Gadegalu - Kannada Proverbs

Gadegalu are the sayings about life and people. There are hundreds of gadegalu in Kannada and its origins are probably as old as the language itself. Below are some of tbe proverbs in Kannada-

  • Hasige iddashtu kaalu chaachu- extend your legs only as far as the bed not beyond - live within your means.
  • Bheedeli hogo maari na manege karidange-
  • Maadidunno Maraya - what you sow is what you reap
  • Uppa thinda mele neeru kudiyalebeku- you have to drink water after eating salt; this and previous one can used under the same context.
  • Yaarado duddinalli yellamanna jaatre
  • Aagodella volledakke- what ever happens, it is always for good.
  • Ganda-Hendara jagala thindu malugovarege- Husband and wife's fight usually ends once they Eat and get back into bed
  • Kaallake takkanthe nadiabeku, tallake takkanthe kuniabeku- we should change with time and dance to the tune.
  • Anna haakida manege kanna hakabeda - Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
  • Maari kannu hori myale, kadukan kannu kuri myale.
  • Paalige bandidhe paramanna.
  • Saavira sullu heli ondu madhuve maadu- Fix a marriage by telling 1000 lies
  • Kallana numbidhru kullana nambabeda- You can trust a thief but never trust short people.
  • Nelakke bhidroo meese mannagilla
  • Yaava huttadilli yaava haavu irutho - never decide on the type of snake by seeing the pit, it can be anything or misleading.
  • Devaru olidaroo poojari oliyolla.
  • Namma devara sathya namage gotthu.
  • Hagalakaige bevinakaayi saakshi.
  • Kai kesaradarae baai mosaru.
  • Kaige banda thutthu baige baralilla.
  • Rogi baysidhu haalu anna vaidya helidhu haalu anna
  • kallanigondhu pille neva
  • Kuniyalaradavalu nela donku andalanthe
  • hodeya pishachi andre bandheya gawakshilee
  • hoda putta banda putta
  • Shiva Poojeli Karadi bittanga
  • Kumbala kaayi kalla andre hegalu mutti nodkonda
  • Malli malli manchakke eshtu kaalu andre mooru mattondu andlante
  • Kallana manassu hul hulge
  • Beeso Dhonne thapidare nooru varsha ayeshu. - If you can manage to escape the swinging stick you will live 100 years.
  • Naari olidhare mari - Women would become a demon if you mess with them.
  • Naari olidare naari, munidare maari-When a women is pleased with you she is an angel, if she is angry with you she is a devil.
  • Etthu erige eledare Kona Neerige eliyitu.
  • Maneyavarige maari, pararige upakari
  • Mutthu koduvalu bandalu antha, tutthu kottavalannu mareya baradu
  • Sindagattada devaru hind mund aada
  • Kelasavillada kumbhara mai parichikonda
  • Gokulashtami goo, imamsaabi goo en sambandh
  • Indhu aalagi balidavane munde aarasaaguva - one who lives like a slave today, will be the king tomorrow.
  • Halliddavarige kadle illa,kadle idhavarige hallilla
  • yellara mane dosenu thoothesahodara mavana chaalu thundara thundara paalu
  • aLiya alla magaLa gaMDa - [he is] not my Son-in-law, but my daughter's husband.
  • aaDidare aragiNi kaaDidare naagara kaaTa- if you act out you are a royal parrot, if annoyed, you bother like a cobra-Meaning: when things are fine you are excellent companion, the moment it goes wrong you are like a sarpent
  • aLo gaMDusna nago heMgusna naMba baaradu-believe not a nagging man or a gleeful female-Meaning: should not belive the men who crys for everthing and similar a lady who takes delight in everything
  • aYYoo paapa aMdre arda aayassu- say pity, have half life -Meaning: show pity on someone your lifespan will be cut short i.e., you spend half your life worrying about it. -Meaning: Don't be kind to one and everyone, some times people take you for a ride.
  • aaDuvava aaDidre nODuvavage siggu - If an actor enacts [without inhibitions], spectator gets ashamed -Meaning: an actor may perform to the embarrassment of the spectator
  • aMjidavana mEle kappe haaridaMge - Its like frog jumping on a person who is already afraid (of it).
  • allada kanasu kaMDare eddu kuMDru - if you have bad dream, wake(get) up and sit.
  • aDDa gODeya mEle dIpa iTTa hAge - It is like placing a lamp atop a partitioning wall. - He is as undecided as an orphan: if he does not wash his hands, he is called dirty, if he does, he is wasting water. - This is said of people who refuse to take sides (/ take a stand). Sometimes, it is used in the negative sense to chide people who are indecisive.
  • aaru koTTare atte kaDe, mUru koTTare sose kaDe - Give him six denominations he sides with mother-in law (backs her up), give him three denominations he sides with daughter-in-law (backs her up).
  • aDikege hOda maana aane koTTarU baradu - The reputation lost on a betelnut won't comeback though you donate an elephant. - The reputation lost on trivial things cannot be regained by donating big alms. - A wounded reputation is seldom cured
  • ajjige arive chinte, mommagaLige kajjaayada chinte - Grandma is worried about her worn out dress; the Granddaughter worried about having a sweet dish. -This is said of irresponsible youngsters who expect a lot from parents who struggle to make ends meet. Used to stress the importance of prioritizing. - Equivalent: Every heart has its own ache
  • akki mEle aase, neMTara mEle prIti -She has desire for rice(likes saving it) and has love for her relatives too. -you cannot have a cake and eat it too. - I love you well but touch not my pocket
  • aMbali kuDiyuvavanige mIse tikkuvanobba -For the one who drinks porridge, [there is] a person to hold moustache. -The one who subsists on porridge, has got an attender to trim his moustache. -This is said of people who live beyond their means. -Nothing agrees worse than a proud mind and a begger's purse
  • aMtU iMtu kuMti makkaLige eMtU rajyavilla -somehow Kunti's sons have got no state [to rule]. -This proverb is reserved for unlucky ones who never make it however they struggle.
  • attegondu kaala; sosegondu kaala - [There is] a time for mother-in-law and a time for daughter-in-law. -This proverb is similar to "Every dog has his day." However the image of the mother-in-law who ruled the roost in joint families with a vengeance to make up for the indignities suffered during her daughter-in-law days is evident here.
