Sesotho Idioms: Maele a Sesotho le Ditlhaloso:


PROVERBS AND IDIOMS (MAELE)

List of Tswana Proverbs
and Meaning in English

Bo tsholwa bo tjhesa, bo tsohe bo fodile.
English meaning: Tempers cool down with time.

Botswa ha bo jelwe.
English meaning: Laziness does not pay

Dikgomo ke banka ya Mosotho.
English meaning: Cattle are the bank of a Mosotho.

Ditabana di tswala ditaba.
English meaning: Mighty things rise from trivial ones.

Dithoto ke lefa la ba bohale.
English meaning:Fools are stepping stones of the wise.

Ha o otla ntja, e tla betla meno.
English meaning: If you beat a dog, it will bare its teeth.

Ho bea ditho ho hlahisa kgomo. English meaning: Patience is a virue.
Ho bua hase ho phetha. English meaning: Great talkers are never great doers.

Ho lwana badula-mmoho.
English meaning: Those who stay together often quarrel.

Katse ha e le siyo, tweba di a hlanaka.
English meaning: If the cat is away the mice will play.

Leboela ha le ngallwe.
English meaning: You may succeed where you once failed.

Leboela le a ja.
English meaning: Perseverance pays.

Lefu ha le jwetse.
English meaning: Death may strike at any time.

Leshano ha le ruise motho.
English meaning: Lies do not pay.

Matsatsi a loyana.
English meaning: Days are not the same.

Mejo ha e rutanwe, ho rutanwa ditlhare.
English meaning: Every man is the architect of his own fortune.

Mekoko ha e qhwaelane.
English meaning: Everyone fends for himself.

Meso e tswala meswana.
English meaning: Procrastination is the thief of time.

Metse e metle kantle.
English meaning: Appearances are deceptive.

Mmetla-kgola o e lebisa wabo.
English meaning: Charity begins at home.

Mohana ho jwetswa o tshohela leomeng.
English meaning: A word is enough to the wise.)

Mohlanka wa moreneng, morena.
English meaning: The king’s messenger is as good as his master.

Moiketsi ha a llelwe.
English meaning: He who rejects advice deserves no sympathy.

Moketa ho tsoswa o itekang.
English meaning: God helps those who help themselves.

Moloi ha a mela boya.
English meaning: An evil doer has no distinguishing mark.

Mpho ha e halalwe.
English meaning: One never refuses a gift.

Ngaka e rutwa wa dihlare, mejo ha e e rutwe.
English meaning: A doctor is taught medicine, but not the charges.

Ntja e tsokela ya e fang.
English meaning: A dog follows the one who feeds it.

Pere e wa e ena le maoto a mane.
English meaning: To err is human.

Pinyane ha e senye motse.
English meaning:It is wise to keep certain things secret.

Sefate se tsejwa ka ditholwana.
English meaning:A tree is known by its fruit.

Sejo-senyane ha se fete molomo.
English meaning:Half a loaf is better than no bread.

Taba di mahlong.
English meaning: The face is the index of the mind.

Tlaila le tlailela morena.
English meaning: Do not be afraid to make mistakes so that they may be corrected.

Tsela-kgopo ha e robatse naheng.
English meaning: The beaten track is the safest.

Tshwene ha e ipone lekopo.
English meaning:One is blind to one’s faults.

Idioms

Ho aparela motho kobo. (To respect.
Ho ba hloho e bonolo. (To be clever.
Ho ba kgwaba la methati yohle. (To be a jack of all trades.
Ho ba pelo-hlomohi. (To be merciful.
Ho bina koma hae. (To reveal secrets.
Ho bona ntja e ntsho. (To faint.
Ho bonya le morwetsana. (To be in love with a girl.
Ho di bona matswele. (To run away.
Ho ema ka ditlhako. (To be tall.
Ho ema le ho makala. (To be surprised.)
Ho fata kgotso. (To negotiate for peace.
Ho fata seolo. (To work very hard.
Ho hana bohane. (To refuse completely.
Ho hata kwekwe. (To walk gracefully.
Ho inkela hodimo. (To make oneself important.
Ho ithoma tshotswana. (To pretend to be busy.
Ho ja hloho. (To think.
Ho jaka ka leleme. (To adopt a foreign language.
Ho jewa ke hloho. (To suffer from head-ache.
Ho nkgana monkgo. (To be of the same mind.
Ho nonya motho maikutlo. (To test one’s feelings.
Ho ntshana se inong. (To be close friends.
Ho nya matsete. (To reveal secrets.
Ho oma ka hloho. (To nod in agreement.
Ho oma nthane. (To be very thirsty.
Ho opela motho mahofi. (To applaud.
Ho otlela tweba sehong. (To save for the future.
Ho pheha ka lemina. (To be in mourning.
Ho qela mohope wa metsi. (To ask for a girl’s hand in marriage.
Ho qetwa ke letsapa. (To be tired.
Ho ribeha motho ka pitsa ya moeta. (To tell one what he already knows.
Ho robala ka lephako. (To sleep hungry.
Ho sebeletsa Mphatshwanyane. (To work for nothing.
Ho silela ifo. (To live from hand to mouth.
Ho tlola molao. (To break the law.
Ho tlotsa motho ka lera mahlonh. (To deceive a person.
Ho tshaba moru o se nang nkwe. (To fear a harmless thing.
Ho tshepa ntshepedi ya bontshepe. (To expect something that will never happen.
Ho tshwara ka meno. (To be very busy.)
Ho utlwa ka tjhetjhe e feta. (To learn from rumour.
Ho wa phuhla. (To lose all one’s wealth.
Ho ya boya-batho. (To die.)
Ho ya ho ile. (To go on continuously.)
Ho ya masihlwane. (To die.) 

Credits and Sources

Southern Sotho/Afrikaans/English – Dikapuo Maele/Idiome Spreekwoorde/Idioms Proverbs (Sotho, Southern, Sa, Afrikaans, Paperback, Reissue)

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