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M e d it a t in g C a t
(BengaCi proverbs andcoCCoquiatism and tfieir ecfioes in otfier cuCt tires
Enlarged and updated second edition

Mondira Sinha-cRay
,

Published by Mondira Sinha-Ray Publishing partner: Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe 2nd edition published 2011 Mondira Sinha-Ray 2011

Cover: Biral Tapasvi (the meditating cat) by Jamini Roy. Gouache on card, 1940s (private collection, Nirmalya Kumar). Comments and suggestions about this book will be highly appreciated and any reports of errors may kindly be sent to: mondira@hotmail.com

The rights of Mondira Sinha-Ray to be identified as the author of this work have been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988. All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence permitting copying in the UK issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd, www.cla.co.uk. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

ISBN 978 - 1-908341 -24-2

Publishing services by Into Print www. intoprint.net Printed and bound in UK and USA by Lightning Source

Contents
Page Introduction Acknowledgements Methodology Legend Language origins Chapter l Chapter 2 C hapters Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 aw aa 1 'ST 5 7 8 9 10 13 28 45 48 52 3 35 63 66 90 si 5 1 I? 94 102 112 122 126 31 ^ ^5 $ U 133 135 138 140 141 144 5 1
,

e, e e $ , ^ u, rh, ^ a o k kh g

Chapter 10 gh Chapter 11 ch

Chapter 12 chh Chapter 13 j Chapter 14 jh Chapter 15 t Chapter 16 th Chapter 17 d Chapter 18 dh Chapter 19 t Chapter 20 th

152

Chapter 21 d Chapter 22 dh Chapter 23 n Chapter 24 p Chapter 25 ph Chapter 26 b

Pi ^ ^ *1 < 1

153 163 169 181 198 201 218 226 250

Chapter 27 bh *5 Chapter 28 m Chapter 29 j Chapter 30 r Chapter 31 1 Chapter 32 s Chapter 33 sh 1 ^ *1 3 5

267 273 276 285 287 307 314 332 335 336 337 SO OS

Chapter 34 sh 7J Chapter 35 h ^ Appendix I - Context and background Appendix II- Selection of new proverbs Bibliography Resources for equivalent proverbs Subject Index

Preface to the second edition


The first edition of T h e Meditating Cat was very well received. It was a pleasant surprise and very humbling to discover the number of good reviews it had both in Kolkata (5) and in UK (2) within the first few months. Being more of a reference book, interested groups comprised libraries, academics and individuals with a passion for languages as well as colleges, universities and other institutions teaching Bengali, both in UK and USA. In my own experience, I was pleased to discover that more non-Bengali speakers appeared to be interested in the book than Bengali speakers, reflecting the multicultural nature of the book. Interest in improving the book started soon after the first edition came out. So, this edition is an enlarged and upgraded version. All entries have been revised and the literal and interpretive meanings made more concise. In 2010, I came across A .T D ev s Notun Bangla Abhidhan (1933) which became an invaluable resource. Seventy selected proverbs from that work have been added to enrich the original collection. More recent finds, too late to be incorporated in the main body, are included in Appendix II. Appendix I now has more background stories, the Subject Index has been expanded and Bibliography updated. In the first edition, attempts were made to match proverbs with similar proverbs from 41 different languages and cultures. That number has now increased to 71, further reflecting how similar moral and social paradigms are to be found in otherwise distinct cultures. All proverbs from other languages and cultures quoted here are from the English translations.

A ck n o w le d g e m e n ts
Special thanks go to Saktidas Roy, Chief Librarian of Ananda Bazaar Patrika (one of the top Bengali dailies in Kolkata) and Mandira Das Gupta for promoting the book with passion in Kolkata. Thanks also go to Jayashree Maitra and Bijan Saha for their respective contribution.

Prologue to the First edition


This book happened purely because of a special request from our son Proshun who showed interest every time I quoted a Bengali proverb and wanted it repeated and explained. On his request, I started recording them. In November 2006 , 1 went to Kolkata to visit family and friends. I took m y notebook with me in anticipation of adding a few more proverbs during my stay, to the then grand total of 41. Amazingly, the project became a social pastime, and everyone reached into their memories to add to the collection. The whole thing simply snowballed after that, and the collection now stands at over 1400 entries. In 2007, Biman De kindly introduced me to Dr Sujit Ghosh, a retired Reader of Bengali, West Bengal Universities and a literateur. His enthusiasm and encouragement gave me the confidence that the collection could be made into a book. Dr. Ghosh has since remained steadfast in extending tangible help by editing and as well as much needed encouragement. This book is not meant to complement or supplement the many existing books - most of them scholarly and some even classic - on Bengali proverbs. Rather, here is an attempt to give the reader a broad and light context. Proverbs are things of the social milieu, and the thought here is to present them in a book that brings alive for the reader such a setting. Proverbs are products of different ages, and as such, it is necessary to set aside any criteria for exclusion based on bigotry, bias and chauvinisms of various kinds. Even so, off-colour proverbs that cannot be said in polite company - and there are some such proverbs in Bengali - have been left out. Thus, this book is suitable for readers of all ages. The entries in the E category have been gathered from a wide variety of sources, representing English-speaking as well as many other cultures. The idea is to create an atmosphere where the Bengali proverbs are being served at one store in an international food court with many stores from many cultures with different languages.
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The images in the book, likewise, are meant to help create for the reader a certain mood. Whatever is the reader's national and cultural background, whatever the life experience, he or she may be able to taste here something of the Bengali life while harkening back to the reader's own culture, and hearing wonderful echoes. It is not essential to know the Bengali language to enjoy this book. Thus, it is suitable for a very general readership. The reader with at least a beginner's knowledge of the Bengali language can enjoy the book even more fully.

Acknowledgements
I am indebted to the brothers De - Biman De and Bijoy De for their continued and invaluable support. Bibhas De worked tirelessly on all aspects of the book. I am further thankful to Sekhar Maitra, Rabeya Aziz, Shyamal Chatterji for their important contributions; to my two sisters Sunanda Nag and Gopa Sarkar De and m y friend Harjinder Kaur all of whom never stopped encouraging me. I am thankful to Jishnu Burman for providing the illustrations and grateful for the photographs provided by Samir Sinha-Ray, Proshun Sinha-Ray and Bibhas De.

Methodology
The collection in this book consists of proverbs as well as commonly used idioms, phrases and fragments of poetry and lyrics. Some fragments of poetry and music that are well-known, but do not necessarily constitute colloquialism, are also included to convey the surface richness and the inward beauty of the language. Each proverb entry (in the Bengali script) is followed by its literal meaning, its interpretive meaning and an equivalent entry in English wherever applicable. Some related entries in other cultures have also been added. The word 'equivalent' here should be understood to include 'similar to', 'opposite o f, 'compare with', etc. While compiling the collection, it was felt that a great deal of the beauty and the significance of proverbs lie in the connection between the literal meaning and the interpretive meaning. This connection is not always obvious, and often stems from the specific Bengali experience. Sometimes this Bengali experience has eminated from social customs and practices from ancient and rural Bengal. For this reason, the literal meaning has been kept as faithful as possible, while liberties have been taken with the interpretive meaning. In other words, the literal meaning is the anchor, like the roots of a tree. The interpretive meaning is the foliage. Depending on the context of a conversation and the people engaged in the conversation, the same proverb can often serve a wide range of intents and purposes. Furthermore, the meaning of proverbs has been illustrated with cartoons and photographs to aid visual imagination. Also, proverbs often have variation in the exact wording. In such cases, rather than try to be comprehensive, the more common and popular form has been chosen. In many cases, the proverb requires a 'background story' for the uninitiated. Some such stories have also been provided in the Appendix I. goes
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Legend
ii- 1 ; L: I: E: Identification of the proverb for cross-referencing. Literal translation of the proverb that preserves the surface meaning. Interpretive meaning(s) of the proverb. Equivalent (similar, opposite, etc.) proverbs, idioms or colloquialisms in English-speaking and other cultures. An asterisk indicates that there is a background story for this proverb in Appendix I. ... Material in quotes refers to well-known poem or song fragments. These are not further identified as to their sources. Alternative interpretation. Compare with...(similar in theme, but not necessarily the same). Contradictory proverb.

Alt. Cf. Ct.

Reference codes
The following sources have been used and entries are labelled choronologically as appropriate. See Bibliography for further details. KH RL SD AD BDG MHP SB MW Khanar Bachan, date unknown Long, Rev. James (1868) De, Sushil Kumar (1890) Dev, Asutosh (1933,1968) Das Gupta, Bidhubhushan (1956) Pathan, Mohammed Hanif (1985) Basak, Sudeshna (2007) Warrington, Matt (2008) 003
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Language origins
For source and other details of proverbs from different countries cultures and languages, see Bibliography. [Sans.]: Indicates the language of the original proverb when other than Bengali (Hin. = Hindi; Old Beng. = Old Bengali; Sans. = Sanskrit). [Chi.]: Indicates the original language source of the entry under the category E when different from English. Ady. = Adyghe Afg. = Afganistan Afr. = African (Swahili, etc) AfAm. = African American Ainlnd. = American Indian Ara. = Arabic Aze. = Azerbaizani Bel. = Belgium Bos. = Bosnia & Herzigovina Bur. = Burma (Myanmar) Chi. = Chinese Cze. = Czechoslovakia Dan. = Danish Dut. = Dutch Egy. = Egypt Eth. = Ethiopia Fin. = Finnish Fch. = French Gae. = Gaelic Geo. = Georgian Ger. = German Gha.= Ghana Grk. = Greek Hai. = Haiti Heb.= Hebrew Hun.= Hungarian Ind. = Indian Indo.= Indonesia Inu. = Inuit (Eskimo) Jam.= Jamaica Jap. = Japanese Jew. = Jewish Ken. = Kenya Kir. = Kirghiz Kor. = South Korea Kur. = Kurdish Lat. = Latin Lyb. = Lybia Mad.= Madagaskar Mal. = Malaysia Mit. = Malta Mao.= Maori Mex. = Mexico Mon.= Mongolia Mor.= Morocco Nep.= Nepal Nig. = Niger Nia. = Nigeria Nor.= Norway Pal. =Palestine Per. = Persian Pol. = Polish Port.= Portugese Rom.= Romania

10
,

Rus. = Russian Sie. = Sierra Leone Saf. = South Africa Sam.= Samoa San s.- Sanskrit Spa. = Spanish Swe. = Swedish Syr. = Syria Tan. = Tanzania

Tha.= Thai Tib. = Tibet Tur.= Turkish Uga.= Uganda Ukr.= Ukraine Uyg.= Uyghur Vie. = Vietnamese Yid. = Yiddish

71 countries, cultures and languages.

