Talk:Telugu proverbs

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  • చేతులు కాలినాక ఆకులు పట్టుకున్నట్లు
    • Literal: Chethulu kaalinaaka aakulu pattukunnatlu
    • Translation: (no point in) holding medicinal leaves after burning one's hands
    • Meaning: One should be careful and not touch fire in the first place. What is the point of holding (or rubbing) medicinal leaves after burning the hands?
    • Moral: Prevention is better than cure

Mohamataniki poyi munda kadupu techukundanta[edit]

It is to criticise some one who is too shy & submissive. It literally translates to "being too submissive, a widow gets pregnant". It is to be understood that an Indian widow, in olden days was not supposed to get married again. This proverb is used when some one is too submissive & succumbs to others demands or orders against his own will.

Kukka katuki cheppu debba[edit]

  • kukka katuki cheppu debba - కుక్క కాటుకి చెప్పు దెబ్బ
  • The meaning of this proverb is that one should respond with appropriate measure to any unethical or unreasonable action by your opponent instead of being submissive or cowered.

Literal translation: Kukka katu = a dogs bite, cheppu = footwear, debba = slap,hit.

An equivalent saying in english would be ' Tit for tat'.

Thinninti vaasaalu lekkapettu[edit]

  • Thinninti vaasaalu lekkapettu - తిన్నింటి వాసాలు లెక్కపెట్టు
  • This proverb is used when someone who is trusted and helped by a person , cheats his/her benefactor.

The origin of the proverb is rooted in the telugu folklore. The background of the proverb comes from the relationship of a host and a guest. If a stranger is given hospitality by a kind person, s/he starts counting the vasaalu( bamboo bars) used in the construction of a house/thatched hut. It means that after having his/her meals the person is eyeing for something more.

  • Thinniti=Host's house
  • vaasaalu=Bamboo bars
  • lekkapettu=counting

Alasyam amrutam visham[edit]

  • Alasyam amrutam visham - ఆలస్యం ఆమృతం విషం
  • The literal meaning of the proverb is , if you make delay even ambrosia turns into poison.

It is used to emphasize the importance of time and punctuality in our lives. If we don't do the right thing at RIGHT time, it no longer remains as a right thing. An equivalent saying in english would be "A stich in time saves nine".

Parigetti Paalu Thaage Kante Nilchuni Neellu Thaagatam Melu[edit]

It is better to have water at your place, rather than run and have milk

Make use of the available things first before you run for the unavailable

Siggu Leni Vaadiki Navve Singharam[edit]

  • Siggu Leni Vaadiki Navve Singharam
  • The literal meaning of the proverb is , Laughter is the ornament for the shameless.

It is used to describe the person who ,after doing something wrong , laughs instead of feeling shameful for what he has done.

Subham Palakara Pellikodaka Ante PelliKuturu Munda Ekkada Chachindi Annadanta[edit]

  • 'Subham Palakara Pellikodaka Ante Pellikochina muthayiduvulu naa Pedha Baryalu annadanta

After marriage the bridegroom says the word Subham in Telugu culture to signify the end of the ceremony.The proverb is used to describe a person with a negative attitude and when doing something is very pessimistic about it.

Pichuka Meeda Brahmastram[edit]

  • Pichuka Meeda Brahmastram
  • The literal meaning of the proverb is , using Brahmastram on a small bird.

Pichuka means a small bird (sparrow). Brahmastram is the most powerful weapon according to Hindu mythology. The proverb refers to situations where one uses disproportionately excessive force on a weak opponent. For example, situations where a Govt. decides to use extensive military to crackdown on unarmed and peaceful protestors.

Koose Gadida Vachi Mese Gaadidani Chedakottindi Anta[edit]

  • Koose Gadida Vachi Mese Gaadidani Chedakottindi Anta
  • The literal meaning of the proverb is , the braying donkey comes and disturbs the grazing donkey.

It is used to describe people who are not productive (the braying donkey), but go around disturbing others who are doing something more productive (the grazing donkey). Well, it presupposes that grazing is more productive than braying!

Nidra poye vadini nidra leppochu kani; Nidra poyinnatu natinche vadini nidra lepalem[edit]

Meaning: You can wake up someone who is sleeping; It is impossible to wake up a person who is pretending to be asleep

Context: You can convince someone who is sincere, but impossible to convince someone who is pretending to be sincere.

yes, this is correct. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ‎101.223.60.240 (talkcontribs) 07:40, 8 Februari 2013 (UTC)

Pommana leka poga pettinattlu[edit]

  • pommana leka poga peTTinaTTlu - పొమ్మనలేక పొగ పెట్టినట్లు
  • Literal translation is: "Instead of directly asking someone to leave, making them leave by starting some smoke", referring to indirect actions in place of direct words.

Can also be used when someone..

