Efik Proverbs

The Efik are an ethnic group located primarily in southeastern Nigeria, in the southern part of Cross River State.

Thought breaks the heart.

A stream coming down won't let you swim up.

It is not worth talking about a slip of the foot as if it were a fall.

Man looks only on the outside of things;
God looks into the very heart.

It is the sea only which knows the bottom of the ship,
as God only knows the time of death.

Times causes remembrance.

A man always breaking off from his work never finishes anything.

A knot in the tree spoils the axe; famine spoils friendship.

Reverence your elder, for the man excelling in age excels in wisdom.

It is good that equals consort together.

There is no worse curse than to desire a man's death.

One knows not the stability of his life.

He who falls by his foot shall rise again;
he who falls by his mouth shall not rise.

The tree-knot spoils the axe; hunger spoils love.

When a man sees sunshine he dries his tobacco.

Even a miser does not refuse his cook part of what he roasts.

An elephant will reach to the roof of the house.

A sitting in one place makes a man sleep.

A man knows not whether he will see tomorrow.

The fish when grown big returns to his rivulet.

Many destroy themselves by falsehood.

He who asks questions hears the language,
or gets interpretations.

One monkey does not like another to get a bellyful.

It is the stomach which rules the man.

The bad tree, like the crooked sugarcane,
says he will not straighten; he breaks.

A man who talks of others behind their backs,
another will talk of him in like manner.

Connected with a great man, you will advance.

A straight road has no turnings.

Knowledge is better than riches.

The son disgraces his father by bad conduct.

A man sauntering has no business.

It is good for a man to bear trouble rather than die.

A man does not use one finger to take out an arrow.

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