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,

12

1 .

v5 l

[ ljj

R L ,S D ,S B

L: I: E:

An out-of-season pumpkin (tasteless, flavourless). A good-for-nothing person. A worthless person. Nogoodnik. A bad egg.
OI<P ICsr1<l v5Tcl xb ^ SD .A D

F2l

L: I: E:

An out-of-season Taal fruit is very sweet to eat. Rarity makes a thing more desirable. Apples taste sweetest when they are going, cf. Every vegetable has its own time [Rus.].
n F tc l TT'S^T so

I..- . . J

[1 - 3 ]

L: I: E:
[ 0

To espy the shore in an endless sea. To have in reach or sight the end of a hopeless situation. To see the light at the end of the tunnel.
f% r, t a n * ws sd

L: I: E:

An idle person has three important preoccupations: eating, sleeping and raging wildly. A useless person never engages in any act h it y helpful to others. Who more busy than they who have least to do [ita.]. The one who has nothing to do has no time [Uyg.]. Idlness is the mother of all vices [Rus.].
C3T3IT o 3 T *(? ! x j8-7; 10: 8| SD.AD

E l

L: I: E:

A useless barber has his bag full of razors. Useless people make a lot of fuss about trivialities. The peg is greater than the stake [inch.]. We celebrated the wax door, all the time the honeycomb was empty [Afr.]. cf. He is a very sorry barber who has but one comb [ha.]. 13
,

ji-6j

rfssto

L: I: E:

To add the oblation o f ghee (clarified butter) to a sacri ficial fire. To stoke a fire. To inflame a situation. To add fuel to fire. To fan the flame. ( f t e n ) srfV ifteT * x g i d Trial by fire (of Sita). An ordeal of fire. An ordeal of fire.
STfrra XQ SD

Tz L: I: E:
[ 0 ]

L: I: E: |T| L: I: E:

God makes mishaps happen. Behind even a bad development, there is Gods hand. All in Gods hand.

A female skilled in bringing about what is impossible. One who can make the difficult or the impossible happen. Making the impossible possible. ct. Even the most resourceful housewife cannot create miracles from a riceless pantry fchi.].

jiT q

L: I: E:

An unknown firewood gatherer from an unknown land. A completely unknown but mysterious or fascinating person. A rare bird upon the earth and very like a black swan [Lat.] A stranger is like a white fowl [Afr.]. x |H SD G hing a name to a yet-to-be-born son. You are making firm plans around events that are yet to happen. We have no son, and yet are giving him a name [Spa.]. Don't sell the bear's fur before you hunt it [Spa.]. Dont make the dress before the child is born [Tan.].
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EHI L: I: E:

M 2i H<1 Ot^T * O n L: Arjun's glimpsing of the many forms of Lord Krishna and through these, the Universe. I: Glimpsing or grasping something of multi-faceted magni ficence, almost miraculously. E: cf. "Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
-Bhagabad Gita

IE0I
L: I: E:

One sins unknowingly, and repents when he realizes it. One makes error when he acts without thinking, and regrets later when he realizes it. Act in haste, repent at leisure. After a foolish deed comes remorse [Ken.],
lf x jl-2 4 ;2 -2 5 l SD

^ 9fT9f*

S R 3 *!

R L,SD

[-1 4

L: I: E:

Too much craving leads to ruination. Wanting too much leads to disappointment. Avarice begets sin. One who wants too much holds onto nothing [Ital.]. Shear them but do not skin them [Dut.].
3 T *TT^, x I1 - 19S SD < K ' o lf O n Too crafty a person ends up without meals, too beautiful a girl ends up without a husband. Over-confidence or over-qualification m ay not be a positive. Too beautiful looks snatch the eyes [Jap.]. He who marries a real beauty is seeking trouble [Afr.]. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, Never make a pretty woman your wife [West Indian Caplyso]. o lfe
?1crni S D ,B D G ,S B

I..... l- 15 !

L: I: E:

11-16!

L: I: E:

Too crafty a person ends up on the gallows. Too much cunning machination can do you in. Alt. Getting caught in a trap one lays for someone else. Too much cunning overreaches itself. Smart bird gets trapped in its beak [Axc.]. TOO c le v e r is S tu p id [Ger.].
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-17

W T *

X -2 0

R L,SD ,BD G ,SB

L: I: E:

Excessive bravado ruined the great kingdom of Lanka. Excess, even in noble pursuit, can be ruinous. Hubris can be ruinous. Pride goes before fall. An arrogant army will lose the battle for sure [Chi.].

- 8 Olfe , 5R SD L: Where there is intense doting going on is where there is an affair brewing. I: If there are the makings of a scandal, then there probably will be a scandal. E: Where there is smoke there is a fire. cf. Wherever there is mischief, there is sure to be a priest and a woman in it [Ger.].
-9 -----1%

O n

*1 * 5, e l f e

<K5 * 4 * O s t f t_ _ | - 5 SD ,A D ,SB

L: I: E:

Too fine a cook cannot find a household to cook for, too pretty a woman cannot find a man to marry. An exceptional person may find it hard to get the appropriate opportunity. cf. Beware of beautiful women as you would of red pepper
[Jap.].

L:

^
tWITs

^ ' ^ 3

5,
5< -7 R L,SD ,A D ,SB

I: E:

Dont grow too tall (like a tree) for the storm can fell you, dont remain too short (as a shrub) for the goat can devour you. Too much boasting or modesty - neither is good. Pride will have a fall. Observe the golden mean. A reed before the wind lives on, while the mighty oaks do fall [Chi.]. Dont be too sweet, lest you be eaten up; dont be bitter, lest you be Spewed OUt [Heb.]. Dont lie down in low places, flood will take you; dont lie in high places, the wind will take you [Tur.].
16

ii f l l j

o jfe

o f '

r l ,s d ,a d , b d g ,s b

L: I: E:
ji^ l

Too much religiosity is the indicator of a thief. Pretension of excessive goodness usually hides something bad. Too much courtesy, too much craft.
sd > x [23-60; SD .A D

L: I: E:

With over churning, you will get poison. Over discussing an interesting subject may turn it into a dull one. Long churning makes a bad butter. The pot that boils too much loses its flavour [Port.]. Milk the cow, but dont pull off the udder [Grk.].

E ?3

OTC5J

oW

RH

2 4 - 1 8 ;2 6 -2 0

SD

L: I: E:

Too much cloud followed by no rain. Great portents do not necessarily produce the hoped outcome. Over-expectation is futile. All clouds but no rain. A promise is a cloud, fulfillment is rain [Ara.]. cf. More smoke than flame [Hun.]. Promises a lot gives a little [Fin.].
O Tot * Xj l - 17,26; R L ,S D ,A D ,B D G ,S B

L: I: E:

Excessive greed ruined the (poor) weaver. Overly greedy reach can backfire. If you try to go beyond your own capabilities, evil things can happen. Grasp all, lose all. Kill the goose that lays golden eggs. To fry the whole herring for the sake of the roe [DutJ. 0 3 [Sans.] Treat your guest as though he was a god. Treat your guest as though he was a god. My home is your home [Spa.]. A guest is not to thank the host, but the host the guest[Rus. Hospitality is one form of worship [Jew.]. A guest in the house is like God in the house [Pol.]. 17
,

EH L: I: E:

Fife L: I: E:
|~ 1-2~7|

rfw < 1 *IU5

TPIT,

JlHrrPTT X^ 1-17,24
R L ,SD ,A D

He who greedily wants to eat too much is one who has lost good sense. Greed leads to downfall. Grasp all, lose all.
^ U rraTO [ S a n s .] S D ,A D ,S B

L: I: E:
jl-2 8

No harm in adding a little extra to therequisite amount. For good measure, throw in a little extra. Doa little more. The more, the merrier.
'M O ilG H ?! C5fTbt *fTCffI R L,SD ,A D ,SB

L: I: E:

The painted dot (symbolizing high status) on your fore head smarts if you are not used to it. It takes time to get used to newfound prosperity: fine things, good life, high status, pleasures and luxuries. There is no pride like that of a beggar grown rich [Fch.]. When a poor man gets something he boasts of his new wealth [Afr.].

6~ -29i sfferca f r s r a x p n sd L: An uninvited guest should not believe he is assured of a meal until he is actually rinsing out his mouth after the meal. I: Dont count on a treat that has not been offered to you. E: There is many a slip between the cup and the lip.
E li u sr sra
t o

u sT

i t s s d ,a d

L:

I: E:

If you want to make it (a supply of food) last, eat a little each time; if you want to spend it quickly, eat a lot every time. You can use up a resource quickly or slowly, but the amount available is the same. A little each day is much in a year.

18

-1

(Hilsa fish)

[1-3 ll

* f i < 5IT ^ 171, C3CWS D

L: I: E:

With an abundant supply of fish, even the cat discards the bones. When there is abundance, you are apt topick and choose. If a native of Pemba can get a log he does not relieve himself on the ground [Afr.J. Though you live near a forest, do not waste firewood [Chi.].
T iw r flfc o Sm 5R xl5 -3 3 l R L .S D , A D ,B D G ,S B

ii'- 32|

L: I: E:

Too many monks presiding can ruin the holy festivity. Too many experts can bungle a project. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Three monks have no water to drink [Chi.]. The baby gets lost amongst too many midwives [Hun.]. Where there are six cooks, there is nothing to eat [Pol.]. The more cooks there are, the more watery the soup will be [Fin.]. Too many cooks spoil the meal [Dan.]. One monk shoulders water by himself, two can still share the labour among them. When it comes to three, they go
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thirsty [Chi.]. A baby with seven nursemaids hasn't one eye watching him [Rus.].