  • aaseyE duHKakke mUla -greed is the rootcause of sorrow.
  • aaL mEl aaL biddu gONu baridaaytu - This is said referring to a group of individuals.(when occassion called for taking up the responsibility...) Each individual passed the buck to the other individual and there was none left to shoulder the responsibility.
  • ariyade maaDida paapa aritandu parihaara -a sin did without realizing is cured when you realize it. -a sin commited out of mistake could be rectified when you look back on it.
  • akkareyiddalli duHKavunTu -where there is love, there is grief. -love accompanies grief.
  • akkana cinnavAdrU akkasAli ToNeyade(=kadiyade) biDa -Though the gold belogs to his own sister, a goldsmith would cheat - I would cheat my own father at cards.
  • aykattu illadavanige aaru kattu vibhooti -a person with no physique has six packs of holy-ash [i.e., he would resort to a consecreted ointment to ward off any harm/danger] - no fighting spirit would would make a man religious [pseudo religious/a affected piety].
  • bayasi bayasi maduveyaadre baDiyo gaMDa sikkida - I got married with high expectations and got a spouse who beats me up.-When you really look forward to something it's often an anticlimax when it actually happens
  • bekku kaNNu muchchikonDu haalu kuDidante- It is like a cat lapping up the milk with its eyes closed [to the world]. - Others can see through a misdeed despite pretensions.
  • bElinE eddu hola meyda haage -Its as if the fence itself woke up and grazed the field [throughout] .-A fence is meant to stop cattle from grazing. What if the fence itself is a culprit? This proverb comes from a skepticism of those who break laws they are supposed to uphold.
  • Bangi devarige hendaguDuka pujaari (Kannada) - For the God who is on dope(drugs), [it is but appropriate to have] a priest who is a drunkard. - The underlings are usually quite a match for the rogues in power whom they serve.
  • badukdaagilla baaLidagilla saayO kaladalli ShanikaaTa - lived and survived all odds happily [when young], but afflicted with misery in oldage. - This can be used in bothways for pitying and scolding the greed of people. It incites pity, when a wise person suffers because of some one during his last days and This adage can also refer to the people who had enough money with them to lead a happy life in oldage but due to greed they have lost it and are suffering with dire circumstances.
  • bayakege baDavarilla (Kannada) - desire knows no poor. -people from all walks of life are affected by desires.
  • chELige pArupatya koTTa hAge (Kannada) - It is like giving authority to a scorpion.- If the mean people get into positions of authority they cause a great damage like a scorpion, which needs no reason to sting, would work overtime if asked to do so.
  • chinte illadavanige santeyallU nidde (Kannada) - One without worries can doze off in a marketplace [noisy hubbub]. - One hasn't a problem in the world, why one would have any worries whatsoever.
  • Chalagaara chatta eerida, bhanda
  • daMDaM dasha guNam bhavet - Punishment has got 10 credits to its name. - Beating gives the necessary attitudes of a man - [for social control] penalisation is 10 times more effective than any other solutions.
  • daana daanakkiMta nidaana doDDadu -Decisiveness/volition is greater than all kinds of charity - Intent on doing charity is greater than charity with an irresolute mind.
  • dikku dikkige hOdarU dukka tappadu - wherever (whatever direction) you go, sorrow won't leave you - sorrow is a painful existance of life. According to one of the indic tradition (materialistic philosophy of Charvaka), Ones aim of life should be to acquire joy/happiness by letting not the sorrow to affect it.
  • duDDE doDDappa - Money is bigger father [godfather].-Money is everything in real/practical world. - In God we trust, all others must pay cash.
  • dEvaru vara koTTarU pUjAri vara koDa - Though God grants a wish [to a devotee], the priest wouldn't [let it reach the devotee smoothly]. - This is often used to taunt the underlings who are worse than the bureaucrats they serve.
  • doorada beTTa nuNNage -Distant hill looks beautiful -Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. - This proverb is used to pacify those who compare themselves with other peers and thinks that the others are better off / have a competative edge over them.
  • dharmakke daTTi koTTare hittalige hOgi moLa hAkidaru - When a cloth is given for charity, it was measured in the backyard. -looking a gift horse in the mouth.
  • ettu ErigeLItu, kONa nIrigeLItu(Kannada) - (If you yoke a Buffalo and an ox together,) the Ox will push for the Swamp and the Buffalo for the hilltop- This is a scene of a cart pulled by an ox and a buffalo which do not co-ordinate well and do what they please leading to a disaster. - Mismatched company of people could lead to a similar situation.
  • ellara mane dosenU tUtE -a Dosa made in any or every house has pores. - This conveys the meaning that we all are essentially the same. We all have same stories.(Of sorrows and joys - But in different forms, which is understood but not mentioned). Note: Dosa is a south Indian Snack similar to pancakes.
  • ellaaru maaDuvudu hoTTegaagi gENu baTTegaagi - Everybody's deeds are for the sake of the belly and for a piece of cloth. -The most abhoring of deeds have been committed by people in order to meet the bare necessities of life.
  • ellaa beLaku beLakalla satyada nuDiyE beLaku (Kannada) -not all the lights illuminate, the truthfullness always illuminates. -virtue is more than light, hence equals god.
  • eMtU obbara sEve maaDOdE balu kaShTa (Kannada) -serving another by any means is difficult indeed.
  • eDada nettige baDidare balada nettige taakitu (Kannada) -if left side of the head got hit, it struck the right side of the head -He struck at Tib but down fell the Tim
  • eDavida kaalu eDavudu heccu (Kannada) - Misfortunes/difficulties never come single
  • eMTu varShakke nanna maga daMTaada (Kannada)-at eight years of age my son turned out to be a numskull
  • eMtheMtha dEvarigE aMtaraaTa aagiruvaaga kaalmuruka dEvarige kailaasavE! (Kannada) - all the qualified Gods are in the doldrums and the unqualified God [i.e., God with broken leg] got a entry into the Kailaasa [the hevenly abode of the Great God Shiva of Hindu pantheon].
  • ellaa baNNa masi nuMgitu (Kannada) - a stain engrosses all colours- a black mark on you could diminish your all acquired name and fame.
  • ellarU paalakIli kUtare horOru yaaru (Kannada) -If all get into the palanquin, who will be the bearers?
