Popular Tobago Sayings

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People may think that us Trinis and Tobagonians speak the same type of creole, but that isn’t so. We are miles apart when we speak, even I at times have trouble understanding when Tobagonians talk. In the Trini dictionary I gave you all a taste of some of the words used in Tobago. Here, I present to you some popular Tobago sayings or what I would call local Tobago creole proverbs. I hope you have fun reading these sayings.

When you’re finished reading the Tobago sayings you can head on over to Trini sayings .

Ah nuh fuh want ah tongue, mek cow cyar talk "“ Some things might just be beyond your power.

Belly full man does tell hungry gut man keep heart "“ Well to do people offer words of consolation only to the needy, but never any tangible assistance.

Do not let the candle cost more than the funeral "“ In an effort to solve one problem be wary of creating further problems.

Even though I am a hungry cock, ah doh eat rotten corn "“ One should maintain his dignity and integrity irrespective of his wants.

Every mouldy bread geh ih mouldy cheese "“ Everyone has his friend.

Give am rope leh ih hang ihself "“ Usually too much freedom is used to one"™s disadvantage.

Hen wid chicken cyar cross river "“ People with certain inabilities are not free to act.

Howdy, thanky, break no bone "“ Engaging in lengthy conversations is what usually brings about enmity.

House full, kitchen full but not even a thimble full "“ The loneliness that prevails after one"™s kids has all left.

If you rub mih back, mih go rub yuh belly "“ Those who give will receive.

Monkey know wha"™ tree fuh climb "“ One usually assesses a person before taking chances with him/her.

Mih hear better cock than that crow and nex morning ih end up in a pot "“ The element of uncertainty is never entirely erased.

Mouth open, tory jump out "“ Closely guarded secrets are usually disclosed when friends have disagreements.

Manure cyar do nutten to old buck-buck tree "“ There comes a time when attempts to make a positive change in a person or situation will be futile.

Nuh all skin teeth ah good skin teeth. Nuh all skin teeth ah laugh "“ The situation is not always as genuine as it appears to be.

One, one, does full basket "“ Success might not come at once, but over time.

One finger cyar pick louse – Co-operation is necessary for success.

One hand wash the other, together dey wash the face "“ So much more is achieved by co-operation.

Prophet nuh get honour ah ih own country "“ People usually do not appreciate their own.

Poke ah poke, no beef "“ The situation is unchanged.

Ratta tongue does sell ih head "“ Disclosing too much can get one into trouble.

Sheep cyar bring goat "“ Children are usually no different from their parents.

Skim yuh water before yuh dip am "“ Assess a situation carefully before committing yourself to it.

Tom drunk, but Tom nuh fool "“ People who appear to be foolish are not necessarily so.

There is more in the mortar besides the pestle "“ There is more to a situation than meets the eye.

Wha"™ morning sun nuh dry, evening sun cyar dry "“ Certain situations or persons cannot get better.

Wha"™ ears hear tongue shouldn"™t know "“ One should learn to keep his secrets.

When crab walk ih does end up in a pot "“ Some people, by instability, get themselves into trouble.

Whey horse tie ah deh ih ha"™ fuh graze "“ One should capitalize on what"™s available to him.

Wha"™ eye nuh see, heart nuh grieve "“ People do not usually worry over what they are not aware of.

Who have cocoa in sun always looking fuh rain "“ People who are guilty always think that the accusing finger is pointed at them

When two elephants ah fight, ah grass does suffer "“ While those in authority bicker, it is their dependents who are affected.

Wah sweet goat mouth does sour ih behind "“ The result of pleasure is sometimes pain.

Word ah mouth nuh food ah belly "“ One cannot survive on mere promises.

When yuh hand in the lion"™s mouth, ease it "“ People in compromising situations cannot call the shot.

Yuh can laugh because yuh ceh shine teeth "“ People who are on top of a situation or in an advantageous position have nothing to worry about.

Yuh deh ah water bottom, yuh nuh know how sun hot "˜pon top "“ When one is sheltered from an experience he does not have clear picture of what obtains.

Yuh could promise yuh back a shirt, but nuh yuh belly food "“ Food is the prime necessity for survival.

Yuh could strain water, but yuh cyar strain blood "“Denotes that the bond that exists among relatives exceeds all else.


Source: Taking a Look at the Heritage of Tobago. A book compiled by the Culture Department Tobago House of Assembly (03/04/03)

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