Ell
L: I: E:
[l~34j

The 'gourd' (a stringed musical instrument made from gourd) of a wandering minstrel hums in his heart. He is a hermit at heart. A saint among us.
S D A D ,S B

L: I: E:

To throw a stone in the dark. To make a random attempt to hit. To take a chance on something with insufficient information. A stab in the dark. It takes a heap of licks to strike a nail in the dark [AfrAm.].
c l t S U p fijT
r l ,s d ,a d

[l_-35]

L: To cut gourd in the dark. I:To do a job very easily. To accomplish something quietly.
r r"36i 1% <rf f i R , ^ 3 1 < rrfa R L ,S D , A D ,S B

L: I: E:

What does it matter to a blind man whether it is day or night? Day and night are all the same to a blind person. One way or the other - it makes no difference to me. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. The blind man's wife needs no makeup.
R L,SD ,A D ,SB

~l-37

L: I: E:

The blind man's cane, the miser's coins. What is important to one. Ones total possession. If a blind man does not know his own stick, tell me what else would he know ?
5 l1 t

[l-3 8 |

L: I: E:

A blind man's walking stick. A prop for a helpless or incapable person. A blind person does not forget his walking stick [Afr.].
20

r a
^Y r

5 TU 5
?ff^ ^ t'

5IT W fo i,
OJTSITC?! f% o T C < ! f l Z * f x |24-70i R L ,SD ,A D

L: I: E:

The Rohu fish about to be cooked is apprehensive of being ruined by a bad cook. Even a victim wants respect. cf Fish, to taste good, must swim three times: in water, in butter, and in wine [Pol.], cf. Even a cat appreciates kind words [Rus.].
P U jt SD .A D

1 -6 4

L: I: E:
i 65

A sinister person sleeps a lot, a destitute person eats a lot. A person usually does what he is apt to do by his basic nature. A poor man is hungry after eating [Port.].
oicW T < !*JP T

L: I: E:

An idle brain is a devil's workshop. A person who is not engaged in useful work has the time to think of all kinds of mischief. An idle brain is a devil's workshop. The devil makes work for idle hands. ^ c^iiTTTcsim s s s r
R L ,S D

B L:

I: E:

Just as the cinder in the chilam should best burn slowly, so the flattery or praise given to lowly people should best be measured out in small doses. Too much praise given to undeserving people can go to their head. Praise makes good men better and bad men worse. If you praise the palm wine tapper he will water down the palm wine [Afr.]. A donkey always says thank you with a kick [Afr.].
0^1
s d ,a d , b d g

ri-~67|

L: I: E:

A little learning is dangerous. Tackling something with insufficient understanding lead to great disasters. A little learning /knowledge is a dangerous thing. 25

can

1-68

P f t 5 I, OICH<p

m rr

SD ,A D

L: I: E:

A little rain makes the ground muddy, a lot of rain clears up the sky. What is a bane in a small quantity can be a boon in a large quantity. Small rain lays great dust. ct. Little rain calms great winds [Fch.].
ra rrsra
s d ,a d

an si

L: I: E:

A small sorrow is depressing, a great sorrow is petrifying. A small sorrow gets you down, but a great sorrow debili tates you completely. Small sorrows speak, great ones are silent [Lat.]. Great griefs are mute [Ita.]. Little sorrows are loud, great ones silent [Dan.].
m FF j 37F5 T R F3 R L,SD ,SB

1 -7 0

L: I: E:
IT-71

I chop down the great peepul tree to build my home, I slay my co-wife to dye my feet (with her blood). It is dangerous to live under a large tree or with a co-wife. It is better to die young than be a co-wife.
raT O
m *

RL,SD,AD

L: I: E:

To shout out loud: "Ashwathama is dead!" Then in an inaudible voice: "Ashwathama the elephant, that is". To utter a lie mumbling. To utter a half fabricated truth. To be economical with the truth.

I- 7Z 7lSO? x 32 -4 L: A friend in adversity is a true friend. I: A friend who stands by you in your adversity is a true friend. E: A friend in need is a friend indeed. In times of prosperity friends will be plenty, in times of adversity not one in twenty. You never really know your friends from your enemies until the ice breaks [inu.].
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You really get to know your friends when trouble comes


[Rus.].

Who finds a friend, finds a treasure /Jam.]. He never was a friend who ceases to be so for a slight cause [Par.]. A friend is known when needed [Ara.].
[l-73[ /1 H AD

L: I: E:

All a weak person can do (when in a confrontation) is rant and rave. A weak person's only weapon is verbal lashing out. Barking dogs seldom bite. Empty vessel sounds much.
7Im X |34-46;2-45| RL.SB

[1-741

L: I: E:

A perpetual enmity as that existing between the snake and the mongoose. A relationship (between two people) as between vicious natural enemies in the wild. At loggerheads. No love lost between them.
[Sans.] RL

[1-751

L: I: E:

Nonviolence is the supreme religion. Nonviolence is the supreme religion. "Blessed are the peacemakers." The Bible

27

L c s lj J Lcii > 5
hh

*rra c o *rra vsh =mi ^ T f a Barishal (a district in Bengal) is where they stick you with a shaal spear (sharpened tree pole) while arriving as well as while departing. It is said of a place where people are habitually cunning rip-off artists. "Ripoffcity!" The scissors hang out there [Dut.].
T T ^ tt 51*1 9T I ? , O C<! 3 ^ ffo s 31$ S D ,S B

2j

If I can collect honey from the (nearby) Akanda tree, why should I go off to the (far) mountains (to look for honey)? If one can get something easily, why should he work hard for it? ct The church is near, but the way is icy; the tavern is far, but I will walk carefully [Rus.J.
1 0 I W R 3 f j p JTf s r n i R L ,S D ,A D

W h i w J I: E:

What doesn't one eat when the times are tough? In bad times, people m ay do things that are unreasonable. All's good in a famine. Desperate times call for desperate measures. In times of famine, sweet potatoes have no skin [Hai.]. No rattans, roots will do [indo.]. A hungry ass eats any straw [ita.]. Any water in the desert will do [Cze.]. During hardship devil eats flies [Ger.]. To the hungry man, no bread is bad [Mex.].
On O n

?T t

R L ,S D ,S B , MW

To think on about a flower bud born of the sky. To let one's mind wander off on fanciful thoughts. To build castles in the air. To daydream.
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^ 'P ^ 'W T o 'r a U jr ic F lT E <T f

s d ,s b , m w

L: I: E:

To create a stir in heaven and hell. To stir up a great commotion. To raise a hue and cry.

W C T 5 TT

sb

L: I: E: L: I: E:

To drop (suddenly) from the sky. To be caught unawares. To be surprised. To be caught cold. *! 28-08 Raining (hard) as though the sky has sprung a leak. Raining hard. Raining cats and dogs. It is raining ropes [Fell.]. It's pouring as if out of buckets [GerJ. Its raining pipestem [Dut.]. 29
,

2 jj

( 5 ) * 5

2&59

L: I: E: [-1 L: I: E:

As if the sky has collapsed on ones head. Disaster has struck. A bolt from the blue. to H T To elevate someone to the sky. To praise someone profusely. To praise someone to high heaven. To put someone on a pedestal.
^ fp f Ffpf AD

L: I: E:

To lay a trap in the sky to catch the moon. To be overly crafty. Even if you are cunning, you will not tie water up in a bale of grass [Afr.J.
siU\ sd If you throw dust up into the sky, it will only land back in your eyes. A foolish act without forethought that backfires. He that blows in the dust fills his eyes with it. Stones hurled to the sky. Dont get angry if it hits [Phi.]. He who throws a ball, must expect it (back) [Dut.]. Ashes flyback into faces of [Afr.].

L: I: E:

E H

r l .s d

L: I: E:

As if the moon has fallen into one's hands. To unexpectedly receive a gift/benefit that one did not even dream of being within his reach. To have a windfall.

F-T3j
s ---------------

CKOv

ST*

nc5f -
------------- *

RL,SD,AD,SB

L: I: E:

If you spit skyward, it will land right back on you. A foolish act without forethought that backfires. Whoever spits against the wind spits against his own face. Stones hurled to the sky. Dont get angry if it hits [Phi.]. 30
,

He who throws a ball, must expect it (back) [Diit.]. He who spits in the air will have it fall back on his face
[ ].

S-h I L: A sudden overwhelming or suspension of good sense or judgment. I: Temporary loss of good sense or judgment. E: At ones wit's end.
7.-15

L: I: E: 2-i6 L: I: E:
[M 7 j

Penalty for an action taken from bad judgment or faulty thinking. The price you have to pay for a badly reached decision. f Pay the piper.

Aagdoom baagdoom. Meaningless sounds used to sensical or whimsical. Gobbledygook.


m <3^

describe something non

WcTT

S D ,a d

L: I: E:
E ll

To play v\dth fire. To play with fire. To play with fire.


S O 5* t f l t a C^rniT ^ SD

L: I: E:

If you want to enjoy the warmth of an open fire, you will have to put up with the smoke. You have to take the bad that comes with the good. Take the bad with the good. If you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. He who would gather honey must bear with the sting of bees [ T u r .] . cf. He who goes near soot smells of soot [Fin.].

31

2-19

oTR^f Sf<F 3 3 ?J 5THI = n ,

^TTU5 x'34 19'

SD

L:

I: E:

The cow doesnt take the medicine when it is offered in a timely manner, but wags its tongue while dying (as if to ask for medicine). A remedy must be applied in a timely manner. A stitch in time saves nine. If you can do something today dont leave it for tomorrow.
o ik t m s d ,a d

L: I: E:

If you rush ahead of everyone, you wall be devoured by the tiger; if you go late, you will find gold. Don't rush into something just to beat the others to it. Slow and steady wins the race. Cf. Don't go early or late to the well. Ct. He who gets up early gets the gold [Fin.]. TO! v 5 sra x |^ 6 p l (Take care of your) home first, theworld later. Your first responsibility is totake care of your home or your own. Home first, the world afterwards. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. Sweep first before your own door before you sweep the doorstep of your neighbour [S w e. ]. Do not mend your neighbours fence before seeing to your own [Tan.].
x[24: 55l R L,SD ,A D ,SB

2-21

L: I: E:

I 2 -22]

L: I: E:
2-23

(At mealtime) first taste the bitter, then the sweet. Save the best for the last. Save the best for the last.
O x 3 4 -68~ R L,SD , AD

L: I: E:

First people take in your looks, then they judge your qualities. Appearances make the first impression, attributes come next. The coat makes the man.
32

When you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart [Rus.].
2-24; oTTCSI < rf$ x j 2 -2 5 ,3 5 ; SD ,A D

L: I: E:

You put down the money, then Prove your good faith first. Put cash on the barrelhead. Show me the money!
Ifra , O

I will give you the pills.

j2-25|

:d2:24~35;25-Yo|

SD

L: I: E:
U-2&

First the bargaining, then the job. Fix the price before starting the job. Lets shake hand on that.
oTTC^I g u s t, O / 1*1 x [1 1 - 2] r l,s d ,a d

L: I: E:

Sadness first, happiness later. Sadness before happiness. After cloud comes the fair weather. Cf. Summer is a lie, winter is a reality [T u r.].
oTRSI ^ T G 5 t?I C<Ts TT5I
rl

[2-271

,S D ,S B

L: I: E:
j2-28i

Lanterns are lighted on the back and the front, but hardly anything is getting done. Too much showiness, not much substance. All talk and no go.
TfCSt ^p TIt T, * 0 f^ F R l SD

L: I: E:

First the hanging, then the trial. First the hanging, then the trial. Shoot first, ask questions later. "Let's get on with the hanging! "-Saym g 1)! Am rican Wild West
r r c sr a o H u fp f v 5 t c ^ 5HT3I K H ,R L

[2-291

L: I: E:

Calling from behind is better than calling from the front only if it is your mother. Mother's action supercedes everybody elses. cf. If anyone weeps for you, it will be your mother; others will only pretend to weep [Till-.]. 33
,

5-35 ------

O n

v *

L: I: E:

Grapes are sour. Grapes are sour. Sour grapes. 'Sour' said the fox about rowanberries [Swe.]. The cat which did not reach the sausage said: Anyhow, it is Friday [Geo.]. "What's all the fuss?" said the crane, after the eel had slipped away. "I never liked fish anyway." [Afr.]. Sour, said the fox about the rowan berries, not being able to reach/Fin./. Let the water you cannot drink, flow by [Chi.].
?tT f RL,SD ,SB,M W

2-3T

L: I: E:

The finger is swollen as thick as the trunk of a banana tree. A sudden increase in wealth or power or importance. A person given to great puffery. An upstart. Nouveau riche [Fch.].
(T O 3 ) *RTT x |28-76l

2 -1 2

L: I: E:
|2 -33j

Clinging bashfully to the spare end of mother's sari. To hide behind a safe cover. Hide behind mother's skirt.
'new <13 g s*! k h ,r l,a d ,s b

L: I: E:

If your cow does not plough,you are doomed forever. Useless assets cannot make you happy. cf. The crops are great in the strength of the ox.

