15+ Nepali Idioms: A Whopping List For The Wordy And Wise

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Wondering about Nepali idioms? In this blog, we will explore this beautiful country’s rich cultural and linguistic traditions through its idioms. These idioms, often drawn from Nepal’s diverse indigenous languages, offer a window into the country’s history, customs, and values. From proverbs passed down through generations to modern colloquialisms, Nepal’s idioms are an integral part of the nation’s identity and a source of pride for its people. Let’s get to know more about it today!

Idioms are essential to any language, and learning them can help beginners understand better and communicate with native speakers. In Nepali, idioms are critical because they often convey cultural and historical references that outsiders may not immediately notice. By learning these, beginners like you can gain insight into the values and perspectives of the Nepali people and become more adept at using the target language in a way that is natural and appropriate.

Additionally, idioms can add depth and nuance to a beginner’s spoken and written Nepali, allowing them to express themselves more creatively and effectively. Lastly, we cannot deny that mastering idioms can be a fun and engaging way to expand one’s vocabulary and knowledge of the language.

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Nepali Idioms – Nepali Lady

What Are Idioms?

In Nepali, idioms are known as मुहावरे or muhavra. Idioms can be considered a way to turn a phrase or expression. They are always a group of words and not just one word, and they usually do not mean what is written but have a different meaning. Often, it cannot be understood until explained.

Difference Between Idioms And Proverbs

People often confuse idioms with proverbs, and they both give advice and can be inspirational or motivational. But then, here is the trick – idioms, if you don’t learn them, or have them explained to you before, can seem like a familiar or literal phrase, and no one may notice that it has another meaning until someone tells you.

Meanwhile, proverbs are whole sentences that often give the learning or meaning within them. It is why proverbs are known as the “words of the wise.” They carry a lot of deep sense just in one line. We will look at some idioms and phrases to help clarify.

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Nepali Idioms – Examples Of Idioms

Nepali Idioms And Phrases

Idioms can be of many different categories. Often they relate to money or wealth, health, and expressions. Examples of Nepali idioms are given below. Try to see if you can understand the pun intended in words!

Cut noseनाक काट्नुNaak katnuBringing disgrace often to the family or parents
Eat potatoअल्लु खु
Allu khau Referring to a failure or failing exams. It means that there will be no income, and the person will eat potatoes as their food, as it is cheap.
Putting oil in the earकान मे तेल हाल्नुKan me tel halnuUnable to hear or avoid a situation
Hiding/escaping/eloping पोइलो जानुPoilo januOften used by women
Carrying a tummyभुडी बोक्नु Bhudi boknu Being pregnant
The crow is crowing, and the cake is dryingकाग कराउदैछ पिना सुक्दैछ Kāga karā’udaicha pinā sukdaichaLet the one who shouts keep shouting
Sita recited the prayers all night longरात भरी पुराण सुनायो सीता कस्को जोई Rāta bharī purāṇa sunāyō sītā kaskō jō’īThere is no point in doing this and wasting time.
Even the unfathomable river flowsनपत्याउने खोलाले पनि बगाउछ Napatyā’unē khōlālē pani bagā’uchaDo not underestimate anyone or any situation
Pouring water on sandबालुवामा पानी हाल्नु Bāluvāmā pānī hālnuWasting time, money, or resources
A monkey’s tail is neither a staff nor a weaponबाँदरको पुच्छर लौरो न हतियार Bām̐darakō pucchara laurō na hatiyāraDo not be useless
What a messक्या फसाद Kastō bhadragōlaSuch a hassle
The cow which has faulty eyes will always see everything as greenसाउनमा आँखा फुटेको गोरु सधैँ हरियो देख्छ Sūnamā’ī phuṭēkō gōru sadhaim̐ hariyō dēkhchēAppreciate what you have and not what you don’t
You aim at a log of wood, but the axe seeks at your kneeआफु ताक्छ मुढो बन्चरो ताक्छ घुँडो Āphu tākcha muḍhō bancarō tākcha ghum̐ḍōThe plans of man are not up to him but God
If you are lucky, the bull can also give birthभाग्य भए गोरु पनि ब्याउछ Bhāgya bha’ē gōru pani byā’uchaMiracles happen if you are lucky
Whoever has power also has devotionजस्को शक्ती उस्को भक्ति Jaskō śaktī uskō bhaktiMight is right

An important thing to note about idioms and proverbs, be careful not to offend anyone while using them. Some meanings can be interpreted as an offense made intentionally. Being a new user of Nepali idioms, you might want to wait before you pick a fight! Despite the relevance of a cunning or catchy phrase to impress, offer your words as a gift whenever possible.

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There are idioms and proverbs in many languages and cultures. Just search the internet, and you will find tons in English and Nepali. The key is to understand them and use them well, and you will find that they help to express topics interestingly if used correctly. And as you reach this part of the post, I hope you were able to master the basics of Nepali idioms. Want to learn more? If yes, then you’ve got to try out the Ling app!

The Ling app is a fantastic resource for learners of all levels as it comes with lessons for over 60 languages, including Nepali. Through its unique set of games, chatbot, in-depth lessons, and features, it’s impossible not to put forward your learning with the Ling app! Click on the link to download it from the Apple Store or Google Play Store to try it out! Trust us. A world of possibilities awaits you!

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