Some Jamaican Patois Proverbs

Jamaicans are usually saying proverbs. These are things that generally apply in lots of different situations. Today we’ll go over some Jamaican Patois Proverbs that are usually handed through the generations. Take these little “wisdoms” lightly and apply them in your life, when you see fit.

Common Jamaican Patois Sayings.

Here is a collection of Common/ Uncommon Jamaican Sayings! I hope you enjoy them:

I’ll say the Patois Expression and then repeat the same Standard English expression after.

Jamaican Patois Sayings

  • Mi old, but mi nuh cold [Do not underestimate the value of the elderly]
  • What a fi yu, cyaan be un fi yu [What is yours will always be yours]
  • Who born fi heng cyaan drown [You can’t control destiny]
  • Play wid puppy, puppy lick yu mout [Familiarity breeds contempt]
  • Every hoe have dem stik a bush [There’s someone out there for everyone]
  • If fish deh a river bottom an tell yu seh alligator have gum boil, believe him! [Listen to the voice of experience]
  • Sorry fi mawga dog, mawga dog wi tun round bite you [Sometimes it is those whom we help who are the least grateful]
  • Dawg a sweat an long hair hide it [All that glitters is not gold]
  • Jamaican Saying: ole fia stick easy fi ketch. [Meaning: easy to get something that you once had it before.]
  • Talk and taste your tongue [Think before you speak].
  • Young bud nuh know storm [Experience teaches wisdom]
  • Johncrow always tink im picney pretty [Parent always think there children are beautiful]
  • heng pan nail [Looking tired]
  • Man nuh dead nuh call dem duppy [Never underestimate people]
  • What sweet nanny goat ago run eeh belly [That that appear too good, can hurt you]
  • Fire deh a mus-mus tail him tink a cool breeze [You may be heading for trouble and don’t even realize it]
  • Di higher monkey climb, di more him expose himself [The higher your status, the more your vulnerabilities are exposed]
  • When trouble ketch yu pickney shut fit yu [Any port in a storm]
  • One, one coco full basket [Do not expect to achieve success overnight, take it slowly]
  • Chicken merry; hawk deh [is] near [Be careful when things are going too good for you as its always possible that danger is around the corner]
  • Every hoe ha dem tick a bush [There’s that perfect someone for everyone]
  • Good fowl a go a market sensei fowl pick up themself deh follow back a dem [Person with class being copied by ghetto individual.]
  • Every mikkle mek a mukkle [Every little bit counts]
  • De olda de moon, de brigher it shines [The older a person is, the wiser]
  • Rock stone a river bottom cyaan know sun hot [He who feels it knows it]
  • Gi mi sponge fi go dry up sea [Giving one an impossible task to do.]
  • When puss belly full im seh rat batty bitter [People forget where they come from]
  • Wanti wanti can’t get it, getti getti no want it [The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.]
  • Puss and dawg nuh have di same luck [Some people are luckier than others]
  • Every dawg has his day and every puss his 4 o’clock [Today for me, tomorrow for you]
  • Cockroach nuh business inna fowl fight [Don’t get involved in this that don’t concerns you]
  • Ole fire stick easy fi ketch [It’s easy to rekindle an old romance]
  • how watah walk go a punkin belly [How thing happen, what will happen (usually used as a threat)]
  • Jamaican Saying: “ride & wistle” [Meaning: Be able to do more than one thing at a time,eg, talk & work]
  • Mi throw mi corn, but me no call no fowl [A statement is made, the guilty party will pick it up]
  • Yuh tink a one day monkey want wife? [Do think you won’t need my help in the future? Never forget those who help you]
  • Chicken merry, hawk deh near.[┬áBe careful when things are going too good for you as its always possible that danger is around the corner.]
  • See and Blind, Hear and Deaf [Sometimes you need to give a deaf ear, and turn a blind eye to things in order to not get involved]
  • Wanti, wanti, cyan getti, getti, getti nuh want it [Count your blessings and do not take what you have for granted- others may just be hoping they had what you have]
  • Hog picney sey momma momma how yuh mouth so long, momma sey by & by yuh wi si [Children questioning parents why certain things happen, mother’s reply wait & you will see]
  • Cock mouth kill cock [Watch your mouth, it can get in the great trouble!]
  • Hog say, ‘de first dutty water mi ketch, mi wash’. [Make use of the first opportunities that comes your way]
  • One eye man a king in blind man country. [No matter how bad your situation seems, there is always another for whom things are worse]
  • Duppy know who fi frighten [Bullies pick on those who can defend themselves the least]

Learn More Jamaican Patois Phrases

And There You have it! A collection of Jamaican Patwa Phrases That are common and not so common. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope you apply them to Your Life!