  • eraDU kai taTTidare saddu (Kannada) - to clap you need both hands - There is no smoke without fire
  • eraDu daasara naMbi kuruDu daasa keTTa (Kannada) - a blind saint (in indic traindition a saint genrally begs for alms for his sustenance) ruined himself by relying on two associate saints.
  • ELaralli baralO? eppattaralli baralO? (Kannada) - Shall I come in young age (age 7)? or in old age (age 70)? - This is read as Misfortune questioning any/all individuals. The underlying meaning is that difficulties could be boldly faced and easily overcome in young age rather than old age.
  • Eridava iLidaanu (Kannada) - A person who is successful may see a downturn
  • gaMDa heMDira jagaLa uMDu malago tanaka (Kannada)- The strife between a husband and wife lasts only till they dine and go to bed. - i.e. disagreements between people in love are forgotten easily.
  • geddettina baala hiDida haage (Kannada) -It is like holding the tail of the ox which is won over -Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan.
  • gubbi mEle bramhAstravE? (Kannada) -Could a Brahmastra be used on a sparrow?- (Brahmastra could be treated as equivalent to a nuclear weapon of this era during the age of Lord Rama. Brahmastra was believed to possess the power to destroy the whole world. One fascinating fact about the use of this weapon was that a person possessing it should use it only on an opponent who is equal to him and also when he has no other alternatives left during the combat, may be the war convention of that time!!!) - This is said of actions beyond proportion taken on helpless/hapless people.
  • gaaLi baMdaaga tUriko, dhaaraNe baMdaaga maariko (Kannada) - make hay while sun shines
  • gavuji gaddala EnU illa, gOviMda bhaTTa baavIli bidda (Kannada) - without any commotion whasoever, Mr.Govinda bhatta took extreme step of taking his life by throwing himself in a well.
  • giDavaagi baggaddu maravaagi baggIte? (Kannada) -As a sapling, if it can't bend, will it ever, when it has grown to become a tree? -g: The proverb implies, It is rather easier to bend a sapling than a tree. Those who have trouble following rules as young will get worse when they get older. -Better to nip in the bud -Best to bend while a twig -
  • hesarige heMDra kaaNe magana hesaru naMjuMDa (Kannada) -you don't have wife even for namesake and you have named your [would be] son Mr. Nanjunda.-
  • halliddAga kaDle illa; kaDle iddAga hallilla (Kannada) -There are no nuts [to munch] when one has sound teeth and when there are plenty [of nuts], one has no tooth left.-Munching nuts is a sign of prosperity. It is frustrating that one is poor when the youth to enjoy the riches is abundant whereas when one finally gets rich the faculties to enjoy are gone.
  • hOdyaa piSaachi aMdare baMde gavaakShili aMtaMte (Kannada) -I said "There goes the devil", It replied "Here I come through the ventilator". -Just when you thought a burning issue was resolved, you see the very issue reappearing in another form.
  • haaLUrige uLidavanE gouDa (Kannada) -One who stays behind in a ruined village is its chairman. - A dig at people in power at weak institutions.
  • hanigUDidare haLLa; tenegUDidare bhatta (Kannada) -drops join together to make a stream; ears combine to make a crop.-Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. -Penny and penny laid up will be many -A whole bushel of wheat is made up of single grains
  • haaDidde haaDO kisubaayi daasa (Kannada) -A grin-mouthed beggar who harps the same song again and again.-A rude putdown of those who keep repeating the same argument. -To harp upon the same string
  • haasige iddaShTu kaalu chaachu (Kannada) -Stretch your legs according to your coverlet -This is a warning to live within one’s means.
  • hettOrige heggaNa muddu, kUDidOLige kODaga muddu (Kannada) -Parents like their child though he be a bandicoot; a female likes her mate though he be a monkey. - This is a wacky statement of the somber truth: Love is blind.
  • hiriyaNNana chaaLi mane maMdigella (Kannada) - The elder brother’s habits are for all in the family. -The underlings follow the leader, especially his bad traits. -As the old cock crows so crows the young
  • hittala giDa maddalla (Kannada) -The herb grown in ones own backyard is not perceived as a medicine. -Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • hoLe nIrige doNenaaykana appaNe Eke? (Kannada) -Who needs the approval of a city official for the water from a stream? -This is a rudimentary opposition to taxation and control of things taken for granted in a village life.
  • hosataralli agasa gONi etti etti ogeda (Kannada) -As a fresher, the washerman washed the jute bag many a times.-People who are new on the job work eagerly and enthusiastically until they find their way and slack off. Clothes were washed in villages by Dhobis who toke them to a lake, soak them and beat the hell out of them on a rock to get rid of the dirt. The amount of beating was inversely proportional to the value of the cloth. A jute bag hardly deserved any attention except by one who was new to the job. -This is a saying that describes whether one can distinguish between a novice & an expert -New brooms sweep clean
  • hosa vaidyanigiMta haLE rOginE mElu (Kannada) -An old patient is better than a novice doctor. -This stems from a suspicion of inexperienced and untested people with education vis a vis wise, familiar and old fellows of dubious qualifications.
  • hoTTege hiTTilladiddarU juTTige mallige hUvu (Kannada) - There is no food for the stomach but jasmine is a must to decorate the tresses (hairdo).-In India wearing jasmine(flower) in the hair tresses is considered elegant for women, especially on their way to a temple or a wedding party (its more of a tradition in India). Dressing beyond one’s means is frowned upon as a sign of false pride.
  • huTTisida dEvaru hullu mEyisuttaneye? (Kannada) -Will the God who brought us into this world make us graze on grass. -This proverb mouths faith and optimism in the face of adversity.
  • huchchu muMDe maduveyalli uMDavanE jaaNa (Kannada) -In the wedding of the mad widow one who has a meal is wise. -This earthy saying implies that one who manages to get by in a wild and chaotic situation deserves compliments. -A widow's wedding, that too if she is insane, is highly improbable. Only a smart person can manage to find such a wedding and even enjoy a meal there.
  • hUvina jote naaru svarga sEritu (Kannada) -The string used to tie the garland also reached heaven with it. -Those who are in the company of the noble will reap the benefits by association.
  • habba hasanAgali, gOdi jatanAgali, baMda bIgaru uMDu hOgali -ou cannot eat your cake and have it too.