^ 34j Tf^t oltfffa sd,ad L: Today I am an Amir (Muslim nobleman) tomorrow I am a pauper/poor man. I: E: Life is not uniform, time changes for better or worse. Dont pride over your wealth or beauty, one will be gone in a night and the other with fever [A m .].
34

Ones luck and ones destiny will change with time [Chi.]. Sometimes its dense, sometimes its empty [Rus.]. It is hard for an ex-king to become a night watchman///./
12-35! S IM *rra * x ^ : 24;25-Toi SD

L: I: E:

Cash today, credit tomorrow. Only cash is accepted. In God we trust, all others must pay cash. If a man speaks of his honour, make him pay cash. No loans today but tomorrow [Spa.].
TTgtS tSIS x [2-391

P-36|

L: I: E:
12-371

Today goes by, tomorrow goes by... Describes a lazy person. A slow-coach.
rru s 3ITCW, x | '- 4 l

L: I: E:

A piece of cloth having good length but short in width. Something that is adequate in one way but inadequate in another respect. cf. Long hair, short brain.

5 -38: omfrn? t f o j L: To start with due preparation and precaution providing against probable contingency. I: To cover all contingencies before starting a project. E: To cover all angles. Batten down the hatches.

2:39 'SrfrtOrT STTCTI ^ x g L: (For him) eighteen months make a year. I: The ways of a procrastinator. E: To let the grass grow under ones feet.
2-40l 5 0 5 R nfC5I 51HT x 34^241

r l,s d ,a d

SD.MHP

L: I: E:

To kill a baby right at birth by feeding it salt. To nip in the bud. To nip in the bud.
35

2-41

o ftU S 3T CR3<IT

L: I: E:
P fg

To hurt a person by pricking their weak point. To cut to the quick. Ones egois bruised. It got his goat.
OTPER!! [Sans.] X 2-21,60,631 RL,SD,AD

L: I: E:

Always presence yourself. Always look after yourself first. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. Sweep first before your own door before you sweep the doorstep of your neighbour [Swe.]. Do not mend your neighbours fence before seeing to your own [Tan.].

j2~-~43| o r p s r n m i *rfe T w k s t

L: I: E:
2-~44 -----

Mister Soul has escaped from its cage. To die (figuratively) from being afraid or startled. One's heart is in one's mouth.
oTTTtT 3 ^ / 3 * 3 SD,A D ,SB

L: I: E:

To fortify oneself for a tough task with a snack of gingerroot and saltwater. To vigorously apply oneself to a task. To engage in something doggedly. To put one's shoulder to the yoke. To roll up ones sleeves.
n p rra xll-74;34-46i R L,SD ,A D ,SB

2^5

L: I: E:
2-46

A relationship as between gingerroot and green plantain (considered unmixable). Strongly inimical or quarrelsome relationship between two people. At daggers drawn. At loggerheads with. oITfrra < T C T 9n f k SrT^TUSt<? T O r l ,s d ,a d What possible need could a gingerroot vendor have of the shipping news? An ordinary man should not meddle in big affairs.
36

L: I:

E:

W hats that got to do with the price of cheese? The cobbler must stick to the last. What business does a dog have in the shop of the black smith? [Tui\], I have an aunt who plays the guitar [Spa.].
m *5 ! fiiC I s m iT *JT'3?n
X

f 2-48]

L: I: E:
2-481

To spoil somebodys head with excessive affection. Overindulgence spoils a child. Overindulgence spoils a child.
STTPrC?! x !M 7 ;M p SD

L: I: E:

Too much indulgence turns a child into a monkey. Overindulgence spoils a child. Spare the rod and spoil the child. Who does not beat his own child will later beat his own chest. [Per.]. Spare the birch, hate the child [Fin.].
<[fPfFtC5T x !27: 32j RL,SD ,AD

S2-49j

L: I: E:
H oi

A hoary medicine man of yore. A very old man. A man as old as the hills.
^ *1 1 3 E ?1 R L .S D

L: I: E:
(2- 51]

A child who is the object of everyone's affection. Someone (usually a child) who is the object of excessive affection, and behaves accordingly. A spoiled brat.
^ r r *r r a r l,s d ,s b

L: I:

E:

The luminous gem in a dark room. An object of precious hope and consolation amidst utter misery. A bright son in a hapless family. A person who is a bright spark in an otherwise dark situation. The bright spot.

37

2-52 L: I: E:

orrat<I C5FI3 HT A fountain of joy. An extremely j oyous situation. A spring of laughter. Let the good times roll [Fch.]. Tf9! OHT C o t StSTC OHT If you are good, the whole world is good. To a good soul all are good. To the pure all things are pure [Ara.].
T N - W # *T R T ,
[H in .]

EH L: I: E:
2-54i

RL,SD,BDG,SB

SD, A D,SB

L: I: E:

Dine to please yourself, dress to please others. Some things you do to please yourself, others you do to please others. Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others. Eat whatever thou likest, but dress as others do [Ara.].

EH
L: I: E:

c$ io ?
Good thing it is behind us! It was a bad deal anyway. Good riddance! Good riddance!
Ij 'R T
r l ,s d ,a d

L: I: E:

To draw the gravy boat closer to oneself. To grab everything. To hog. To feather ones nest. Each draws water to his own mill. Everyone who stretches a skin on a drum, pulls the skin to his own side [Afr.]. [Old Betig.]

2-57 L: I: E:

A deer becomes a prey on account of its own flesh. Acquiring enemies because of something or some quality you possess, through no effort of your own. A fox's fur is its own enemy [Rus.; Uyg.].

38

Elephants are killed for their ivory, birds for their feathers fv ie t.]. The eagle was killed by an arrow made from its own feathers [Arm.].
[2-581 rm H STR o r m f t SD

L: I: E: I lf L: I: E:

A person is the keeper of his own honour. How you act will decide how people will honour you. Respect yourself that you will be respected by others. rm ft npH 3 1 *0 fw

Practice religion yourself first, then teach others. Practice what you preach. Practice what you preach. The best mode of instruction is to practice what you preach [Per.].
< ^ *1 ?! x[2 : 2 r4 2 ~ 6 3 l S D ,B D G ,S B

[2- 60I

L: I: E:
p ll

One must survive himself first in order for his parental identity to be of any consequence. Self preservation is the foremost task. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.
r m f t <\f\H *1 1 $ , o H 31$ sd

L: I: E:
2-62

I cook my own food, I eat it, and I admire I am quite pleased with my self-sufficiency. cf. Every cook praises his own broth [Rus.].

it.

L: I: E:

SG5 *IT5 J r l , s d ,a d One who cannot find a bedstead for self, and yet offers Shankara a place to sleep. A person who is himself soliciting something invites others to share it. He who has nothing to spare must not keep a dog. The mouse, though it could not squeeze into the hole, had a pumpkin tied to its tail [Tur.].

39

{ 2-63;

TT3 0 ^ * 1

0 (7 !

X2 - 2 1,42,601

R L ,S D ,A D

L: I: E:

First comes observing one's religion, then comes adminis tering the last rites to one's father. First secure you own future, then perform the rites to secure your father's after life. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. The mouth is nearer than the nose, the stomach is nearer than the brother [T u r.]. Sweep first before your own door before you sweep the doorstep of your neighbour [Swe.]. Dont mend your neighbours fence before seeing to your own [T a n .].
^

-6 4

x|35-4

L: I: E:

Meaningless/nonsensical speech. Incoherent talk. Playful gibberish. Mumbo jumbo. Jabberwocky.


'T5I JTf x [21-371 R L ,S D ,A D

[2-651

L: I: E:
2-66;

When you dont get the mango, suck its stone (if you can). You really cannot substitute a derivative for something genuine. A good breakfast is no substitute for a large dinner [Chi.].
r l ,s d ,a d ,s b , m w

L: I: E:

A rice-husking pedal made of the hog-plum wood (very soft). Something constituted of inappropriate ingredients that it will not last. Silk purse out of sow's ear. Cheap meat doesnt make good soup [Uxjg.]. cf. Dont build a new ship from old wood lAfy.].
?! G 5 T *IT 3 5 -6

2~-67

L: I: E:

We are ready to walk into the Ganges. We are near the end of our life. One foot in the grave.
40

[2-681 TRTRI ^GTRsTT, = *& ^C 5 K 3 T L: "My tale is done, the Notay tree is shorn..." I: So, that's the end of the story! E: "And they lived happily ever after." The fat lady has sung. Acta est fabula [Lat.].
|-6 9 l n ^ rra % 3 T o i 'R ^ T f e 3 1 3 n s n f l fi*3 i
sd

L: I: E:
[2-701

My wife is going toanother man's house right through my own courtyard. Someone's cheating me right in front of m y eyes! She puts the blue cloak on her husband [D ut.].
vsrrsrra 3 5 R H t 1 7 lt , 90 ? I CSIUo o t e M l f a R L,SD ,SB

L: I: E:

Jamunadasi is my name, mooching is my game. Exemplifies selfishness, moochery etc. A freeloader. To be a skimming ladle [Dut.].
CK O s O s

( 2-7 ij orrft r a f ) ^ L: I have truly become somebody, for now I sleep on a wooden platform as bed (promoted from sleeping on the floor). I: Look how I have come up in the world! E: "I have arrived!". Get too big for ones boots. If a man from humble beginnings get rich, he will cariy his umbrella at midnight [Ind.],
2-721 o rrfo s StSTO, O tCTs o i w r a * SD,AD

L: I: E:

As I became a beggar the famine struck. Facing a big hurdle ahead of a task. cf. A lot of people became saints because of their stomach
[Ind.].

Saints dont fill the belly I Port.].

