Tamil Proverbs – Part 4

Fourth part of my proverb collection. All proverbs are tanslated by me.

குமரிக்கு ஒரு பிள்ளை , கோடிக்கு ஒரு வெள்ளை .

One child for a young girl and one wash for a new cloth.


The quality and durability of the cloth will be estimated on one wash itself. Like that the ability of a girl for household chores can be understood by how she handles or comforts a child. (Readers input- Thanks to Prabulingam)

வீட்டுக்கு செல்வம் மாடு , தோட்டச் செல்வம் முருங்கை.

The treasure of a house is a cow and treasure of a garden is Murungai tree.


The cow gives milk which is used as milk,curd,ghee. The cow dung is disinfectent and used to clean the floor. The cow dung was also used as a combustion material and also for sacred ash. Similarly Murungai gives Murungakai (drum stick), Murungai Keerai(edible green leaves) and has various other medicinal properties. It is basically used to show utilities of various kinds of a single source. Another very good example is Vaalai maram(banana tree).

பெண்ணின் கோணல் , பொன்னிலே நிமிரும்

Unprettiness of a girl will be shielded by her gold ornaments.


Though a dig at most women, the proverb actually means if you dont have substance it still can be adjusted with other things. In most cases money is the other thing which sets most things right.  The proverb is set in negative tone meaning that people who have influence have their way.

தேரோட போச்சு திருநாளு , தாயோட போச்சு பிறந்த அகம்

When the procession of Temple car ends the festival ends, the support from home ends with death of the mother.


Its usually addressed to a daughter in law. Usually Mother in laws acts tough towards the young daughter in laws and the girl seeks the solace of her mother often. But this support last nly as long as her mother lives. So its better to adjust with the hardship rather than finding solace else where.

உயிரோடு இருக்கும்போது ஒரு கரண்டி நெய்க்கு வழி இல்லை, ஓமத்துக்கு ஒன்பது கரண்டி நெய் விட்டது போல .

While he was alive they  couldn’t not afford one spoonful of ghee, now they spend nine spoons of ghee for the cermonial fire.


Addressed to people who cant afford thing but still do it to please others. Here a family which couldnt afford a spoon of ghee now spends nine spoons for the death cermony just to put a show to others and please others who come for the cermony. Most marraiges in India are done this way. When family cant afford much money they get loans and arrange a grand marraige.


Reference : A classified collection of Tamil Proverbs by Rev. Herman Jensen


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  1. Your proverb section is done very good, thanks for doing it.
    I love proverbs.

    பெண்ணின் கோணல் , பொன்னிலே நிமிரும்

    Unprettiness of a girl will be shielded by her gold ornaments.

    – I think this means that even if one don’t have good looks, one can adjust it with a character that are rich in qualities like gold. I often say that good looks without a good character makes the person look ugly. I can use this proverb from now on 🙂

    வீட்டுக்கு செல்வம் மாடு , தொட்டச் செல்வம் முருங்கை.

    தொட்டச் (touch) = தோட்டச் (garden)

  2. vairam, the proverbs are nice. I wonder if you could also give a transliteration for people like me who cant read tamil, coz i’m am sure the proverbs might sound very interesting too.

  3. Hello. Here is a comment on the proverb KUMARIKKU ORU PILLAI KOODIKKU ORU VELLAI. The explanation is is not suitable. Koodi is the cloth and vellai is washing. The quality and durability of the cloth will be estimated on one wash itself. Like that the ability of a girl for household chores can be understood by how she handles or comforts a child

  4. I like your proverbs….
    Thank you very much
    M. Mohamed Uduman

  5. //One child for a young girl and one was for a new cloth.//

    There is a spelling mistake in the above line …it should be ‘wash’, instead of ‘was’

  6. I think the proverb “thottathu chellam maadu…” means “the one who is good at a particular thing can excel in the place where it is needed” – like on should choose the career based on their basic ability – or everyone can’t win every where and everything.

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