Jamaican Sayings with english translation

Dance a yard before yu dance abroad

Practice good behaviour at home before you go outside.

jamaica joint


Di ola di moon di brighta di shine

Age brings widsom



Alligator lay egg, but him now fowl

Things are not always as they seem.


eacock hide him foot when him hear ’bout him tail.

A proud person hides his weaknesses when praised.



One one coco full basket

Little by little the task will be completed



Likkle alligator tun big alligator

Children invariably adopt all the bad attributes of their parents.


Mischief come by di poun and go by di ounce

It only takes a little effort or few words to start a lot of trouble.



Want all, lose all.

Excessive greed puts one in danger of losing everything.




Bucket wid hole a battam nu have no business a riverside

Don’t criticise others when you have faults of your own.


Payshent man ride dankey
TRANSLATION: A patient man rides donkey.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: It is customary that travelers in a great hurry are loath to go via the slow but sure donkey. For them, a horse, used to galloping at terrific speeds for sustained periods seems a more logical choice. However, the donkey, although much slower, eventually gets to its journey’s end. Similarly, we must exercise great patience in order to reach our goals.
Slow but consistent progress will eventually lead to success.


Young bud nuh know starm.
TRANSLATION: Young bird does not know storm.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. Young people love to take risks 2. Young people are daring.

Chicken merry hawk deh near.
TRANSLATION: Chicken merry hawk is near.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Excessive exuberance or excitement invites trouble. Danger lurks in the most unexpected places, so temper, our most light-hearted moments with a little sobriety.

Poun ah fret cyaan pay ownse ah detth
TRANSLATION: One pound of fretting cannot repay one ounce of debts.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Worry doesn’t help to solve a problem.

Mischeef cum by di poun an guh by di ownse
TRANSLATION: Mischief comes by the pound and goes by the ounce.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: It often seems that we experience more trouble than goodness in life. “Trouble comes by the pound; goodness by the ounce.”

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Jamaican quotes with english translation