41

I:
E:

People are not aware of their own shortcomings. If a baboon could see his behind, he'd also laugh [Afr.]. A camel does not see her own hump [Grk.]. A monkey makes fun of the red behinds of his fellow monkeys [Ara.].
m

R -l

r l,s d ,a d ,b d g

L: I:
E:

You can recognize the budding radish from its leaf. There are early signs of what a growing thing will turn out to be. Morning shows the day. Child is the father of the man. The chic that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches [Afr.].
a *3 < r r
r l .s d

Ezl

L:

I:
E:
5 :1

To administer to someone both the best and the mediocre To give a sound beating. To beat someone black and blue.
fa t <tt*TT3 xgO
r l ,s d ,a d , b d g , s b

L:

I:
E:

To perform the funeral ceremony for Budho (by mistake) when Udo is the one who has died. Penalization of a wrong man; making a scapegoat of. Loading Tim s donkey with Jim s luggage. One doth the scath and another hath the scorn. To put Taghis hat on Naghis head [Cze.]. The blacksmith wfas guilty but they hanged the gypsy [Pol.].
X 29-51 SD ,SB

[4-9]

L:

I:
E:
4 -1 0

Nineteen and twenty. A very small insignificant difference. Nine is near ten [Afr.].
5r->ld

L:

I:
E:

A small amount of seeds give twice the crop. A smaller amount may magnify more beneficially. Less seed more harvest. Small seeds, great harvest.
49

4-11

OTCO gW T <13,

OlCO <1/1103

AD

L: I:
E:

Eat a little rice and your strength will double, eat a lot of rice and you will be dragged down. Eat in moderation for good health. Eat less and get more strength. Eat few and go to bed early. <rrtsi *rni The one who comes to rescue (the prey of a tiger) gets devoured by the tiger. The helping hand gets burned. The helping hand gets burned. No good deed goes unpunished. Save a thief from hanging, and he'll cut your throat. Milk is repaid with poison [indo.]. Those who rescue are always crucified [M ex.;Pol. ].
*TC5rTW/ U jf c

n'-Tx L: I:
E:

F-T31

im i

RL,SD,AD

L: I:
E: HKL4!
----------------

To swallow an entire rice-grinding vessel just because someone requested you to do it. To make extraordinary accommodation just because it has been requested of you. To bend over backward.
$ 3 ^
O s O s *

xff-46!
----------------

RL,SD,AD,BDG,SB

L: I:
E:

To scatter pearls among the reeds. To mindlessly squander something of great value. To cast pearls before the swine. Dont cast beads before pigs [Rus.].
$|[<lIT 3TtT
x| 2 6-9|

p jh ll

SD

L: I:
E:

In the jungle of reed, the fox is the king. Someone who is insignificant in the great scheme of things can be important in his own meager milieu. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is the king. Any sandpiper is great in his own swamp [Rus.]. If there were no elephants in the jungle, the buffalo would be big [Afr.J.
50

...........

14-16

CK

3H I

SD .A D

L:

I:

E:
4 -1 7

Rama, youve got it the wrong way round! God misinter prets prayer. The listener misunderstands you to the extent of getting the exactly opposite message. You completely misunder stood me. One asks for a mare but gets the scare.
HM? [Sans] SD ,A D

L:

Enjoy (eat) ghee (clarified butter) even if you have to borrow money (to buy it). Live in the moment. Live it up. Work like you dont need the money; dance like no one is watching; sing like no one is listening; love like you've never been hurt; and live life every day as if it were your last. We must eat and drink as though every tree were a gallows [Ger.]. 003

I:
E:

51

E:

Unity is strength. United we stand, divided we fall. Cross in a crowd and the crocodile won't eat you [Afr.J. When on a common boat, cross the river peacefully together [Chi.]. Let us keep close together, not far apart [Mao.]. Stick in a bundle is unbreakable [Ken.],
))(.<?! OtTO, ^ 3 Plt'Sr*!

5-28|

L: I:
E:

If you get cheated once, it is the cheater's fault; if you get cheated twice, it is your fault. One who does not learn from bad experience is a fool. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
*TT CRSj

5-29

L: I:

If you dont succeed the first time, try a hundred times. If you dont succeed, try again. If at first you dont succeed, try, try, try again. Even a stone gets rounded by constant rubbing [ind.].
5TO SD

1 5-301

L: I:
E:

To administer the way of the arm. To give somebody a good talking to. To get one's digs in. To give somebody a piece of ones mind.
<) 5T C O W ST s C K < 7 \ *

5-31 ------

L: I:
E:
5 -3 1

Scatter with one hand, gather with two. Give little, take more. Scatter with one hand, gather with two.
<TtUt *Tf x l34-77l RL,SD ,A D ,BD G ,SB,M W

L: I:
E:

You cannot clap with one hand. One cannot do what it takes two to do. It takes two to tango. You cannot clap with one hand. It takes two to make a quarrel.
57

It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow. A bird will not fly with one wing [Tur.]. One hand cannot clap [Am.], Do not let your right hand victimize your left [Am.], One hand cannot applaude [Chi.]. One finger alone cannot even kill a louse [Chi.]. A single bracelet does not jingle [Ara.].
-33 1 ,3 1-32

r l ,s d ,a d

L: I: E:

With three cooks (bossing) in one kitchen, thericestrainer ends up dying from scalding. Too many leaders bungle a project. Too many cooks spoil the broth. There is not enough room for two elephants to sit in the same shade [Afr.]. Three monks have no water to drink [Chi.]. The baby gets lost amongst too many midwives [Hun.]. Where there are six cooks, there is nothing to eat [Pol.]. The more cooks there are, the more watery the soup will be [Fin.]. Too many cooks spoil the meal [Dan.]. One monk shoulders water by himself, two can still share the labour among them. When it comes to three, they go thirsty [Chi.].
< W * x 5-38; _ RI..SD.AD

5-34

L:

I:
5-35

Rama alone is a fearsome adversary and he has with him his friend Sugrib to help (lament of Ravana, Rama's enemy in battle). An already fierce enemy has additional help.
SD ,A D

L: I:

Jupiter in the eleventh house (of the Zodiac). A particularly powerful or fortunate person. A time of all round harmony and prosperity.
x 32-24

5-36

L:

The twenty-first article of law.


58

I: E:
5-37

A fictitious set of quirky and humorous conduct. Arbitrary rules. cf. The law west of Pecos.

articles of

SD,AD

L: I: E:
5-38------

To reject one alternative and lose the other. (of a married woman) to lose shelter and support of both ones husband and parents. Up a creek without a paddle.
5R5TT * < 7v S M x5-34i ------- RL.SD .A D .SB

L: I: E:

Not only the Goddess Manasa is present (to keep snakes at bay), but there is the scent of frankincense to help. Not only is there a strong deterrent, but there is a second one to help. Plan B. cf. A second line of defense.
( i J W l (TTRIT rT ff^ SD ,SB

1 5-39!

L: I: E:

One mans bundle is ten peoples sticks. When more people divide a job amongst themselves, each person's burden is lessened. Fifty lemons are a load for one person, but for fifty people they are perfume [Afr.].

B-40l < ? [Sans.] L: Truth is one, but saints call it by many names. I: There is only one God, but many religions. cf. The broad-minded see the truth in different religions, E: the narrow-minded see only the differences [Chi.].
M il
[S ans.] x|31-81

SD

L: I: E:

Unique and without a second. Very unique. Without parallel. The one and the only.

59

6-3j

3 ^

|%

RL,SD,AD

L: I: E:

Wake up, lass, it's your wedding! A sudden call for an action, especially Feverish haste. To catch someone on the hop. Cold call.

important one.

^ S p e c ia lly hand painted wooden seats, one each for bride and

Some ritual items required for performing a Hindu marriage ceremony.


64

Special gifts from the bride and the groom s family for the in laws family.
1 :1 33 S IR cTTSf xilO -19^12-1 SD,AD

L: I: E:
g l

01 (arum, a tuber) says to Maankochu (another such tuber), I hear you have a stinging taste. To find in another person a fault which you too have. Pot calling the kettle black.
3STCR?! S IH C M
sd

L: I: E:

The star musician plays late at night(near the end of the evening's performance). The best part will come at the end. Save the best for the last. cf. The opera isnt over until the fat lady sings.
W F<I STTCrra [M o c k E n g .] x 3 4 : 58

6 :1

L: I: E:

One pice (a very small-denomination British India coin) is as valuable (to me) as my father and my mother. The motto of a very stingy person. Penny-pincher. go 03

65

7
7 -1 t?TraT!!M X 2 4 -8 6 R L ,S D ,A D ,S B

L:

I: E:
j7-2l

(To him) the letter Ka is (to be avoided) like beef. (He is) a most illiterate person. Learning is unholy to someone. He doesn't know the three R's.
oTSTf x|9-l ; 2 8 -49]

L:

I: E:
|7 - I

Frying koee fish in its own oil. Leveraging a situation. Making something enhance itself. A wedge from itself splits the oak tree.
^ W t S D .A l)

L:

I: E:

The life of a koee fish. Something that cannot be ended easily (koee fish do not die easily in the fisherman's net). The nine lives of a cat. cf. Like a kerakap leaf on a rock, unwilling to live, un willing to die [inJo.].
^ 0$ cam era xF ilio 1 ! r l,s d

L: I: E:

A young goat, an old lamb, the first spoonful of yogurt, the last sip of buttermilk. The finest of treats for the palate. The finest in a class of things. Old wood is best to burn, old horses to ride, and old wine to drink. Young girl and a coffee hot [Fin.]. Cheese from the ewe, milk from the goat, butter from the
COW [S p a .].

j7-5 ]
L:

0*331 To repay someone to the last kara and gonda (smallest denomination coins).
66

I: E:

To pay back in full. Done and dusted. Paid in full.


SD ,A D

7 -6

L: I: E:

To count out the rafters. To idle away time. To think stray thoughts. To count sheep. To carry the day out in baskets [DutJ. To gaze at the stork [ D u t J .
S'PIcTt'ft 7T^? SD ,A D

j7-7j

L: I: E:
[7-8j

If I am paying for her curd, why do I need to befriend the milkmaid? When you are paying for something, you are not receiving any favours. Rightful exchange is the issue. Do not mix business with pleasure.
f i t 31 I ff fttOI SD

L: I:

E:
7 - ,

Bought (as a cow) with cowrie shells, tied up with a rope (as to a hitching post). To purchase a bridegroom by cash dowry and to bind him with the power of money. To acquire something and secure it properly. cf. Signed, sealed and delivered.
fik si ^ ^TRI SD .A D

L:

After paying for the journey, crossing the river walking. To avoid the hardship one pays to cross the river and then crosses by walking. Paying to avoid hardship then performing the task himself. cf: In my homeland I possess hundred horses, yet if I go, I go on foot [Ind.]. He who has a good horse in his stable may go on foot [ita.].