  • iruLu ciMte niddegEDu, hagalu ciMte kelasagEDu (Kannada)-worrying at night spoils sleep, worrying during daytime spoils work
  • iddaddu idda hAge hELidre, siddappanige siDilu hoDeyitu (Kannada) -When facts are stated as it is, Mr. Siddappa was shell shocked (as if he was struck by lightning). -This is a dig on those who cannot take criticism and throw tantrums.
  • iruLu kaMDa baavIli hagalu bidda haage -Its like falling into a well, during broad daylight, which you had noticed at night. -Falling in a well during the day when you could notice the same at night. -Refers when people do the wrong things knowingingly. It might be either due to reluctancy or due to irresponsibility.
  • iDI muLugidarU mUgu mEle (Kannada) -though he drowned completely [in water], his nose is still above [the water surface]. -Though vanquished he could argue still
  • iTTukoMDaaki irUtana kaTTikoMDaaki kaDItana (Kannada) -A kept woman (fancy woman) till you last, a married wife till your-name/family lasts.ibbara nyaaya, mUranEyavanige aadaaya (Kannada) -Two persons dispute [for a resourse], the third person profits [from it].-Two dogs strive for a bone and the third runs away with it
  • idda Ura suddi iddalli tegeya baaradu, bEvUra suddi hOdalli tegeya(Kannada) -Go into the country for what news in town
  • iddaddu hELidare haddinaMta mOre aayitu (Kannada) -A truth teller finds the doors closed against him
  • iddaddu hOyitu maddina guNadiMda (Kannada) -He was well, would be better, took physic and died
  • iddalli gavuDa hOdalli kivuDa (Kannada)-Every dog is a lion at home
  • iddavaru iddahaage siddhaa dEvige siDilu baDItu (Kannada) -Ms. siddhaa devi got the shock of her life though everything around her was stand still (at peace).
  • ikkEri tanaka baLaga, maana muccalikke arive illa (Kannada) -Fame is a magnifying glass
  • ikkalaarada kai eMjalu (Kannada) -An ill pay master never wants an excuse
  • ikkuvaLu nammavaLaadre koTTigeyallaadarU uNalakku (Kannada) -A friend in court makes the process short
  • ili heccidaveMdu, manege uri iDa baaradu (Kannada)-Burn not your house to fright away the mice
  • iliya vyaajyakke bekku saakShi (Kannada) -A cat should not be the jury at mouses' trial - A fox should not be the jury at a goose's trial
  • iliyaagi nUrudina baaLOdakkiMta huliyaagi mUru dina baaLOdu lEsu(Kannada) -living like a tiger for three days is better than living like a rat for hundred days. -one should be known as a brave rather than a timid person
  • illada baduku maaDi ilige caNNa holisidaru (Kannada) -He puts a hat on an hen -He is making clothes for fishes
  • ittitta baa aMdre idda manEnU kittukoMDa (Kannada)
  • jaTTi biddarU mIse maNNaagalilla (Kannada)-Though the wrestler bit the dust, his moustache didn't.-Moustache is a sign of pride. One who manages not to lose face despite defeat gets such compliment.
  • jana maruLO jaatre maruLO (Kannada) -Are the people stupid or the crowd stupid? -Are customs ridiculous or the people [who follow them] are ridiculous? -This proverb bemoans the irrational behavior of normal people in large crowds
  • kaasidre kailaasa illadidre vanavaasa (Kannada) -If you have money, you have paradise. if you don't have, then a reclusive life. -Heavenly riches and status are yours if you have money otherwise you will just be a vagabond
  • kashTa - sukha jeevanada EraDu mukha (Kannada)-Sadness - Happiness are two faces of life
  • kaiyalee Agadavanu kogge marakke guttege togoMDa (Kannada) -The one who is unable to do his own work, took the contract cutting the hardest tree on earth -Judge the feasibility of work before promising anything
  • koMda pApa tiMdu parihAra (Kannada) -The sin acquired by killing, is gotten rid of by facing sufferings.-according to Hindu/Indic tradition, ones sufferrings in this life are due to the sins acquired by him in the past and one would definitely be afflicted with misery in this life or next by committing to sin.
  • kannaDiyoLagina gaMTigiMta kaiyoLagina daMTE mElu (Kannada) -spinach in hand is better than wealth in the mirror [i.e, Psuedo wealth]
  • keTTa mEle buddhi baMtu (Kannada-Everybody is wise after the event.
  • kuNIlaaradavaLu nela DoMku aMdlu (Kannada) -A female who can't dance complained that the [dance-] floor is uneven [to step on]. -A bad worker always blames his tools.
  • kIlu saNNadaadarU gaali naDesuttade (Kannada)-Great engines turn on small pivots
  • kIrtiyE kailaasa apakIrtiyE naraka (Kannada) -Fame is heaven, Infamy is hell -A good reputation is a fair estate
  • kOpadalli kuyda mUgu SaaMtiyalli baMdItE (Kannada) -Will the nose cut in rage could be recovered in calmness? -Rash acts done in anger leads to damages which cannot be undone. .
  • kOti taanU keDOdalde vanaanU keDistu -The monkey ruined itself and also it ruined the garden. -This warns one not to meddle with those who can bring down their detractors with them. This proverb is a bit mischievous because the reference is to a story in the Ramayana in which Hanuman sets fire to large parts of Lanka on his mission to find Sita who was under house arrest. In fact he succeeded in his mission to deliver a message of hope to her and intimidate her abductor, Ravana. His tail was set on fire by Ravana for which Hanuman paid back by torching his palaces.
  • kOtiyaMthOnu keNakida, mUtige heTTisikoMDu tiNukida (Kannada)
  • kRuShitOnaasti durbhikShaM (Sanskrit)
  • kUsu huTTOke muMce kulaavi holisidaru (Kannada)- getting a cap stitched even before the baby was born. -This is a reference to things done prematurely. This proverb goes back to a time when infant mortality was very high and people postponed getting things for children until they were born and were in reasonable health. Clothes, toys etc. of children were a painful reminder to the bereaved parents. It was even considered a bad omen to prepare excessively for a child before its birth.
