Ethiopian Proverbs are wise saying meant to educate and inspire people on different aspects of life. In some communities, a piece of advice without proverbs may seem worthless. Thus, good advice always goes with a proverb so that even if the person involved forgets the advice, he/she would never forget the proverbs.
In ancient times, what makes some leaders greater was not just in their lands and titles but how many Ethiopian proverbs they could speak when the situation arises.
For them, proverbs were not just some words that can convey authority but they saw proverbs as a gift from nature to guide men on how to make the best use of their time and life in this world.
They are proverbs for different set of people and for different occasions, Here is our selection of the top 40 Famous Ethiopian Proverbs
Top 40 Famous Ethiopian Proverbs
1. A good name is better than a good perfume
2. No matter how many times you wash a goat, it will still smell like a goat.
3. A woman without a man is like a field without a seed.
4. When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow.
5. One should punish a child the first time he comes home with a stolen egg. Otherwise, the day he returns home with a stolen ox, it will be too late.
6. A good conversation is always better than a good bed
7. No one became wealthy because they broke a holiday and no one who gained weight because they broke a fast
8. Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole in it.
9. One who hides their illness cannot expect to be cured.
10.A foolish daughter teaches her mother how to give birth to children
11. There are no better witnesses than your own eyes
12. One who has not learned to walk cannot climb a ladder.
13. Pride cannot replace a dinner
14. Love and a cup of coffee taste best when hot
15. It is foolish to start a fire just to see the flames.
16. Do not procrastinate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing
17. If you are hurt by a friend, run to your wife
18. Where there is no shame, there cannot be any honor
19. Regret, like a tail, comes at the end.
20. If you see that a town respects a calf, then cut the grass and feed it
21. No one can know what the new day will bring.
22. Telling a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole in it.
23. Restless feet may lead you into a snake pit.
24. Only he who is not hungry says the coconut has a hard shell
25. A coward will sweat even in water
26. Do not spend the evening in a house where you cannot spend the night.
27. The best of mankind is a farmer and the best type of food is fruit.
28. When the Nile River knows a secret the desert will soon come to know it too.
29. Do not blame God for creating the tiger, just thank Him for not giving it wings.
30. A house with no woman is like a barn with no cow.
31. Move your neck in accordance to the music.
32. Fooling the chicken landed her in the basket
33. Those who wish to eat a vulture will call it a guinea fowl.
34. A shameless person has no sense of shame at all
35. One who attempts to hide with a dog, child, goat, or a person with the flu will not stay hidden long
36. When there are too many women, the cabbage will be ruined.
37. Hardships do not come to those that are prepared
38. A home cannot be built for the rainy season that has past.
39. A man that is too modest will go hungry
40. Life has no meaning for one without a home.