I: E:

67

[7 -

<<1 *

7-To
L: I: E:

< T T C 5 I?1 gif f e c i *15-3,7

RL,AD,SB

If you have the cowries (money), you can even buy tigers milk. Money can buy anything. Money makes the mare go. Money talks, nobody walks. If you have money, you can make the devil push your grindstone [Chi.]. A rich man has even the devil to lull his children [Pol.]. He has (even) the birds milk [Grk.]
MTCrT 3 ^ 5 R L ,S D ,S B

7-T i

L:

You will find out how much rice is got from (thrashing) an amount of rice paddy.
68

I:
E:

Actual state or correct information; knowledge of what comes out of what. You will learn which side of your bread is buttered. He knows how many grains to a bushel of wheat.
<F?IT

(M 2 ;

L:

I:
E:

Fencing with words. Quarrel. Harsh exchange of words. To have words. srt srarFrfti <n To carry words back and forth. To spread rumours. Loose words are picked up like gold coins [Rus.]. m m un To make a sentence take a turn. Cleverly change the thrust of what is being said. To back-pedal.
<TfC5, <TRa5 SD,AD

FT!!
L:

I:
E:

[ 7-i 4|
L:

I:
E:
F isl

L:

I:
E:

Words lead to more words, eating leads to a bigger belly. Talking begets more talking, acting leads to a tangible result. Actions speak louder than words. stto t To lose the thread of one's speech. To suddenly forget what one was about to say. Losing ones thread.
stt ^ rr, sn r l,s d

7 -16'
L:

I:
E:
u - i7 \

L:

I:
E:

Blows from the hand are bearable, blows from words are not. Spoken words can cause deep hurt. ct. Sticks and stones may break m y bones, but words will never hurt me. ct. Hard words break no bones.
69

c/. In a good word there are three winters' warmth; in one malicious word there is pain for six frosty months [inu.J. ct. A bark does not wound [Fin.]. Soft word dont scratch the tongue [Fch.]. A knife wound heals; a wound caused by words does not [Tnr.]. cf. Better a lie which heals than a truth that hurts [Cze.]. A cutting word is worse than a bow string, a cut may heal but the cut of the tongue does not [Afr.]. Quarrels end, but words once spoken never die [Afr.]. [ 7-181 L: A breach of ones word. I: Not keeping one's word/ promise/ pledge. E: Going back on one's word.
7-19 <F?fT?t x|28-95

L: I:
I 7 -20;

A sparkle of words. Voluminous, decorative

talk.
sd

L: I: E:
I7-2 T;

Clever twists and turns of words. Verbal jugglery. Jiggery pokery.


crrsrra

L: I: E:
I 7 -22I

Speech without reins. Careless/unrestrained speech. Talkng through the back of ones head. [Sans.] x|7-45i To use a thorn to extract a thorn. To remove an impediment with impediment. To set a thief to catch a thief. SD,AD,MW the help of the same

L: I: E:

a**rr orrraT SB L: Bride-viewing light (The light by which a groom first _____ views the bride - near twilight).____________________
70

[7-3 i i

S H 5 T 0 5 S H 5 T 0 5 SD ,A D

L: I: E:

A pitcher of water is eventually emptied from (people) taking drinks. If you continue to draw from a stock, it is bound to run out. Drop by drop, the lake is drained out. Always taking out of the meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom [Spa.]. Constant dipping will empty the gourd of honey [Afr.J. You can only take out of a bag what was already in it [Bra.]
to r T H ! 7TT$1?I xN
SD ,A D

7 -3 5

L: I: E:
[7-361

To cross the sea on a raft made from banana trees. To attempt something big with meager resources. cf: There is no flying without wings [Fch.]. < J 3T t x[ll- 18| R L ,S D An oil-trader's ox (employed to transport vats of oil). Someone who does mindless and routine drudgery - day in, day out - without any gain for himself. 3 .^ A mechanized/wind-up doll. A spring-doll. A person who acts just as one directs him. A puppet.
^

L: I:

O zl L: I: E:
[7-381

SD

S D ,A D ,B D G ,S B

L: I: E:

You cannot gain the favour of Kesto (Lord Krishna) without working hard for it. You have to work to get what you want. No pains, no gains. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. A timid merchant neither loses nor makes profit [Tur.].
SD

[7-391

L: I: E:

No favours of God without hard work. No hard work, no benefit. No cross, no crown.
73

i7-46j

*lH C T Ir n

[S a n s.]

RL,SD ,A D ,SB

L: I:
E:

Who is going to mourn whom? No one to mourn him. cf. A guest mourner does not wailas though broken [Afr.].
T O

his heart is

[7-47!

ad

L: I:
E:

The crow and the cuckoo are of same colour but their sounds are different. One cannot distinguish between a good and an evil person by sight, only their actions will tell them apart. cf: All cassavahs have the same skin but not all taste the same [Ken.].

[7-481

7FTT?!

ITC,

r l ,SD,AD

L: I:

A crow will eat any flesh/meat, nobody wall eat crows meat. Nobody can fool a traitor, but he goes round deceiving everyone easily. m St'RUS ^HT To let not even the crow know (a secret). To keep a secret most closely. "Mum's the word!" cf. My hut is on the outskirt, I dont know a thing [Rus.].
T O T < J> T C o t l

7 -49:

L: I:
E:

7-50

L: I:
E:

The crow-call morning. Early morning. Crack of dawn.

EH!
L: I:

The crow-palm fruit connection. To assign a cause-and-effect relationship to coincidental events.


75

w in *

rl

The father donated the vineyard to the son, the son didnt give a bunch of grapes to the father [Tur.]. ct: Do not kick away the canoe which helped you cross the river [ L a t . ] . ct: Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade [Am.].
7-63

fR P I

rl

L: I:

To pay for glass with gold. To pay handsomely for something worthless.

L: I: E:

flljT (CPfSS IT ) To sprinkle salt on an open wound. To inflict pain on someone already wounded. To rub salt into the wound. Add insult to injury. To rub it in. Spread salt on the scar [Uyy.].
^T5TW T

5 TK5I 3 ^

RUSD.AD

7 -6 5

SB

L: I: E:

To burn firewood and hay. To work laboriously; to make every endeavour. To burn mid-night oil. To spare no effort.

7 -6 6

Old Howrah Bridge on River Hooghly, Kolkata.

17-66}

<rf*JT *

R L ,S D ,A D ,S B

L: I: E:

The squirrels building a bridge across the ocean. Sum total of small efforts can be significant. Little drops of water, little grains of sand Make the mighty ocean, and the present land. Spits from the public becomes a lake [Uyg.]. The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones [Chi.]. If everyone gives one thread, the poor man will have a shirt /Rus.].
34-80 SD ,SB

7-67

L: I: E:

Mango jerky made from jackfruit. An impossible thing. Silk purse out of sow's ear. Iron wheel made of wood [Hun.].
0<* 35-18 ------------------j

[7-68!

O v

SD

L: I: E:

To point to one's nose with one's arm circled back round the ears. An unnecessarily roundabout way of expressing some thing simple. Shall we kill a snake and carry it in our hand when we have a bag for putting things in?
I jM td r l,S D A D ,S B

L: I:
(7-70)

If you pull someone by the ear, the head will follow. Catch the associate to get to the key person .
* SB

L: I:

Someone says "kaan" (ear), and you hear "dhaan" (rice paddy). To mishear something in a way that changes the meaning completely. ^H T st?p R L ,S D ,A D ,S B To make a gift of a blind cow to the Brahmin (a priest).
79

L:

sil

n ro j m ,

w K tf^

( o r r a fij)

o it s ih

s d ,a d

L: I: E:

Cannot climb a tree but claims the biggest chick (mango). Does not want to work but eager to reap the benefit. In a tree that you cant climb, there are always thousand fruits [Ind.],
S'lTCW CSfTOF 0 5 3
R L ,S D ,A D ,B D G ,S B

|9: 29]

L: I: E:

To apply oil to ones moustache (so that the sap would not stick to it) while the jackfruit is still up on the tree. To make wishful preparation to enjoy something that is not yet yours to enjoy. To count ones chickens before they are hatched. Make not your sauce before you have caught the fish. First catch the hare. Don't bargain for fish that are still in water. There is neither cotton nor thread, yet weavers are fighting [Ind.]. You dont have a wife or conception but you have named your son Somalingam [Ind.], To be a hen feeler [Dut.]. Don't say hop until you jumped over [Rus.]. Dont worry about eggs that are not laid [Ger.].
StTCf O C 3 fifO I 0^05 fta RL,SD ,A D ,SB

j9-30)

L: I: E:

The wife helps him up a tree with a ladder, then removes the ladder from under him. To goad someone to do something, and then not stand behind him when he is helpless. To leave one stranded. To leave someone in the lurch. To send somebody up a creek without a paddle. To leave someone holding the baby. Kick away the ladder and ones feet are left dangling [Mal.J
S1TCW Tt $ ^ 0 5 $ <f) ^ f f t t x l28: I l 4 i
R L ,S D ,A D

|3 l|

L: I: E:

To get a bunch (of bananas) even before climbing the tree. An unexpected benefit that falls on your lap even before starting your efforts to secure it. To count ones chicken before they hatch.
99

1-32!

*rra , 0 3 H 3

SD,AD

L: I:
E:

(He) eats fruits from the tree as well as from the ground. Enjoys benefit twice over. To have the cake and eat it too. To have it both ways. You cant have the bacon and the pig [Fch.].
w r fa lk * m m ^ m r l,s d ,a d

-33!

L: I:
E:

You cannot beat a donkey into (the shape of) a horse. You cannot force an inferior thing to serve a superior purpose. You cannot make a silk purse out of sow's ear. You cannot turn a buzzard/ dolt into a sparrowhawk [Fch.] cf: A rat is not born a rabbit [N ia.]. cf: No matter how hard you try, the bull will never give you milk [ukr.].
T u rn a b illy g o a t in to a g a rd n e r [Ger.].

Although the monkey dresses in silk, she is still a monkey


[Spa.].

9 -34;

co t ora,

srtw co r?

L: I:
E:

He sings well, but does he know when to stop? One should know when to stop Too much of a good thing can be bad. c f : It is a good answer which knows when to stop
sras ^

[ita .].

E H

sd

L: I:

E:
E ll

To catch fever. To feel apprehensive to the point of physical discomfort at the thought of some impending (unpleasant or dreadful) experience. cf To be on tenderhooks.
^ o f ? ^<TT SD

L: I:
E:

To cosy up to someone to make friends. To seek someone's friendship overzealously. To kiss up to someone.

100

FH

srra c o t o r a ,

srrato

u s t?

l- iz l

m s

fifta p n sT F rr

sd

L: I: E:
19-381

To move about while blowing air (pleasingly) on oneself. To move about freely and indifferently, avoiding respon sibilities. Footloose and fancy free.
s fls r a ic a 5 rr a , W sW ^ T U f s ra ra w i a d ,m h p

L: I: E:

Filth from the body goes away with washing, filth in the mind only goes away with death. It is not easy to change inherent bad nature. Rain beats a leopards skin, but it does not wash out the spots [A fr.].
srrsra v m rrara r l,s d ,a d

F39l

L: I: E:

One's body odour is so foul that even ghosts are repelled. The body odour is unbearable. "Stinketh mightily".

