Haitian proverbs

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This is a collection of Haitian Creole proverbs and idioms, sorted alphabetically.

Some proverbs are literary; that is, from a written source. Most originated orally among folk spiritualists, families, street vendors, other commoners and all walks of life, that has been since transcribed.

B[edit]

  • Bay piti pa chich.
    • To give little is not [being] cheap.
    • Smith (2001). When the Hands Are Many: Community Organization and Social Change in Rural Haiti. Cornell University Press. p. 74. 
  • Toupre pa lakay.
    • English equivalent: A miss by an inch is a miss by a mile.
    • Toussaint (2005). Haiti, a Different Image. AuthorHouse. p. 23. 

D[edit]

  • Dèyè mòn, gen mòn.
    • English equivalent: Beyond mountains, more mountains

L[edit]

  • Lafimen pa janm leve san dife.
    • English equivalent: Smoke never rises without fire.
    • Meaning: Everything happens for a reason.
    • Other meaning: A rumour contains some truth.
    • Silva, Spear (2004). A quoi rêve Haïti?. Éditions L'Harmattan. p. 140. 

M[edit]

  • Men anpil, chay pa lou.
    • English equivalent: Many hands make light work.
    • Averill (1997). A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti. University of Chicago Press. 
  • Men anpil, chay pa lou.
    • English equivalent: Many hands make light work.
    • Smith (2001). When the Hands Are Many: Community Organization and Social Change in Rural Haiti. Cornell University Press. p. 170. 
  • Merite pa mande.
    • English equivalent: First deserve, then desire.
    • Heurtelou, Vilsaint (2004). Guide to Learning Haitian Creole. Educa Vision. p. 189. 

P[edit]

  • Piti piti zwazo fè nich.
    • English equivalent: Many a mickle makes a muckle.
    • Das (1994). Sociology In Latin America. MD Publications. p. 81. 

Z[edit]

  • Zafè kabrit pa zafè mouton.
    • Translation: The goat's business is not the sheep's business.
    • English equivalent: All girdles do not hang on one handle.
    • Maximin (2008). Dynamiques interculturelles dans l'aire caribéenne. Karthala. p. 213. 
    • Meaning: Focus on how you do your own work instead of interfering with other's work.

See also[edit]