  • kUtu uNNOnige kuDike honnu saaladu (Kannada) - Idleness is the greatest prodigality in the world
  • kaDu kOpa baMdaaga taDakoMDavanE jaaNa (Kannada) -Be master of thy anger- He is a wise man that leads passion by the bridle
  • kaLLana hejje kaLLanE balla (Kannada) -a thief knows a theif's trails.-A thief knows a thief as a wolf knows a wolf
  • kaLLana manassu huLLage (Kannada) -the mind of a thief is fraught with uncertainity
  • kaMDaddu kaaNe uttama, kaMDaddu kaMDe madhyama, kaaNaddu kaMDe adhama (Kannada)
  • kaMDavara makkaLannu baaviyalli dUDi aaLa nODida haage (Kannada) -A barber learns to shave on the orphan's face
  • kaMgaalaadarU haMgaaLaagabaaradu (Kannada)
  • kaNNaare kaMDarU paraaMbarisi nODu (Kannada) -though you have seen it with your own eyes, subject it to scrutiny.-Judge not of men or things at first sight
  • kaNa kaayabahudu, heNa kaayaake aagodilla (=bEsaradiMda hottu kaLeyalikkaagadu) (Kannada)
  • kaTTida kerege kODi tappalla, huTTida manege bEre(paalaguvudu) tappalla(Kannada)
  • kaaRyavaasi katte kaalu kaTTu (Kannada)
  • kaamaale kaNNonige kaMDiddella haLadi nE (Kannada)-One suffering from Jaundice, sees the whole world around him with yellow shade-This proverb drives home the point that narrow minded people never look at any issue holistically.
  • kabbu DoMkaadre savi DoMkE (Kannada) -Though the sugarcane is bent, sweetness is pure [its taste isn't bent] -A deformed body may have a beautiful soul -Black pills may have wholesome effects
  • kaccuva naayi bogaLadu, bogaLuva naayi kaccadu (Kannada) -Barking dogs seldom bite
  • kai kesaraadre baayi mosaru (Kannada) -If the hands get soiled, the mouth is full of curds.
  • kaige baMda tuttu baayige baralilla (Kannada) -The food which came upto the palms couldn't reach the mouth-Many things slip between the cup and the lip. Here the imagery is one of a child being fed by a mother who makes balls of rice mixed with curry (tuttu). This is an intimate moment of great joy and satisfaction for the child. It could lead to great unhappiness if the ball did not reach the mouth.
  • kaige baMda tuttu baayige illa (Kannada) -The food which cam upto the palms couldn't reach the mouth. -Between the hand and the lip the morsel may slip
  • kaiyalli SaraNaarthi, kaMkuLalli doNNe (Kannada) -Hands are folded so as to get mercy but He hides a stick under his armpit.-This is a warning about those who speak softly but carry a big stick to strike when you least expect.-Fair without and foul within
  • kallu iddaaga naayi illa naayi iddaaga kallu illa (Kannada) -When there is a dog nearby, you usually won't find a stone (to throw at it)." i.e, When it takes two items to do an action, when you have one you will have most likely misplaced the second item. Once you finally find the second item, you will have lost the first. -However there is another form of this adage i.e., [kallu kaMDaaga naayi kaaNadu, naayi kaMDaaga kallu kaaNadu] A dog is sculptored on a rock. If you look at that as a rock, u will not recognise the dog. If you look at that object as a dog, the rock is not recognised. This has huge philosophical content. What this means is that, if you look superficially, you fail to see the real meaning.
  • kappara tippEliTTare tanna vaasane biTTItE (Kannada) -A diamond is valuable though it lie on a dunghill
  • kate hELOke h~juM-guTTOrirabEku, neTTage baaLOke CI-guTTOrirabEku.
  • keDuva kaalakke buddhi illa maraNa kaalakke maddilla (Kannada) -at the time of ones ruin, wisdom wouldn't pay off, at the time of ones death, medicine wouldn't pay off.
  • keTTa mEle buddhi baMtu, aTTa mEle ole uriyitu (Kannada) -Got wisdom after being ruined, the stove caught full flame after the cooking was done. -In olden days the earthen stove (ole) used dried cowdung cakes to burn and it was no mean task to get it going. The dawn of wisdom after it is too late is often compared to the frustration with the stove which was too slow in becoming functional. -To be wise after the event
  • kiDiyiMda kaaDa suDa bahudu (kannada) -A spark could ignite a forest. -A little leak would sink a great ship
  • koDOdu koLLOdu gaMDaMdu, maja maaDOdu heMDruddu (Kannada)
  • koDali kaavu kulakke saavu (Kannada) -The axe goes to the wood from whence it borrowed its helve
  • koMkaNa sutti mailaarakke baMda haage (Kannada)
  • koNanige koseyO saMkaTa, emmege IyO saMkaTa (Kannada)
  • koTTOnu kODaMgi, iskoMDOnu Irabhadra (Kannada) -One who gave is a looser, one who got it is a winner. -This proverb suggests that it is better to get the best deal under bad circumstances than trying to be fair and patient. You may end up with nothing in the bargain.
  • koTTaddu tanage; bacciTTaddu pararige (Kannada) -What you give away [as charity] will be yours and what you hide back [with greed] will go to others -The virtue of charity and the evil of greed are emphasized here
  • krama kaaNada naayi kapaaLe nektu (Kannada) -A Dog that doesn't know the way to behave licked its Owner's cheek.
  • kuMbaLakaayi kaLLa aMdre hegalu muTTi nODikoMDa (Kannada) -When "Pumpkin thief!" was cried out, he touched his shoulder to check -One with a guilty conscience needs no accuser.
  • kuMbaaraMge varuSha; doNNege nimiSha (Kannada) -It takes a year for the potter and it takes a minute for the stick [to break a pot]. -An hour may destroy what an age was building - It is easier to pull down than to build.
  • kuMtu tiMdare, kuDike honnU saaladu (Kannada) -Idleness eats away at ones riches. -Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
  • kuruDu kaNNigiMta meLLe gaNNu vaasi (Kannada) -A squint eye is better than a blind eye -Better a bare foot than no foot at all
  • kONana muMde kinnuDi baarisida haage (Kannada) -its like playing a music to a buffalo
  • lE annOdakke avaLE illa, magana hesaru mudduraMga (Kannada) -You don't even have a wife to recourse to, but you have named your son 'muddu ranga'. -You are making plans without acquiring the required resources.
  • lOka tiLiyabEku lekka kaliyabEku (Kannada) -One should comprehend the world as well as develop his maths skills -to survive, one should be very practical and should know counting.