101
bKH M np

cf: Saving mustard seed in hand, while the water melon escapes [In d .],

[19-61 L: I: E: 7
L: I: E:

OHC51H To wrap everything up in round balls. To make a mess of things. To make a hodgepodge of things. vStcnTSTfl OTTtf x[l8-5 RL,SD,SB A soldier made of palm fronds. A cowardly or thin built man introducing himself as a soldier. Tin soldier. Carpet knight.

[9-7

'' ?! OPTtf

19-8 L:

^5171, sw , TPTT, d) TpfanT rl ,ad Playing cards, gossiping and playing dice - these three things ruin a person. Idle addictions can ruin you.
145

E:

The best way to throw the dice is to throw them away. Gaming, women and wine, while they laugh they make men pine. Wine, women, and tobacco reduce one to ashes [ita.]. A pack of cards is the devils prayer-book [Ger.]. Four things put a man beside himself: woman, tobacco, cards and wine [Spa.].

[l9:9l

OlUl<! 511

19-91 L: I: E:

OTOT sra A house of cards. Any construction that may tumble down easily any time. A house of cards.

m o l fe e L: The leaves are bitter but the fruit is sweet. I: The source of birth does not determine the result. E: Honour and shame from no condition rise.
|i~9-iil

L:

A utensil having three different uses.

I: E:

An implement which has multiple uses. c f. Three-in-one. cf. All-in-one.

19-12

L: I: E:

The number three is the mark of death. The number three is a bad omen. cf. Unlucky thirteen. cf. Misfortunes always come in threes.
Cri S JT ^ t R L ,S D

19-13

L: I:
19 - 141

Not having any relatives within ones three generations. Someone who has no close relatives.
CSirfe'ni CTSW T O T

L: I:

To pluck an aubergine by poking it three times.. To do something simple in a very roundabout way (refer ence to a very short person).
v sra SD .A D

19- 15

L: I: E:

Collect sesame seeds and make a pile. Gathering of small items can make bigger things. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Drop by drop it will make a pond [Tin-.]. A river is made drop by drop [Afg.]. Drop after drop there will be a sea [Pol.]. Many little rivulets make a great river [Dan.], ct: Hair by hair and the head gets bald [Dan.].
fe c i ST P ISff

[19-16]

L: I: E:

There is not even enough space left for a sesame seed. Really full. Full to the gills. "Standing Room Only". House full.

147

19 171 fo<rl<P L:

1<<I 5^1 m

x|24-88l

S D ,A D ,S B

I:
E:

You don't become a Vaishnava just b y painting a holy clay mark on your forehead. You do not become a member of a group just by wearing their symbol. It is not the hood that makes the monk. There is more to being a Knight than a horse, sword and lance. An ape's an ape, a varlet's a varlet, Though they be clad in silk or scarlet. If the beard were all, goats could preach [Dan.]. All are not cooks who carry long knives [Gar.]. All are not cooks who walk with long knives [Rus.].
focrtC<P O T 3 ?Tf RL,SD,AD,BDG

19-18 L:

I:
E:

To blow up a (tiny) sesame seed into a (large) palm fruit. To blow things out of proportion. To grossly exaggerate. To make a mountain out of a molehill. Do not make an elephant out of a fly [Rus.]. To make an elephant out of a mosquito [Dut.;Ger.].
SI<fT

19-T9 L:

I:
E: E9-20l L:

To die a little every moment. To die a slow death. Die a slow death.
R L ,SD ,A D

I:

E:

A crow at a place of pilgrimage (waiting for food scraps). Someone who wishfully waits to pick up a bit of things that he has not been offered. One who waits expectantly for others favours. cf. Never such a small feast, that it won't have spongers on [Fin.].
<rftpJT 'rrfa $151 C ^ l?

il9 : 2ll L:

I:
E:

Even though you are mean, why can't I be noble? I don't have to come down to your level. Let others take the low road, I will take the high road.
1-18

19 -22 O 'R l C ?I

o rrR ]

9 ( T o ' n i - 9('K 5'ni

R L ,S D ,S B

L: I:
E:

You are lurking on the branches, but I am on the I have a great deal more experience than you. To be one step ahead. cf. If you are a wind then I am a hurricane [ A m . ] ,
o f t 3TfS <TC^, 5THI

leaves.

19-23

R L .S D

L: I:
E:
il9-24j

You go to Bengal, your fate goes with you. Wherever you go, your fate follows you. Destiny follows you everywhere.
^ T T JTCRT ^?TT SD

L: I:
E:
1 9 : 25;

To fluff up the cotton (by beating Give somebody a good hiding. To dress down somebody.
xl 2 6 - 2 2 ;l l- 5 i

on it).

S D ,S B

L: I:
E:

To make someone dance the Turkish Dance (a wild dance by turning round and round, a whirling dance). A fretfully troublesome state. To make someone jump through the hoops.
^

[19-261 O fff

L: I:
E:

(Even) grass can be of use if nurtured with care. Even insignificant people have their usefulness if properly cultivated. Keep straw, its time will come [T w .]. Sometimes you need a pinch of salt too [Ind.]. srn5 A faraway mysterious field from the fairytales. A remote expanse of great emptiness. The back of beyond. The fields of dream.

[ i~ 9:27| L: I:
E:

[19-28}

O t '^ T

L:

To oil somebody.
149

I:
E:
r r<T29;

To obsequiously try to please someone to extract some advantage. To butter someone up.
G S t H SITSrni 17-771 R I.,S D ,A D .B D G .S B

L: I:
E:

To rub oil on someone's already oily scalp. Giving more to one who has enough already. Alt. To flatter the rich and denegrate the poor. To carry coals to Newcastle. Sell ice to the Eskimos. The devil always evacuate bowel on the biggest pile [Ger.]. Money goes where money is [Spa.]. Take coconuts to sell in the orchard [Tha.]. He is taking water to the Danube [Hun.]. One should not go farther than the sea to fish [Fin.]. Dont cross the stream to get water [Dan.]. Carry water to the sea [Dan.].
*5 ^ 3^T R L ,S D ,A D ,S B

jl ^ O l (7 1 3 W

L: I:
E:
|i.9 -3 ii

To flare up like pieces of aubergine dropped in boiling oil. To flare up in anger. To fly off the handle.
u sT sn ?
h

L: I:
E:
1 9 -3 2

You are doomed in this life as well as the next. You are doomed both here and in the hereafter. You are done for.
G S r a i ? ! F S W T 3 1 0 E T 3 <rf?<rTC?I F I 2

L: I:

He to whom you have entrusted your flag - give him the strength to carry it. (God) give him the resources to carry out his noble task.

19-33 toTsmr L: There are no rocks or trees of your age. I: You are very old. E: You are an antiquity. You are over the hill.
150

1 9 -3 4

toT SJT C ?!

O J C $ 1 T ? F ^ <lTfecW C 7l

S D ,A D ,S B

L:

I:

He who will slay you is now growing in Gokul'. Your downfall is in the making. Events are developing that will bring your downfall.
a rf? WT5T SD

[19-351 a t #

L: I:
E:

To call out "Save me, save me!" To shout for help to be saved or rescued or protected. To say Uncle.
|I 3 T fl SD

fl 9 -36 j f j T 5 $

L:

I:

(The posture of standing of Lord Krishna with) three bends in his body. An appellation of Krishna when he piped his flute. A grotesquely ugly person who cannot keep his body straight.
^ * SD

[l 9 -37l

L:

I:

E:

Trishankus 'heaven' (refered to as a place suspended between heaven and earth). A man who can have recourse to neither of two alterna tives. A man who catches at the shadow and loses the substance. Between two fires. To be suspended between heaven and earth [Dut.].

151

20.
70-T

sr

L: I: E:

Shivering like a shaking Hari. Trembling violently especially with fear. Shaking in ones boots. Shaking like jelly.
t^TRTf
s d ,a d

1 1 :1

L: I:
1 20-31

Put an elephant in a bag/sack. To do the impossible.


"o T w , sr a tc i ^ io t r k m hp

L: I: E:

In his lifetime, he does not even get food and clothing; when he dies, money is lavished on him. A mistreated person gets a lavish funeral after he dies. When a blind man dies, they say he had almond eyes; when a bald man dies, they say he had golden hair I Tur.]. The living are denied a table, the dead get a whole coffin
[M o n .].

| 2M L:

I: E:
j20-5l ----------------

C 5T T <rf *rn5 T, *rH 5T CSTRj * SD,AD,SB (To eat) thor, bori, khara one day; khara, bori, thor the next day. (The same three bland ingredients in varied combinations and sequences). Monotonous repetition or lack of variety, truism. Same old same old! CSjfeT C o fe t R L,SD ,SB To flatten an already flat face. To put an end to ones tall talk. To humble ones pride. Add insult to injury. To make one lick the dust.
O s

L: I: E:

003
152

21.

[ 21-1 1 C*J(.d-l WSIWtS, (.<lclT5I CS'I'RSR x 4-8 SB L: It was Ramakanta who stole the curd, but you are trying Gobardhan for the crime. I: To ascribe someone's fault to someone else. The blacksmith was guilty, but they hanged the Gypsy [Pol.]. The black dog gets the food, the white dog gets the blame
[C h i.].

[2 1 -21

SD

L: I: E:

The lord who has the power to impose on you any punish ment from beating with a stick to beheading. One who has the absolute power of punishing. A king. "Lord High Executioner." RL,SD

[21-3] L: Can't sink one's teeth into. I: Cannot comprehend. E: Can't sink one's teeth into.
i2 i-4 l TT5pT5r

AD

L: I: E:

When needed even a lame person jump. In times of need even a useless person tries to work. A lame man runs if he has to [Nor.].

[ 21-5-i 1 --- O v L: Natun-da ('the new elder brother') of Darjipara. I: The neighbourhood braggart (seen as a comic character). E: c/. Big Man on Campus. {21:1 ^RTPF't * L: The destitute Narayan.
153

I: E:

The poor conceived as God personified. The poor class. He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done - The Bible

r 2 1 -7: F p l K d F o S R R ^ 5 x 21-9l RL,SD ,A D ,SB L: God becomes a ghost because ten people assert so. I: Even a very intelligent man may be cornered or pushed to the wall by the intrigue or bad counsel of the many. E: If three people say you are an ass, put on a bridle. Three people can make up a tiger [Chi.]. The hand of God is with the group [ A m . ] , If three people say you are an ass, put a bridle on [Spa.].

