Enjoy twisting your tongue by Maithili Proverbs

by Padmini Jha

Among the various languages in Nepal, Maithili is one of the languages which is mostly spoken in the Terai Region of the country. Maithili language and Maithili culture are unique and carry with them their own explicit values and customs. Besides that Maithili language is rich in its proverbs which are nowadays less in use and are in the way of annihilation with the mounting urbanization and modernization of the Maithili community. Thus to reiterate the essence of those proverbs, I am going to present some of the legendary proverbs in Maithili through this piece of work.
1. Apan haath jagarnath – God helps those who help themselves.
2. Gharke bhedi Lanka daahey – A spy in a house can burn the house.
3. Khaaike sasri, Maarike pasri – Lie down after a good meal and run away after you thrash somebody.
4. Kachiya san sojh – Straight as Sickle.
5. Paisa Na kaudi, chitaang ho Ge Chaudi (girl) – Asking a girl to lie down without a penny in your pocket. It refers to a person who wishes to buy things without having money.
6. Dhaanak khet me kurthi aa kurthi khet me dhaan – Planting Kurthi in the rice field and vice versa. It refers to something done wrong.
7. Kehan kehan ghodi bhaashal jaye aa narghodi kahe kattey paain – Strong big horses are being flown with river, why to talk about small ones. It means that when smart ones could not do this so you should not even ask for it.
8. Kauwaa saraapne gaai marey – A cow doesn’t die because of crow’s wish. It means that a negative wish is contemptible and doesn’t come true.
9. Budh suga paush maaney – An old parrot can never get tamed. (Too old to learn new tricks)
10. Maradak baat haathike daant je niklal se niklal – The word of a man, like the tusk of an elephant, can never be withdrawn.
11. Murga nai bolihai ta bhor Na hoyihai – If the cock doesn’t crow, will there be no dawn? ( No one is indispensible)
12. Jennai chale musharni tannai chalai musahar – Wherever Musharni goes, musahar follows. It refers to a man who follows his wife. This character doesn’t suit to manliness and hence is subject of joke.
13. Ek baaput dal, sab baaput chal – One member of the family is invited and all other members of the family are going to the party.
14. Oochhe na puchhey mor naam suhaagin – To be happy without being greeted or asked. It is generally used for a person who without any notice or invitation is happy and willing to share his/her happiness.
15. Sikkey unaaitke aagaamey khasnai – To get more than expected by chance.



  1. Liked it…Padmini..you made me remember my home, my village,my people and of course my language…though my native language is Bhojpuri, but we also use these proverbs very often…your collection gave me the inspiration to collect and make a comparison of these proverbs with Chinese proverbs, because Chinese language is full of them and they are more than essential part of Chinese language….they are called “ChengYu” (chheng you)…gud work Padmini..keep it up… 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. aah, utterly enjoyable…
    khaaika pasri aa maairka sasri..( we use it dis way)
    let me share few,
    1. natni sikhelak budhdaadi ke.. (little girl is trying 2 oversmart great grand mother)
    2. baarik patua tit..(its hindi equivalent is ..ghar ki murgi daal baraabar)
    3. jeth bheli heth baishakh bheli upar..(yonger one is getting more importance dan the elders)
    4. rup ne chhata mosri ke dail bad khatta.
    5. gaalbaali jit gel maalbaali haair gel.
    6. kehan-kehan gela ta mochhbala ela. (this is equivalent 2 ur 7th proverb.)
    7. jure mian ke maar ne aa khoje mian taari.
    8. du ta paisa bhelau ge chhauri dhan khoicha dhan pauti ge..(a newly little rich person is confused 2 decide wt 2 do wd his/her money.)
    9. baap kare kutan-pisan, aa beta ke naam devdutt.
    10. saun (saavan) janmal giddo(gidar) bhado elle baidh aa kahalke ehan baidh
    baap janam nai dekhnau.
    11. hasua biyah me khurpi ke geet. (irrelevent)
    12. hiranak gavahi sugar del aa dunu paraaka jungle gel.
    13. khaunjhail bilair dhurkhur nocche.
    14. jakhne kahalke kaka ho takhne bijhaliae batua herelak.
    15. mangni barad ke daant nai dekhi.
    16. apan barad kurhariye sa naathi.
    17.chhot khikhir ke mot nangair.
    18. burbak brahman ke abc(any place) me baas, kothi me dhan chaur ghar me
    now i am going 2 stop it here.. there r many more…. srry i didnt translate som of these…

    • could you please translate the above proverbs ? im interested to learn maithili language but there is no resource available online 😦

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