder to conduct business in a straightforward manner.
  20. The higher the monkey climbs the more him expose”. A truly comic image if you’ve ever been to the zoo, and comforting to any of us whose backs have been used as a stepping-stone for someone else’s success.


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