CULTURE List of Somali maahmaah and their translations/interpretations

Hot Ballah

I do something called "what I want"
2021 GRANDMASTER
VIP
Here are some of my favourite maahmaahs and their translations. Add yours too please.

tiisa daryeela ba tukale ku dara

A man who benefits himself can benefit another

Bisad mininkeeda joogda miciyo libaax bee leedahay

A cat in its own territory has the fangs of a lion (this is a southern saying, I just switched mukulaal with bisad lol)


Abtirsi waxa ka dhaama raganimadaad la timaadid

the way you present yourself is more important than your lineage (rough translation, couldn’t find a good translation for “raganimo”. I would say manliness but being a “rag” is more than just manliness). This is a very important one that Somalis often forget. Even a madhibaan can be a better man than a landheer man just from the way he acts.

nin duuni diida ma buko

A man who refuses “duuni” is not ill.

duuni means food that is handfed to you.
My interpretation is that a man who is too prideful to take assistance was never in need of it or doesn’t deserve it.

You don't have permission to view the spoiler content. Log in or register now.

Dhar aadan lahayn la’iskuma dheereeyo

You shouldn’t try on (rather, try to make fit) clothes that aren’t yours.
up for interpretation, or you can take it literally lol.

Dhar aadan lahayn dhaxan kaama cesho

Clothes you don’t own won’t protect you from the cold.

Dumar iyo caruur “ma hayo” ma yaqaaniin

Women and children don’t know the phrase “I don’t have [it]”. As in, women and children are the most generous/selfless.

Dumar nin amaanaa leh.

A man who praises women is the one who has women.

Edit: I just realized “amaan” can also mean safety/protection in Somali so I guess there’s a double entendre with the last one and can also be translated as:

A man who protects women is the one who has women.
 
Last edited:

Hot Ballah

I do something called "what I want"
2021 GRANDMASTER
VIP
Fardo-fuul nin kufey oo kacay baa noqda

A man who has fallen and gotten up becomes a horse rider.

Geed walba in gubtey baa hoos taal

For every tree there is those that have burned that are underneath it.

This one can most likely have many interpretations depending on how you look at it.
 
Here are some of my favourite maahmaahs and their translations. Add yours too please.

tiisa daryeela ba tukale ku dara

A man who benefits himself can benefit another

Bisad mininkeeda joogda miciyo libaax bee leedahay

A cat in its own territory has the fangs of a lion (this is a southern saying, I just switched mukulaal with bisad lol)


Abtirsi waxa ka dhaama raganimadaad la timaadid

the way you present yourself is more important than your lineage (rough translation, couldn’t find a good translation for “raganimo”. I would say manliness but being a “rag” is more than just manliness). This is a very important one that Somalis often forget. Even a madhibaan can be a better man than a landheer man just from the way he acts.

nin duuni diida ma buko

A man who refuses “duuni” is not ill.

duuni means food that is handfed to you.
My interpretation is that a man who is too prideful to take assistance was never in need of it or doesn’t deserve it.

You don't have permission to view the spoiler content. Log in or register now.

Dhar aadan lahayn la’iskuma dheereeyo

You shouldn’t try on (rather, try to make fit) clothes that aren’t yours.
up for interpretation, or you can take it literally lol.

Dhar aadan lahayn dhaxan kaama cesho

Clothes you don’t own won’t protect you from the cold.

Dumar iyo caruur “ma hayo” ma yaqaaniin

Women and children don’t know the phrase “I don’t have [it]”. As in, women and children are the most generous/selfless.

Dumar nin amaanaa leh.

A man who praises women is the one who has women.

Edit: I just realized “amaan” can also mean safety/protection in Somali so I guess there’s a double entendre with the last one and can also be translated as:

A man who protects women is the one who has women.

Great initiative! A few corrections, if I may:

1. It should be dhuuni, with a "Dh", in the proverb "Nin dhuuni diida ma buko".
2. "Dumar nin ammaanaa leh" should it be, with a double consonant "mm". Amaan is safety, ammaan is praise.

Here are some of my favorites (I try to convey the meanig with the translation, not the exact meaning of each word. If anything is unclear, feel free to ask):

- Anigaa dhimman looma hadlee, hadal baa dhimman baa loo hadlaa

"One shall not speak because "I'm the only one left", but rather one should speak if there is anything remaining to be said"

- Libaax nimaan aqoon baa lax ka rita

"The one who does not know about (the capabilities of) the lion, tries to take back the lamb from him", often used in a context when someone does something impulsive and dangerous without knowing that the backlash will be fierce.

- Caano daatay waa la dabo qabtaa

"One should intervene and stop the spilling milk", meaning that one should do the best of every situation, even if the beginning was a disappointment.