  • laMca koTTu maMca Eru vaMcane maaDi kailaasa Eru (Kannada) -bribe and acquire a seat. cheat and acquire a position -This is said while refering to a system which has corrupted down to its roots.
  • laabhavillada vyaapaara katte mai paracidaMge (Kannada) -a profitless business is like scratching a donkey's body.
  • lekke soppina saaradarU lekkada mudde uNabEku (Kannada) -Should not leave having the full meal though you find curry is bitter in taste -should'nt leave any job halfway, because things are not favouring you
  • liMga harida mEle jaMgamana haMgEnu (Kannada) -when you have broken off ties with god [linga] himself, why have any obligation of the universal saint. -Once the relationship is broken, why to worry about the person
  • mUrkhanige doNe peTTu budhivaMthanige maatina peTTu -Beating is the right way to handle fools and taunting is the right way to handle intellects
  • manege maari Urige upakaari. (Kannada)-saint abroad and a devil at home.
  • mEle biddu baMdOLu mUru kaasigU kaDe (Kannada) -a fancy woman who comes to you all by herself is not worth 3 penny.
  • mUrU biTTOLu Urige doDDOLu (Kannada) -one who lacks 3 things [honour, integrity, and shame] is a bigshot in the city.
  • mUrti cikkadaadru kIrti doDDadu (Kannada) -Though the idol is small the fame is big. - This is a reference to self effacing people with accomplishments. Incidentally people with accomplishments are expected to be self effacing. If not, they may be termed arrogant.
  • maaDOdu duraacaara, mane muMde bRuMdaavana (Kannada) -What they do is evil but they have holy herbs in the verandah.-This is said of people whose outward behavior is impeccable but actions are despicable. In Hindu tradition, having a little garden of the Thulasi plant in front of a house is considered a sign of piety and goodness.
  • maatu ballavanige jagaLavilla, UTa ballavanige rOgavilla (Kannada) -One who knows the how to talk will have no fights and one who knows what to eat will have no sickness.
  • maatu beLLi, mauna baMgaara (Kannada) -speech is silver, silence is golden
  • maaDidduNNO maaraaya (Kannada)-Dude, savour your deeds. -One has to live through (enjoy or suffer) the consequences of his actions. -Equivalent: As you sow, so shall you reap
  • maatu mane murItu, tUtu ole keDistu (Kannada) gossip ruins the house, a hole ruins the oven.
  • maduve maDinODu mane kaTTi nODu (Kannada) -arranging a marriage or building a house should be experienced by self (to understand the difficulties in carrying it off)
  • maduveyaagO guMDa aMdre nInE nanna heMDti aMda (Kannada) -I said “Get married, Mr. Gunda” He replied :”then you be my wife.”-This is a warning about fellows who latch on to those who try to help them.
  • maka nODi maaru hOda, guNa nODi dUra hOda (Kannada) saw her face and got carried away, saw her merit and went far away [from her].
  • manege beMki biddaaga baavi tODidaraMte (Kannada) -When the house is on fire they began to dig a well.- Too little, too late.
  • muLLiniMda muLLu tege, hageyiMda hage tege (Kannada) -Remove thorn by a thorn, remove enemy by an enemy [using enemy's enemy].
  • mulaajige basuraagi hErOke taavilla (Kannada)-She got pregnant due to [some social] obligation and got no place to deliver the baby.
  • muttu oDedare hOytu, maatu aaDidare hOytu (Kannada) -perl is lost once it's broken, speach is lost once it's spoken.
  • maMgana paarupatya marada ToMge mEle (Kannada) -monkey's authority is only on tree top [on branches & twigs].
  • maatina bomma tUtaada maDakeya pari -Knowledge consisting only in words is an earthen vessel with holes.
  • namma kaNNu namage keDisitu -Our eyes will spoil us.-for unnecessary greed eyes are to be blamed.
  • nuDi purAtana naDe kirAtana (Kannada) -his talks are ideologic, his ways are but a folly.
  • nIrige biddavanige, maLe Enu? caLi Enu? -person who is caught in water (gets into the river), is not bothered by rain or chilly weather.
  • aDige biddarU mUgu mEle (Kannada)- though he fell to the feet, his nose is above [not touching] the feet -Though vanquished he could argue still.
  • nAyi bAla yAvAlu DoMku (Kannada) -dog's tail is always bent -This is said of a person who engages himself in crooked ways/bad behaviour and not at all inclined to mend his ways.
  • nAyi bogaLidare dEvalOka haaLEnu (Kannada) -if a dog barks would it spoil the heaven-This is said while comparing taunting world (critics) and persons of excellence
  • naDate kaliyOdu ErubaMDe naDate keDOdu jaarubaMDe (Kannada) -learning virtue is like ascending an upward slope, spoiling it (the virtue learned) is like descending a downward slope.
  • naayige kelasilla, nillOke hottilla (Kannada) -a dog has got no work and it also has got no time to stop by [stop roaming about tirelessly]. -This is said of someone who pretends to be busy even when he's got nothing to do.
  • nayaSaali aadavanu jayaSaali aadaanu (Kannada) -a humble person could win over in the end
  • neMTarella Kare, kaMTale cIlakke kai haakabEDa (Kannada) -you are my kins and its a fact, but touch not my bag full of money.- I love you well but touch not my pocket
  • nija aaDidare niShThUra (Kannada) -if you speak truth, you are [termed] impossible.
  • niyattilladOrige barakattilla (Kannada)-One who has got integrity has got no prosperity.
  • UTkke illada uppinakaayi, maNNige samaana -Pickle which is not available during Meal, is like mud -Usability of a product is always linked to a specific circumstances. If someone/something is unavailable when they/it is needed or being used most of the times, then its not of any use. It is meant for people who have talent and dont make use of it when its needed.
  • oMdu kaNNige suNNa oMdu kaNNige beNNe -[Its like applying] limestone paste to one eye and butter to the other eye -This is used to highlight the partial nature of any individual/institution.
  • oMdu siTTinalli bAvige biddare ELu siTTinalli ELa kUDadu - if you jump into a well in a spurt of rage, even with seven times the same rage you can't get out of the well.
  • ONa marava beMki tiMtaMte hasi marava ciMte tiMtaMte - fire eats up a dry wood (old age/person), worry eats up a fresh wood (young age/person);
  • pAlige baMdaddu paMcAmRuta
  • paalige illaddu EnAdarEnu?
