Tamil Proverbs – Part 15


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This the 15 part of the Tamil proverb series.

1.எட்டினால் குடுமியைப் பிடிக்கிறது , எட்டாவிட்டால் காலைப் பிடிகிறது.

ettinal kudumiyai pidikirathu, ettavittal kaalai pidikirathu.
He will catch the hair knot if it is reachable , if not, he will catch the legs.
Said to people who at any cost who plot downfall of other people. Either face to face if possible or by stealthy actions.

2.கொல்லைக்குப் பல்லி , குடிக்குச் சகுனி

kollaikku palli, kudikku saguni

He acts as a Palli plant to the garden, and as Saguni to the family.


கொல்லைப்பல்லி kollai-p-palli

n. < id. +. A parasitic plant, Buchnera asiatica; பூடுவகை. (W.)

Buchnera asiatica (Striga asiatica) is a serious agricultural pest as it parasitises important crop species including corn, rice, sorghum, and sugar cane, often causing substantial yield reductions.

And its well know story of Sakuni’s act to destory the race of the Pandavas and Kauvravas.

Said to people who will do bad deeds to the place where they are.

Striga asiatica - Kalli


3.முளையில் கிள்ளாதது முற்றினால், கோடாலிகொண்டு வெட்ட வேண்டும் .

mulayil killathathu muttrinal, kodali kondu vetta vendum.

What is not plucked at the bud is left to mature, it will have be cut using an axe.


Bad habits should be stopped at the start, else it will be really difficult to stop it.

Neglected evil is hard to destroy.

4.தாழ்ந்து நின்றால் , வாழ்ந்து நிற்பாய்.

Thaalnthu ninral , vaalnthu nirpaai.

If you are ready to bow , you will grow high in life.


If you are humble , you will be successful in your life.

” Better bend the neck than bruise the forehead.”

5.பேச்சுப் பேச்சு என்னும் ; பெரும் பூனை வந்தால் கீச்சுக் கேச் சென்னும் கிளி .

pechu pechu ennum; perum poonai vanthal keechu keechu ennum kili.

The parrot will immitate your voice , but when the big cat comes its voice will start to screech.


Said of people who boast a lot when their superiors aren’t around.

6.ஓடுகிற கழுதை வாலைப் பிடித்தால் , உடனே கொடுக்கும் பலன் (உதய்).

oodugira kaluthai vaalai pidithaal, udane kodukkum palan (uthai).

If you catch the tail of a running donkey you will get immediate result(you will be kicked)


Avoid getting into companion ship with bad people. You will get into deep trouble with such relationship.

” Beware of the hind part of a mule, and all sides of a priest.”

7.பூவுடன் கூடின நாரும் மனம் பெற்றற்போல் .

poovudan koodina naarum manam petrathu pol.

Like the fiber which holds the flower, gets the fragrance of the flower.


If you live with good surrounding then you would also tend to be good. So its better to live with good people.

8.தேன் ஒழுக பேசி , தெருவழியே விடுகிறது .

Then oluga pesi, theruvaliye vidugirathu.

He would speak honey coated words and then lead you to the streets.


Said of people who speak sweet words but never actually help you in any way. The deeds are just in words not in action.

“Sugared words generally prove bitter.”

9.இன்பமும் துன்பமும் எடுத்த உடலுக்கு இயல்பு .

Inbamum thunbamum edutha udalukku iyalbu.

It is natural for this body to experience happiness and sadness.


The life is filled with experience and some are happy ones and some are sad ones. You can lead a steady life if you understand both happiness and sadness are part of life.

10.குலத்துக்கு ஈனம் கோடாலிக்காம்பு.

kulathukkum eenam kodalikkaambu.

The handle of the axe degrades its race.


The axe handle which is made of wood aids in humans felling the tree . This proverb is said to people who act as a degradation to their own family.


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


Related post:

Tamil Proverbs:





  1. Hellow friend, It is me again about kalli. The picture shown is seem like “kanakambaram” a familiar flower used for decoration and most liked by women of Tamil Nadu. Kalli is a plant usually grow at discarded land with some moisture with thick foliage, stem and leaves having milk like fluid and not edible by cattle etc. It propoagates by stems itself. You might be known of infanticide at certain place of Tamil Nadu. For that Kalli Pall i.e. the milk like fluid of kalli is used. Please reconsider it.

  2. It is me with a long gap I respond to you. The photo shown in the proverb 2 Kollaikkau palli is surely a variety of Kanagambaram flower. The photo displayed in the web site you mentioned is entirely different. The stem, foliage and the flowering parts are entirely different from it. Hence the two photos are not of the same species. I would like to remember you that Kalli is a white flower that people will not use it but offer it especially to God Ganapathi or Vinayagar.

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