- Harag sagaaro, iga kac mooyee, iga durug ma leh

"The leather of the dik-dik cannot be used by two person simultaneously", meaning that some things cannot be compromised. This reminds me of the verse in Surah Al-Qalam when Allah warns us of the intentions of the unbelievers:

وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ

They wish that you would soften [in your position], so they would soften [toward you]. [68:9]
 

Hot Ballah

I do something called "what I want"
2021 GRANDMASTER
VIP
Great initiative! A few corrections, if I may:

1. It should be dhuuni, with a "Dh", in the proverb "Nin dhuuni diida ma buko".
2. "Dumar nin ammaanaa leh" should it be, with a double consonant "mm". Amaan is safety, ammaan is praise.

Here are some of my favorites (I try to convey the meanig with the translation, not the exact meaning of each word. If anything is unclear, feel free to ask):

- Anigaa dhimman looma hadlee, hadal baa dhimman baa loo hadlaa

"One shall not speak because "I'm the only one left", but rather one should speak if there is anything remaining to be said"

- Libaax nimaan aqoon baa lax ka rita

"The one who does not know about (the capabilities of) the lion, tries to take back the lamb from him", often used in a context when someone does something impulsive and dangerous without knowing that the backlash will be fierce.

- Caano daatay waa la dabo qabtaa

"One should intervene and stop the spilling milk", meaning that one should do the best of every situation, even if the beginning was a disappointment.

- Harag sagaaro, iga kac mooyee, iga durug ma leh

"The leather of the dik-dik cannot be used by two person simultaneously", meaning that some things cannot be compromised. This reminds me of the verse in Surah Al-Qalam when Allah warns us of the intentions of the unbelievers:

وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ

They wish that you would soften [in your position], so they would soften [toward you]. [68:9]
100% bro thanks for the correction with “dhuuni”

I was 50% sure it was dhuuni and 50% sure it was duuni lol. I heard it while I was in laascaanood and then for some reason forgot whether it was dhuuni or not.

As for the ammaan and amaan I had no idea there was a difference. I always heard those words but never seen them written, even if I did I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

Something else I noticed is that proverbs use the stretching of vowels to replace prepositions very often.

Just like your example it says:

“libax nimaan aqoon”

instead of the casual “libax niman aanan aqoon”

It helps lower the syllable count and easier to remember.
 

Hot Ballah

I do something called "what I want"
2021 GRANDMASTER
VIP
Qof aadan aragooda jecleyn, oontooda kuma deeqdo

If you don’t like the way someone looks, their food (what they have to offer you) won’t be enough.

This one’s a personal favourite because my dad told me it when we were watching CP24 and we saw the green party leader. It had me dying lmao

green party leader:
7DD97A84-88AB-4CE5-B19E-61DA8AC93BAA.jpeg


but it’s still a good proverb. “arag” isn’t just their face, it’s the way they look in general from head to toe. If you don’t like someone’s arag, their looks, clothes, mannerisms etc. It’d be hard for them to please you. Hence, oontooda kuma deeqdo.

Soomaali been weey sheegan laakiin been ma maahmaahdo

Somalis tell lies but their lies never become false proverbs.

I agree with this one.
 
My favorite maahmaahyo

Maroodigu Takarta Saaran Ma Arko ee Takarta Maroodiga kale saaran ayuu arkaa


An Elephant doesn't see the fly which is sitting on it, but sees the one sitting on another elephant. Which means look yourself first before looking at others.


Xaqa Haddii afka laga dhowro Feeruhuu ka Dillaacaa

If your close your mouth from justice, your chest would tear up. Which means you can't hide justice forever.

Dhar aanad lahyani dhaxan kaama celiyso

Somebody's else clothes doesn't protect you from the cold. Which means you can't hide behind someone else or get protection from.
 

Hot Ballah

I do something called "what I want"
2021 GRANDMASTER
VIP
Dhar aanad lahyani dhaxan kaama celiyso

Somebody's else clothes doesn't protect you from the cold. Which means you can't hide behind someone else or get protection from.
You really just stole my whole flow, word for word bar for bar lmao.
breakfast club drake GIF by REVOLT TV
 
My favourite maahmaah is this one

"Nin ku yidhi sinnaan mayno
Adna buri sarrayntiisa
Sidka waa wadaagtaane
Ma sagaashan baa tiisu"

brief translation: A man who denies your equality, you should crush his superiority
You were equal in the the womb(nine months) or was he in there for ninty
 
My favourite maahmaah is this one

"Nin ku yidhi sinnaan mayno
Adna buri sarrayntiisa
Sidka waa wadaagtaane
Ma sagaashan baa tiisu"

brief translation: A man who denies your equality, you should crush his superiority
You were equal in the the womb(nine months) or was he in there for ninty
That's the mah mah garan dumis always use to destroy the country. I don't think Somali's have alott of wisdom frankly.
 

Trending

Top