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Learning to speak Igbo
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(Igbo Lessons)
Igbo Alphabet learn all the alphabet
Counting of Numbers Igbo numbers counting
Igbo Days days in ibo land
Igbo Times of Day Learning igbo language free
Igbo Weeks of the Month where to get igbo language Nigeria.
Igbo Months of the Year
Igbo Market Days
Different Type Of Igbo Greetings Ways to greet in igbo
Asking About Members of the Family in Igbo Language Igbo family
Compromise Igbo Igboland mix and match communication.
Igbo Proverbs and their Meanings Proverbs and idioms
Igbo Idioms English in things fall apart
Igbo Riddles examples of igbo riddle
Igbo Body Parts of the human body in igbo language Parts of the body
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Last Updated: Friday 9th June 2017 @ 06:27 am

Igbo Proverbs and their Meanings


Igbo Proverbs

In no language do proverbs plays a more important role than in Igbo. It has been wisely said in "proverb" that "Ilu bụ mmanụ eji eri okwu".

It is imperative therefore that a lot of importance is attached to them in Igbo School examinations. These pointed sayings are the accumulated treasure of Ibos philosophy throughout the ages.

A language that has no written history is apt to preserve its literature, history and ideas in maxims.

Proverbs therefore contain the observations, knowledge and wisdom of our fore-fathers who not having developed the art of writing were compelled to condense what they would have put down in writing into a short form that could be easily remembered and passed from generation to generation.

The real essence of proverbs is metaphor and therefore any attempt at paraphrase makes the proverb lose its flavour.

This accounts for the loses of terseness, appeal and picture which proverbs convey, when we attempt to translate proverbs from one dialect into another.

A person wh uses proverbs and idioms frequently and appropriately is considered to have much wisdom and a command of the language. Proverbs are being continually created day by day.

The talent depends to a great extent on the user's accumulation of existing proverbs, his own personal experience and observations, and his ability to fomulate new ones.

A good understanding of Igbo Proverbs would automatically lead one to an understanding of the Ibo man, his philosophy of life, tradition, culture and mode of living because it is in them that the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, religious belief and experience of the Ibo man throughout his history have been embedded and perserved.

Points to Note

  • Students of Igbo must learn many proverbs and be able to use them with ease and flexibility
  • They should be able to give the literal as well as the true meanings of proverbs.
  • They must be able to give equivalent Igbo and English proverbs.
  • They must be able to express passages containing proverbs, in translation, either in English or in Igbo.
Giving Literal/ Real/ Equivalent meanings of Proverbs.

  • Ibo Proverb - Otu mkp ụr ụ akw ụ adịghị efu n'ọkụ
    • Literal meaning - One only nut does not miss in the fire.
    • Real meaning - The fewer things we have the more careful we are about them.

  • Ibo Proverb - Ihere adịghị eme onye ara ka ọ na-eme ụmụ-nna ya
    • Literal meaning - A mad person is not as ashamed as his relatives.
    • Real meaning - People who know values appreciate them most. Relations are concerned most with a person's behaviour.

  • Ibo Proverb - Otu onye tụọ izu, o gbue ọchụ
    • Literal meaning - If one man takes decision, he commits murder.
    • Real meaning - Knowledge is never complete: two heads are better than one.

  • Ibo Proverb - Ihe ehi hụrụ gbalaba ọsọ ka ọkụkụ hụrụ na-atụ ọnụ
    • Equivalent English meaning - Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

  • Ibo Proverb - Oge adịghị eche mmadụ
    • Equivalent English meaning - Time and tide wait for nobody.

  • Ibo Proverb - Kpo ahịhịa ka obere otu ụkpa
    • Equivalent English meaning - A stitch in time saves nine.

  • Ibo Proverb - Chọọ ewu ojii ka chi dị
    • Equivalent English meaning - Make hay while the sun shines

  • Ibo Proverb - Gidi gidi bụ ugwu eze
    • Equivalent English meaning - Unity is strength



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