haitian proverb

Favorite Haitian proverbs

Bo nan bouch, men pè dan.

  • Kiss the mouth, but fear the teeth.

Bouch manje tout manje, men li pa pale tout pawòl.

  • The mouth eats all food, but does not talk all words

Chak kochon gen samdi pa-l.

  • Each pig gets his own Saturday.
  • (Pigs are usually slaughtered Saturdays)

Dòmi se ti frè lanmò.

  • Sleep is death’s little brother.

Fanm pou you tan, manman pou tout tan.

  • Wife for a time, mother for all time

Grangou se mizè, vant plen se traka.

  • Hunger is misery; a full stomach is trouble.

Santi bon koute che.

  • Smelling good is expensive.

Twou bounda'w won… ou bizwen pete kare.

  • Your anus is round… you [need to] fart square.

“Nou Led Nou La”

  • “We are ugly, but we are here.”
Pito nou led, nou la
—  A Haitian Proverb. It roughly means that it’s better to be ugly and be here. You should be grateful to have your life, compared to not having one at all. Is being “ugly” really the worst thing ever?
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“Sa ki gen larivye, twop pou batwel.”

Haitian Proverb

What is at the river is too much for the paddle.

Meaning: There are too many problems there for me to handle alone.


Short clip of my dancing for a documentary that is premiering this Friday. The documentary focuses on the Haitian diasporan efforts to help Haiti recover from the earthquakes.

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Mennen koulèv lekòl se youn. Fè l’ chita se yon lòt
— 

Haitian proverb

Translation: Taking the snake to school is one thing. Making it sit down is another. 

English equivalent: You can lead the horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

Meaning: You can only do so much for someone else./You can’t force people to do what you want.