  • pApa aMdre karma bartade - if you pity, karma follows you.
  • pApa barabAradeMdu shApa koMDa -in order to avoid a sin he incurred a curse
  • parapa haMgisi maMga anisikoMDa - he criticized others, others judged him to be a monkey.
  • prAya baruvAga Aya tappitu -when youth comes, balace is lost.
  • puNyavaMta muTTiddella cinna -whatever touched by a lucky fellow is gold.
  • pUTyaana jvALa tIridarU hoTyAna haaDu tIralilla-though barley in the basket is all over(consumed), stomach's hunger pangs is not over (satisfied)
  • pugasaTTe punugu sikre tika-makakkella baLakoMDaraMte -if one gets perfume for free, he applied it to the whole body.
  • puksaTTe gaMDa hoTTe tuMba uMDa, mane gaMDa giNickoMDu bidda -free husband(paramour) ate stomachful, home husband slept stretching his limbs.
  • punagana bekku tanna vAsane ariyade kADella tirugi tirugi saaytaMte
  • purANa hELidre puShpa biddAvE? -f one utters puranas (stories of god), would it rain flowers.
  • pustakadalliro badanekAyi sArige baMdAte? -s it possible to use a brinjal mentioned in the books for curry preparation?
  • rIti tiLiyadiddarU nIti/maatu balla -he ay not know the manners, but definitely knows to talk.
  • rItiyallada maatu tale bEne-Unreasonable talk is a head ache
  • rOgada kOLi tiMDu kiLEli huccATa -If you have a spoiled chicken dish, bowel movement goes mad.
  • rOgakke madduMTu SIlakke maddilla-Illness has a cure, silliness has no cure
  • rOgi bayasiddu haalUanna vaidya hELiddu haalUanna -a patient longed for milk and rice and the doctor prescribed him milk and rice.
  • rUpakke manasOtavarige pApakke bhayavilla -He who falls for beauty, fears not to commit sin.
  • rAja ThIvi tirubOki lakShaNa -He has got royal mannerisms, but he has got features of a begger
  • rAja irOtanaka rANi bhOga -Queen enjoys till Kingship
  • rasavaLLi heNNige raspUri haNNige mana sOladavarilla -There is none who is not fond of a slender beaut and a savoury fruit.
  • ratna oLLedAdre idda ThAvinallE beleyAgtade If ruby is good its highly priced everywhere.
  • ratna tinno pakShi kAge saavasakke biddu eMjalelege sObati AgittaMte -A bird which used to feed on rubies, got associated with a crow and acquinted itself to feed on leftovers.
  • geddonu sOta, sOtOnu satta -the winner lost, the loser died. -The one wins in the court of law is like almost lost and one who has lost is almost dead
  • satyake saavilla, suLLige jayavilla -truth dies not, lie wins not. -Truth always triumps and lie never wins
  • shubha nuDiyO sOma aMdre gUbe kaaNistallo maava aMda -when asked to say something auspicious, Mr. Soma said, uncle, an owl (inauspicious thing) showed up.-When asked to say somethings good, never openup with an unwanted dialogs
  • sanyaasi heNti muMDEnU alla muttaidenU alla -saint's wife is not a spouse nor a widow
  • saMsAra annOdu sAgara hoTTe annOdu paTNa -family/world is a metropolis [ocean like city], stomach is a city [river like city].
  • saMsAra annOdu sAgarada hoLe Ija ballavanige edeyuddu -life is an ocean, for the one who can swim through it's of chest height.
  • saMsAra guTTu rOga raTTu -life's secrets [once] revealed is a disease. I.e., should be careful in not revealing it.
  • saMsAra sAgara avasarakke yArU illa -he has a big family [ocean like family] and he has none when he needs them desperately
  • saMsAra sAgara, IsabEku iddu jaisabEku -life is an ocean, swim it and win it throughout.
  • saMsAri sAvAsa mADi sanyAsi keTTa -a saint got associated with a family man and ruined his cause.
  • sanyAsige yAtara kaLavaLa aMdre annaddoMdE kaLavaLa -what makes a saint anxious? only food makes him so.
  • sattavarige attarE attavaru sAyarE?-if one cries for the dead, one who cried, does he not die himself.
  • siri sOMkidavara pari bEre -ones ways are different, if afflicted with riches
  • sosege manevAsa, attege paravAsa -Daughter-in-law stay in [home], Mother-in-law stay away [from home].
  • sotaMtra hOgi ataMtra aaytu -freedom eased off and chaos ensued.
  • strI rUpavE rUpa SRuMgAravE rasa -Feminity is the beauty, amorousness is the savour
  • suKIvaMtge dukka hELuvatge aLUdu buTbuTTu nanna kUDko aMdanaMte -when she shared her troubles with a well off entity, he asked her to shed tears and be his paramour.
  • suKada mEle duHKa, duHkada mEle suKa -happiness follows sorrow and sorrow follows happiness. -Life is a cycle where happiness follows sorrow and viceversa.
  • suLLu hELidrU nijada netti mEle hoDedaMge hELabEku -In case [you have got to lie and] you lie, make sure that lie delivers a death blow to the truth and prevails.
  • suLLu dEvarige kaLLa pUjAri -for a god that is a sham, [There is] a priest who is a robber.
  • susArakke (=aparUpakke) basurAgivni misukabEDa gaMDayya -By chance I am pregnant so don't bother me my husband.
  • svadharma tappudrU adharma mADabARdu -Even though ones own cause is lost, one shouldn't [go astray and] do the unrighteousness.
  • svargavU tappitu durgavU tappitu -lost fortress too and lost heaven too -nither I held on to the fortified city to enjoy it further, nor I died in the battlefield to enjoy the riches of heaven.
  • tale talegu paTTa hoTTege illade keTTa -Every one are the heads but no one is capable
  • taayi sULe magaLu sULe dEvara baana hororu yaaru? -Neither you want to do the job nor want to allow me, then how job can get done?
  • tabbali tale bOlisikoMDare aanekallu maLe baMtu -if an orphan shaves his head off, heaven showered hailstones.
  • tannUralli bALalAradava parUrinalli bALAne? -one who can't live in his native land, can he [ever live] in a foreign land?
  • tanna Urige raMga para Urige maMga -in homeland he is a charming god (Ranga), in a foreign land he is a monkey.
