Kashmiri Old Proverbs


Achev khote che kuthe duur

The knees are farther than the eyes. (Blood is thicker than water.)

Akh duda biyi maji kyut toak

An uninvited guest, and he wants a (Toak) plateful of food for his mother [in addition
to feeding himself] ! (Brazenness.)

Akh hammami ti byak damami

One is the servant of the hamaam (kashmiri heated room) and the other is the assistant for heating it.

Aakhon sahib chu satan hanzay tsochi bagrawan

The school-master distributes the bread of the pupils. (E.g, the king spends what the people pay him in taxes, he has nothing of his own.)

Athachi ungajii panch che na asaan hisheyy.

The five fingers of the hand are not all equal.  (Used as meaning that all people are not alike, or that all do not attain the same rank in life.)

Ayal khanan na koj ; parzanen mimyuz

To one’s own dear children breakfast is not given but to the strangers not only breakfast but tiffin is served. (a person who neglects  his own kith and kin, but entertains strangers )

Attri wanan chu mushk laran.
Kharas wanan chu tembri laran

From a perfumer’s shop one gets a pleasant scent, From a blacksmith’s shop one gets embers. (Cultivation of the society of good people will make you good. He who plays with the cat must expect a scratching.)

Bedh kani chu lokchev kanyev seeth rozit hykan

A big stone remains in position coz of help from small stones. ( Man in a position needs subordinates to support him)

Batee taryov kadlas tai gadi daryos  aes

A Kashmiri pandit was passing over a bridge and a fish opened its mouth [to swallow him].
(Kashmiri Pandits are generally weak physically because they do not do jobs which require manual labor but devote themselves much to study or do easy jobs)

Bib Kamalas ti Meer mazras

When the wife at peak of adulthood, the husband is in the grave. (Unequal marriage – young girl and old man)

Boni mohar tulun

To pierce a chinar with a pestle. (An impossible thing)

Brari Saleh

Acts as pious as a cat (a hypocrite)

Buhuri bayi hund kan hyu zethan

Stretching out like the ear of the apothecary’s wife..
(To go beyond the limit. An apothecary’s wife is thought foppish : she wears
heavy ear ornaments, and her ears are stretched downwards by their weight.)

Chayi tani ya gani magar tech gachi cheyn.

Tea, whether weak or strong, should be taken hot.

Chaniy phar ta gonshan war

Empty boast and twisted moustaches. (Smart clothes and empty pockets. The loudest hummer is not the honey-bee.)

Dab lagus ta pheran phutus.

Having tumbled down his pheran (long garment) got broken.

Dali Baate ti Khoji thool

Dal for a Pandit and an egg for a Khoja (the kind of food they like)

Doh doh chi na hishi  asaan.

All days are not equal.

Gagur pakan hol hol,
Par pani vaj kun syud.

The rat runs in a zigzag course,vYet straight towards its own hole,
(Said of a person who looks a simple but is very careful where his own interests are concerned.)

Gora senzi kotshi sowri na zanh

The guru’s bag will never get exhausted. (Priests are ever prosperous, receiving charity on all occasions, both happy and sad.)

Grahna kandur

A baker during an eclipse. (A sorry figure.)

Hanthi wali dodh ta ganthi wali thool.

He is capable of causing milk to flow from a barren woman’s breast and of fetching
down eggs from a kite s nest. (An adventurer.)

Hari zyun ta maghi dhayni

Firewood in Har (June- July), and paddy in Magi (January-February). (I.e., these things should be purchased in those months, because wood is dry in June- July, and paddy of better quality is obtainable in January -February, the cultivator having disposed of all grain of bad quality before then, as it is human nature to sell bad things first.)

Heli  pethuk shaqdar.

The guard just at the time the crop has begun earing. (Said of a person who takes no pains to earn money for himself, but feeds on others’ earnings. Warming his hands in other peoples’ sunshine.)

Kakaw-nai che kani shrapan.

Partridges alone can digest a stone. (A strong person has a good appetite.)

Kah gav doyanas kahi dohi chokh
Hash chem zaam chem kya chum sokh 

Kah- 11 , Gav – Cow
Eleven cows are milked, after eleven days I get a little milk ;I have got a mother-in-law [and] sister-in-law : what peace have I got ?(Mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law are notorious for ill-treatment of their daughters-in-law.)

Kashir che par-dwarac.

Kashmir is for outsiders, (Outsiders have always exploited Kashmir, as its history shows. Its own inhabit-
ants have ever been sadly neglected by unsympathetic foreigners.)

Kavas ti kani myul karun

To make the crow and the stone join together. (said of an unexpected occurrence)

Khyov chyov rang tcheri
Anz log wala-bari

The cinnamon tree-sparrow ate  and drank but the grey goose was caught in the trap. (An innocent person caught instead of the real offender.)

Kenh na khuta chu khentsahi  jaan.

Something is better than nothing.

Lembi pholmut pamposh

A lotus bloomed out of the silt. (A beautiful child born of ugly parents.)

Lori hatha loyi to mardai drakh

A hundred blows with a rod were given to you but you came out as man. (To flatter a person after having once quarreled with him.)

Majji bhatee

Food served by mother. (The best food.)

Makkai wot vichit chu sawar guri peth wothmut

On seeing a cob of corn the rider has descended from his horse (the corn being so tempting).

Muma  kon sadaan panai put-mahdraza.

Mums, the one-eyed, burns within himself to be the vice- bridegroom [but he can- not be chosen for this]. (Said of a vainglorious person.)

Nachav angun chum  schot
Gyawah gyav khyom bryari.

I would dance but the courtyard is small , I would sin but the cat ate my ghee. (Idle excuses.)

Nav kath navan dohan

A new matter for nine days. (A nine days’ wonder.)

Navi nawan ti pryen pranan.

The new are becoming newer, and the old older.

Ratuk Iayun gomo kham 
Lol ho am, lol ho am.

Yesterday’s thrashing was not enough,  now I crave for you I crave for you ( When you want to reconcile with a person with whom you had a fight)

Sera wawa khot chu dere waw.

Want of house is worse than want of food.

Shur chu kholmut un wanas ti kon brannas.

The child has made a blind man go to the forest and a one-eyed person climb a brann (elm tree) (A child cannot be appeased until his curiosity is satisfied.)

Talwe peyi na tangah

Wishing a pear falls from ceiling  (A vain hope)

Thekzi na hovari ghari,
Teti kulay wad kari.

Do not boast in [your] father-in-law’s house,
Where your wife can question your veracity.
(one cannot boast before a person who knows all about one.)

Wufawani goor ti naba tang ratani.

To catch flying horses and pears from the sky. (Vain adventures ; attempting to
accomplish the impossible.)

Yili yiwan kala ghatta, na roan zata na patta.

When a black storm comes, there remains neither a rag nor a blanket. (I.e., every-
thing vanishes on the approach of the days of adversity.)

Yuthui zuw tiihui suv.

Sew as much as you can afford only