21-8

21-8

fu lfil

3 T f?! % %

=TTi% S T S t

RL,SD,AD

L: I:

When ten (many) of us work as a team, there is no indivi dual shame if we win or lose. Several persons united into body.
154

21-14! C t f e r a

f^ T /I

SD

L: I: E:
ST -H l

Neither the tusker (elephant) nor the drunkard is to be trusted. Do not trust someone who has the ability to harm you or someone who is not thinking straight. Trust not a horsess heel, nor a dogs tooth.
(O H ) T O S R R aS igtcf RL,SD ,A D ,SB

L: I: E:

(He is so fearsome a taskmaster that) under him the tiger and the cow drink at the same waterhole. Said of a very powerful person. A hard taskmaster.

j2i-i6l m fegT o h L: The person who has the responsibility does the worrying. I: One with the responsibility has the worries. E: W ith great power comes great responsibility.
2T~17i ftt3 =TT <rf5f30 SD.AD

L: I: E:

Don't turn away someone empty-handed, give him a little something. When someone requests something, try at least to satisfy him a little. Give a token (gift), never mind if it's a rotten nut [Aze.].
oTTft f p R * T i f x !7 - l;2 3 - 5 6 l SD

2 1 -1 7 a;

L: I: E:

What I earn each day I consume each day. To barely make both ends meet. To live from hand to mouth. Make ends meet. To be barely able to reach from one loaf to another [Diit.].
^ rra,
x

Em I I E t i]

r l ,s d ,a d

L: I: E:

Days go by, words remain. Insults stay with you for a veiy long time. Time passes away but sayings remain. The nail will come out but its hole will remain [Tur.J. An arrow can be pulled out of a wound, but a hurtful word
156

stays forever in your heart [Per.]. A knife wound heals but a tongue wound festers [Tur.]. cf. A bad wound heals but a bad word doesnt [Afg.]. A wound will heal, talk wont [Afg.].
[2 1 -191 9I T W I SD ,A D

L: I: E:
g j- 2 0 j

Purifications prescribed for the daily life. The routine drudgery or monotonous toilof daily life. Alt. Absolution for some past transgression. The daily grind.
SD

L: I: E:

To turn day into night. To exaggerate beyond recognition. To tell a down right lie. The liar's mother is a virgin. Point at a deer and call it a horse [Chi.].
<rto

[21 -21] fir*

L: I: E:
[2 T -22I

Whether it is day, whether it is night... Something that is going on all the time. Round the clock.
\ Xl l l - SD,AD

L: I:

To see stars during day time. Occurrence of unnatural or unusual events.


3 l< F > l( o X24-69I

1 21-23! f i i t * !

L: I: E:
[21-24]

A robbery in broad daylight. A very bold and brash crime or wrong doing. Daylight robbery.
*T fH SD,AD

L: I: E:

A pillow during day, forty (steps) in the evening. After meal, a short nap in daytime and a short walk at night is advisable. After dinner walk a mile.
157

After dinner stand while, or walk nearly half a mile [Gev.]. After dinner, rest; after supper walk a mile [ A m . ] ,

L:

I:

Dilli (Delhi) is very far. Something that is quite out of reach. s i *rra *iu, c i m
RL,SD ,A D ,SB

I 2T-26I f c i f a n
L:

I:
E:

The Dilli (Delhi) Laddoo - he who hastasted it regrets, he who hasn't tasted it regrets as well. Something of dubious value. Hobsons choice. Can't live with them, cant live without them. Some wish they had a beard and the ones that do, are spitting on it [Grk.].
^ o ra RL,SD

j21-27i

L:

I:
E:

A monk for only days, he starts to call daily rice by its Sanskrit name (anna). Newly indoctrinated person is more dogmatic. Convert's zeal. cf. It is not by saying halva, halva, that sweetness will come to your mouth [Per.]. The cock goes to town for four days and comes back a peacock [Ind.], A monk for just three days [J a p .].
RL,AD,M W

1 21-281

L:

I:
E:

To stand on two boats with one leg in each. Not to be able to decide between two options. To sit on the fence. To fall between two stools. To serve God and Mammon simultaneously. Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river [Am ind.]. If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either [Rus.]. He who hunts two rats, catches none [Uga.J. Do not have each foot on a different boat [Afy.]. ct. Never try to catch two frogs with one hand [Chi.].
158

121-29]

5RI, C^ITF'ni <J?FT ? !

SD

L: I:
E:

Khoda, please preserve this house with two co-wives. Power-sharing does not work. Only God can help a person who has two wives. Two cats and a mouse, two wives in a house, two dogs and a bone, never agree in one. One woman, what a glory; two women, what a worry/7 r./. A days disease: take brandy. A life's disease: take two wives [Rus.]. Watch out that a black dog does not come in between
[Dut.J.

[21-301 :;*i f a n

snvs

siite s

L: I:
E:

Can one atttain happiness on this Earth without first suffering? There is no unmixed happiness. Weal and woe come by turns. Get your reward in Heaven.
O
s b ,mw

[21-31!

L: I:
E:

Happiness comes after misery. Good times come after bad times. After cloud comes fair weather.
SD

121-321

L: I:
E:

A person who is seen as venom through both eyes. Someone you cannot stand. at. A sight for sore eye.

I 2 I -33] g s K rrar f t s

L: I:
E:

A baby still on a diet of milk only. Said in sarcasm of an adult who acts like a child. An overgrown baby.
PtTS 3K5, <!Tra v o o SD,AD

{2 1 -3^1 Ij[*f

L:

More milk and banana you give to a snake, the poison gets worse.
159

I:
E:

Treat a jealous person well, their jealousy will only grow. cf. Even if fed milk, a snake emits poison [ind.J.
C r m RL,SD,AD,BDG,SB

1 21-351 g * f <raT % 5 I

L: I:
E:

To lovingly rear a deadly snake on a rich diet of milk and bananas. To lovingly nurture a potential deadly enemy. To nourish a viper in one's bosom. Raise crows and they will peck your eyes out [S p a .].
29-54

1-36: fftc r S1$t3I< ff fs

L: I:
E:

Even the kick of a milch cow is sweet! One can put up with a lot from one's benefactor. Give me the roast meat and beat me with the spit.
RL.SD.AD.SB

21-37 g O ffi 7TW C T O tSIU? *IT 2 .1 5

L: I:
E:

You cannot satisfy the craving for milk with a yogurt drink. To console oneself with a base substitute. A good breakfast is no substitute for a large dinner [Chi.], cf: Froth is not beer /Dut.].
SD,SB

21-381 g S K *T f /IT9!

L: I:
E:

A two-headed snake. A treacherous and duplicitous person. A double-dealer. White man - he speaks with a forked tongue [Amind.]. Keep not two tongues in one mouth [Dan.].
# SD

21-39' g T O

L: I:

To keep an elephant tied in the yard. To be exceptionally affluent or wealthy.


51<F1 C^rnira O H RL,SD,AD,BDG,SB

E Tm o I g E

L: I:
E:

Better an empty shed than a wicked cow. Having no asset is preferable to having a problematic one. Better an empty house than a bad tenant.

1 6 0
,

Better a good neighbour than a distant friend [Dut.]. An intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend [Afr.j.
2 -4 ITSR SD

L: I:

To subdue the evil, to preserve the What a good leader does.


olTCW

good.

2 -4 2 ] '

S D ,S B

L: I:
E:

Even walls have ears. You can never be sure who is eavesdropping. Even walls have ears. Fences /ditches have ears. Walls have mice and mice have ears [Per.]. There are always ears on the other side of the wall [C h i.]. Walls have ears, little pots too [Saf.]. Windows have ears,doors have holes [Tha.]. Hedges have no eyes but they have ears [ita.]. Fields have eyes and woods have ears [Dan.]. The roof has lathes [Dut.].
.

2 -43]

L: I:
E:
;2 -4 4

What angry gods want to gobble up. Usually said of a great loss in a natural disaster. An apocalyptic disaster.
< 3 5 5 ^ !:
(

---------- "

[S an s ]

SD ,A D

L: I:
121-451

Even God doesnt know, how could man? It passes all understanding, human or divine.
^ R L,SD

L: I:
E:

He is so vain that his feet do not touch the lowly ground. A pompous person. A stuck-up person.

21: 46

L: I:
E:

Customs vary from land to land. Customs vary from land to land. W hen in Rome, do as Romans do.
161

Each country's customs are different, just as grass is each meadow is different [Mon.]. If you go to a goat stable, bleat; if in a water buffalo stable, bellow [Indo.].
|2T-47i a ^ T % * F T T

L: I:
E:
121^48]

To act like a villager/ country folk. To act provincial. To act like a village bumpkin.
9n49ff? ra itT < ra V [S a n s. | O
n

------------------ .-

L: I:

Place your noble feet (on my head) and bestow glory upon me thus. Please bestow your favours on (lowly) me.
* x|9-55l RI.,SD,SB

[ 21^491 t C r O F g r a

L: I:

Prahlad (a good character) born to the race of demons. A saint born in the race of sinners, a Christ amongst Jews.

21-50} C R fij'K n i

L: I:
|T ~ 5 ll

To be pulled between two options. To be tom between two options.


u m

xgT -52|

L: I:
E:

A man is made of virtues and vices. Both good and bad qualities are to be found in a normal human being. No man is without fault [Tur.]. There is never fish without bones and no man without faults [Nor.].
CETC3 x |V 5 l j SD,AD

IT sI

L: I:
E:

The world is made of vices and virtues, rain is made of storm and water. Every human being is made of good and bad qualities (to one extent or another). It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow. No man is without fault [Tur.].

1 6 2
,

"H e w h o k n o w s p r o v e r b s c a n s e ttle d is p u te s . Yoruba saying

WHAT'S INSIDE?
Identification number
i [ 32-lSj

Cross reference
A ppendix 1 i

<Rgfcrencc
i RL,SD,MW

SIT? ITR>T * x 122-151

L i t e r a l L: Trying to cover up the fish (on the dinner meaning plate) with spinach.
Interpret it l I: To cover up inadequately, ineffectively. meaning J r* E: Paper over cracks. Similar prover6 That which has horns can not be wrapped

from English or otfter languages

[Afr.].
The stench o f som ething rotting cant be hidden with incense [Afr.].

M ondira Sinha-Ray was bo rn in C alcutta. She was educated in India and the U K , w here she earned her Ph. D. in E conom ic G eography from University o f L ondon. She has pursued a life-long career in teaching and has been extensively involved in teaching the Bengali language to children in U K schools. She has also served as a Principal F.xaminer for G C S E Bengali. She holds a D iplom a in Interpreting and serves as an Exam iner for the Institute o f Linguists and also a L ocal A uthority interpreter o i the Bengali language. She is very passionate about keeping an individual s m other tongue and culture alive while teaching English to non-English speaking students. She is deeply involved in volunteering w ith a focus on the m inority ethnic com m unities. M ondira Sinha-Ray lives in Buckingham shire, UK w ith her husband and they have a son, daughter-in-law and tw o grandsons.
ISBN

17S - l - 1Dfl341-SM-S 01599


RRP: 15.99 /replan. 3axM m eH w *a B $19.95

781908 341242