  • upakArakkOgi upadra baMtu
  • upavAsa irabahudu upadra tALalAgadu
  • urida hoTTege uppu tumbisidaMge -its like filling the burnt stomach with salt
  • vyavahArakke yAva vAra AdREnu? vyApArakke yAva pAra AdREnu?
  • vAlADu goMbe vAlADu nIrige biddare tElADu
  • vallada hasa uNNada kara
  • vana haNNAytu giNiya baayi huNNAytu
  • yAra mAtu kELi yAke keTTIya? nanna mAtu kELi baduku -why ruin yourself by relying on others words? rely on my word and prosper.
  • yAva ciMtEnU maaDadOna heMDti gaMDiddU muMDe -The wife of a person with no worries is a live widow. -a wife would lead a life of a widow if her husband is unconcerned with life's bare necessities/essentials.
  • yAva huttadEli yAva hAvideyo
  • yAva kAla tappidarU sAvu kAla tappadu -Times may miss but death never misses its time
  • yuddhakAladEli katti varuse kaltaMte -It's like learning the art of sword fighting during wartime
  • yuktiya mAtu makkaLiMdAdarU tiLuko -Words of wisdom should be learnt even from kids
  • yOga iddaShTE bhOga (Kannada) -As the luck favours, so does the joy.
  • yOgi taMdaddu yOgige, bhOgi taMdaddu bhOgige -Whatever saint begot is for saintly means. Whatever a wordly man begot is for wordly means.
  • yOgyate ariyada dore rOga ariyada vaidya oMdE -a leader who can't understand the worth of his subject and a doctor who can't understand the health of his patient are one and the same.
  • yaarU illada Urige hOgi nIru majjige bayasidaMte -It is like travelling to a foreign land [with no relatives] and longing for fresh buttermilk.
  • yaarU illada manege naanu jOgappa aMda -he said, I am like a saint to a ownerless house [each day I would drop in to take care of the housewidow].
  • yaaradO duDDu; ellammana jaatre -Have a holy trip [Godess Ellamma's holy ceremony] on someone else's money.
  • yathaa raaja tathaa prajaa -As the king is, so are his subjects.
  • akkan gaMDana kUDe dukka hELidre, makkaL mariya buTTu baa aMda -When she shared her troubled life with her elder sister’s husband, he said, forsake your childrens and come to me.
  • kuMbaLa kaaya saaki haMdiga koTTaMge -Its like Growing pumpkins and feeding it to the wild boar
  • satta mEle etta hOdrEna ?-After death, how does it matter where you go?
  • satta kOLi batta mukkuttadE? -Can a dead hen feed on grains?
  • gollaru maTha kaTTidaMge -Its like nomadic people building a [local] monastery.
  • gaMDu guMDu, heNNu heLavu -male offspring is [ever] sound, female offspring is [ever] lame -his proverb is a rebuke to parents/society that is partial towards their own childrens/subjects based on their gender.
  • gaMDu kuLitu keTTa, heNNu kisidu keTTaLu -The boy spoilt [his life] by idling, the girl spoilt [her life] by grinning
  • gaMDa iddaaga buddi illa, buddi baMdaaga gaMDa illa -when husband was alive had got no wisdom, when husband was no more acquired wisdom.
  • haraTe illade saMje aagadu, saMgati illade daari saveyadu -Evening spent is not complete without [some] chitchat, path traversed is not complete without [some eventful] news.
  • kotti aaTa ilige praaNa saMkaTa -The antics of a cat are matters of death to a rat- to a cat its just an amusement where as to a rat its life in peril
  • savi kaMDa kotti aTTa hattidaMge -having had the sweet taste of milk, the cat got to the roof top [in search of it again].
  • koTTa heNNu nela yaarige -bride and land [once] given away are never yours.
  • koTTa saalava kELade keTTa, bittida holava noDade keTTa -lend a loan and not asking it back may ruin you; sow the field and not taking care of it may ruin you.-uffering by not asking the loan to be returned, nor looking after the planted [with seeds] fields)
  • kaiyaage kannaDi iTkoMDu nIRaage maka noDdaMge -looking for ones image(face) in the water when there is a mirror at hand
  • kaige baMdaddu baayge illa -hat came upto the hand/palm did not reach the mouth
  • kuMtu attavage kuMtu aLu, niMtu attavage niMtu aLu -Cry sitting with the one who cried sitting with you, cry standing with the one who cried standing -proper and equal reciprocation
  • kuruDage hagalEna? iruLEna? -How does it matter whether it is day or night for a blind man?
  • cikkavanaadru Sivana buddi -Though he is very young, has got lot of wisdom like [Great God] Siva
  • oLLida etti hollava taLLu- Take only the good leaving behind the bad
  • tore nIru iddarU baavi nIru heccu -Though we have access to lake water, watersource in our own frontyard is dearer.
  • taaya haLidarU nIra haLiya bEDa In case, [you have to scorn,] scorn the mother, never [scorn] the water (the source of life)
  • kasa aadarU ruci maaDi tinnu -Even if it is rubbish, eat it after making it tasty
  • aaru kaasina saMbaLa aadarU, aramaneya kelasa maaDu -Even if the salary is worth six penny be employed in palace
  • kiccha tiMdava ijjala hEtaana -One who eats fire, [does he] excretes charcoal
  • namma beLLi hollaadare cinnivaarana kUDe hOraaTa Ena? -If our silver is bad, why do we quarrel with the goldsmith.
  • maatu hecchi mane keTTitu, bittu hecchi hola keTTitu -more chatter ruined the house, more seeds ruined the [paddy] field
  • ettu illadavage ede illa, makkaL illadavage mane illa -one who doesn't have bullocks [to plough the paddy-field] has no chest (can't stand upright), one who doesn't have childrens has no home.
  • keTTe aMta kEDa tOra bEDa -Though you are ruined, show not hatred [to others]
  • tale taTTi nela nODi naDe -pat the head, watch the track and [start to] walk [forward] -think before you leap
  • taleyavana maatu, muMduk uppu hiMduk bella -advice of a brainy, at first [tastes like] salt, at last [tastes like] sugar.
  • appana maatu, aaneya bala -father's approval [provides one with] the strength of an elephant [morally].
  • aNNa tammana bEre maaDa bEDa -don't part two brothers.
Sources
Wiki
Encyclopedia

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