  • Meaning is "If you cannot ask someone to leave, make the situation untenable for them to stay"

"When someone cannot convince another person in any way, he will convince him forcibly"

Minga metukuledu meesalaki sampenga nune ani[edit]

  • minga metukuledu kani meesalaki sampenga nune ani

The context where this fits correctly is where we don't have the basic amenities,but we look for luxuries.....

word to word meaning:

Minga = to eat methuku = single unit of rice ledu = not there meesalaku = to the moustache sampenga = an aromatic flower from which oil can be made nune = oil

Put together we don't have a single rice grain to eat,but we want the aromatic oil for the moustache...

Poruginti pulla koora ruchi[edit]

  • Poruginti pulla koora ruchi

English Equivalent: Grass on the other side is greener.

literal meaning: Neighbor's side dish is always tastier.

Chinta chachina pulupu chaavaledu ani[edit]

  • Chinta chachina pulupu chaavaledu ani

Literal translation: Even if a tamarind is of no use the pungent taste it contains never dies. Meaning: A person can be down and out in his life but the arrogance and the pesky nature never dies in him.

Donga Munda Pelliki Chavu Mellam[edit]

  • Donga Munda Pelliki Chavu Mellam

Literal Translation :To the marriage of a unfit bride a funeral orchestra joins. Meaning: To do a unnecessary work being done by a vagabond another one joins/supports.

  • Another version of this proverb is Kukka Muddi Pandi Nakindi

Andite juttu andaka pothe kaalu[edit]

  • Andite juttu andaka pothe kaalu

Literal translation: If possible (go for) hair, if not (go for) feet.

This refers to situations where someone is willing to do anything to get one's way. Grabbing hair refers to use of force while going for feet refers to pleading. So, the overall idea is - if use of force doesnt work, beg & plead.

Yenki pelli subbi chaavu kochindi[edit]

  • Yenki pelli subbi chaavu kochindi

Literal translation: Yenki's ( a persons name) marriage has resulted in Subbi's ( a persons name)death. Meaning: A person is suffering to the maximum because of somebody else's cause.

veedilo puli Intlo pilli[edit]

  • Intlo puli veedilo pilli

Literal translation: A Tiger at home, but a cat outdoors. Refers to people's inconsistent behavior in their comfort zone vs. other areas. Tiger implies confident and aggressive behavior, while cat refers to meek and timid behavior. So, the proverb suggests that one behaves confidently at home (tiger when indoors) but gets all meeka and timid outside (the cat outdoors)

== Toorpu tirihhhhsdrhnjyy am pettu ==

  • Toorpu tirigi dhandam pettu

Literal translation: Turn East and pr Used to indicate that all options in a given situation are exhausted, and the last resort is to just pray and hope for divine intervention. (Hindu prayers are done facing east). It is like saying "Tried everything, all we can do now is turn east and pray".

Modatikae mosam moguda ante pesarapappu pellama annattu[edit]

  • Modatikae mosam moguda ante pesarapappu pellama annattu

Literal translation : Wife says its getting impossible (financially) and husband asks for green gram (a kind of lentils, considered premium).

Indicates someone being out of touch with reality. It is similar to the quote attributed to Marie Antoinette about asking people to eat cake when they have no bread .

Illalakagane pandaga kaadu[edit]

  • Illalakagane pandaga kaadu

It is a general practice to clean the house on a festival day apart from other things. Here it means that , if you have finished painting your home, it does not mean that the festival is over. This is similar to saying, if you have read 10 answers, it does not mean you have got A grade in exams.

Aadadi tirigi chaedutundi, Magavaadu tiragaka chaedataadu[edit]

  • Aadadi tirigi chaedutundi, Magavaadu tiragaka chaedataadu

Broadly, this translates to - A woman gets corrupted with too much socializing, and Man gets corrupted with too little. In current day, this would be exist and inappropriate. The intended message is more on the lines of : Women spending too much time outside home (ala socializing, gossiping etc.) are no good, while for a man spending too much time at home (not being out there and winning the bread, probably) aint no good.

  • Mose vadiki telsu kaavadi baruvu...మోసే వాడికి తెల్సు కావడి బరువు...

Literally, this proverb means person carrying the sedan chair (a type of human powered transport) knows the weight of it. this can be used in the context of explaining the pain or struggle of an individual who takes huge responsibility onto himself.

Others[edit]

  • earigetappudu thinoodhura ante, adduka thinta anndu ata..

Literally: when A suggests to B not to eat while shitting, instead of listening B replies that he will eat with it.

This is used in the context when the experience of others is not made to use and people do exactly opposite to what is suggested.


  • aalu ledu cholu ledu koduku peru somalingam..ఆలి లేదు చూలు లేదు కొడుకు పేరు సోమలింగం..

Literally : No wife yet, No pregnancy yet, but planning to name the son as "Somalingam".

This is used in the context of someone daydreaming about things that are so far ahead in time and nowhere in immediate sight. Someone who is dreaming the future (a son's name), but doesnt have the minimum requirements (a pregnant wife).

  • angatlo anni unna alludi notlo shani...అంగట్లో అన్ని ఉన్నా అల్లుడి నోట్లో శని

even though you have all you need, you are unable to make business as your son-in-law doesn't talk good about it.

  • antya nisturam kanna aadi nisturam melu...అంత్య నిష్ఠూర౦ కన్నా ఆది నిష్ఠూర౦ మేలు...
  • andani draksha pallu pullana..అందని ద్రాక్ష పళ్లు పుల్లన..

Literally, this proverb means unreachable grapes are sour. It is similar to the proverb "The grapes are sour, said the fox, when he could not get at them". This can be used in context when a person fails to achieve something and he says it was not worth it.

  • ambali taage vadiki meesalu egabette vadu okadu..అంబలి తాగే వాడికి మీసాలు ఎగబెట్టే వాడు ఒకడు..
  • adige vaadiki cheppe vadu lookuva...అడిగే వాడికి చెప్పే వాడు లోకువ...

Literally, this proverb means - a person who answer's is taken for granted by the person who question's him. This can be used in the context of a person who asks too many questions to others.

  • adavi kaachina vennala..అడవి కాచిన వెన్నెల..

Literally, this proverb means-forest lit with moonlight. This is used in context of something very precious is provided when there is no one to benefit out of it.

  • aadilone hamsapaadam..ఆదిలోనే హంసపాదం..

Literally this proverb means that "Obstacle in starting of a work". This is used when an obstacle occurs at the very beginning stage of a work.

  • unte ooru pothe paadu..ఉంటే ఊరు పోతే పాడు..
  • Unnamata ante uluku enduku..ఉన్నమాట అంటే ఉలుకు ఎందుకు..

Translating literally it means " Why speaking truth makes angry". This is used when some one gets angry by listnening a truth.

  • Kanchu mooginattu kanakambu moogunaa..కంచు మోగినట్టు కనకంబు మోగునా ..
  • Karva mante paamu kopam vidava mante kappa kopam
  • teluku pettanam isthe tellavarlu kuttindanta...తేలుకు పెత్తనం ఇస్తే తెల్లవార్లు కుట్టిందంట...
  • Penuku pettanam isthe thala antha gorikipettindi anta...పేనుకు పెత్తనం ఇస్తే తల అంత గోరికి పెట్టింది అంట...
  • deepam undagane illu chakkabettukovali...దీపo ఉండగానే ఇల్లు చక్కబెట్టుకోవాలి...

Literally, this proverb means decorate your house until there is light. It can be used in the same context as of the english proverb "Make hay while the sun shines".

  • Inta gelichi raccha gelavali ...ఇoట గెలిచి రచ్చ గెలవాలి
  • Oollo pelliki kukkala hadavidi ....ఊళ్ళో పెళ్ళి కి కుక్కల హడావిడి
  • Rameswarsam vellina saneswaram tappadannattu...రామేశ్వరం పోయినా శనేశ్వరం తప్పదన్నట్టు
  • Gathi leka ganji thagu thunte, lange addu vacchindhi
  • Bellam vunda ante allam vundi annadu ata..... బెల్లం ఉందా అంటే అల్లం ఉంది అన్నాడు అట


  • Kuse gadida vachi mese gadidani chedagotindi.....కూసే గాడిద వచ్చి మేసే గాడిద ని చెడగొట్టింది

It literally means, "a braying donkey disturbs eating donkey". It refers to one who disturbs others meaninglessly.

  • Moolige nakka meeda/pina taati kaya paddattu....మూలిగే నక్క మీద/పైన తాటి కాయ పడ్డట్టు
  • Mantrasani pani voppukunnaka, pilla vachchina thiyyali, penta vachchina thiyyali

means, if agreed to assist delivery of baby, you should take out baby or shit what ever comes out

  • Modati daniki mogudu ledu kada daniki kalyanamata

means, first daughters marriage is still pending and father is searching bridegroom for last daughter.

Telangana region[edit]

These are the proverbs used in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh mainly in villages, with a different dialect of Telugu language.

  • Ponle paapamani paata bhatta isthe; Gudi enka poyi uri vesukundi anta

Meaning: Out of mercy I gave a used cloth; this lady used it for hanging self

Context: If someone does something as charity, what is done as charity is used for wrongful purpose

  • Ekkani konda ledu; Mokkani banda ledu

Meaning: There is no hill i have not scaled; nor a un-prayed stone

Context: There is nothing that was not done to achieve something

  • Tadi chetti kinda kurchoni paalu tagina adi kalle anukuntaru

Meaning: If you drink milk sitting under a palm tree, people will assume you are having toddy (palm wine)

  • Aadiya kaadiya chaldiya Baldiya

Meaning: He came, he ate, he left (the municipal guy)

Context: Used to mock municipal staff in erstwhile Hyderabad state

  • Oori koka kodi isthe, inti koka eeka nanta

Meaning: If a hen is given for a village, a feather is what one household gets

Context: Used when something insufficient is given or offered

  • manchodu manchodu ante manchamekkadanta

Meaning If you call him a good person, he will sleep in your bed

context If some one praised well ,they sit on your shoulders/they become a burdain