23+ Amazing Urdu Proverbs

Are you interested in knowing about the most common Urdu proverbs which will definitely upgrade your Urdu speaking game? This blog will bless you will many Urdu proverbs which will not only teach you about the colloquial talk in Urdu but also provide you with more vocabulary to flaunt your Urdu. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Common Urdu Proverbs List

In the Urdu culture, there is a saying for each situation that can advise adults and older individuals. These sum up the knowledge of wisdom gained overages. The proverbs in Urdu are known as کہاوت (kahawat). For Urdu grammar, it’s also important to browse idioms that will make you understand the context and implications of some words and phrases. Hence, there are countless Urdu idioms that you can discover. You can even learn the Roman Urdu version of each proverb with the English translation.

Here are some!

اسکی عقل چرنے کو گئی ہے

Romanized Urdu: Iski aqal ghas charnay ko gai hai.

Literal translation: His mind has gone to graze.

Contextual Meaning: It implies something like he has lost his mind. This proverb has an English equivalent i.e his wits are gone a wool-gathering.

انگور کھٹے ہیں

Romanized Urdu: angur khatte hain

Literal translation: Grapes are sour.

Contextual Meaning: This proverb is used when an individual cannot attain something so they pretend like getting it will not do any benefit anyway and they did not need it in the first place.

انتھ بھلا تو سب بھلا

Romanized Urdu: ant bhala to sab bhala

Literal translation: All is well that ends well

Contextual Meaning: It means all’s well the end’s well. It means that if the ending is good enough then everything that has happened earlier (e.g emergencies be it good or bad) is good.

اونچی دوکان پھیکا پکوان

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Onchi dukan pheeka pakwan

Literal translation: Tall shop tasteless sweet

Contextual Meaning: It implies that great cry little wool. It is used when something looks splendid but when it is tested it does not yield much profit like a business.

اب پچھتائے کیا، جب چڑیاں چگ گئیں کھیت

Romanized Urdu: ab bachtain kya jab chirian chug gayi khait

Literal translation: Why regret now when birds ate the crop

Contextual Meaning: It implies there is no use crying over spilled milk. In other words, this means that when there was time to work on something, the person wasted all the time and now that the time’s up, the person is regretting why they did not make enough effort which is useless.

اوس چاٹنے سے پیاس نہیں بجھتی

Romanized Urdu: Aos chatne se pyas nei bhujti

Literal translation: Licking dewdrops won’t clench your thirst

Contextual Meaning: It implies A fog cannot be dispelled by a fan. It is used to indicate that some things are irreplaceable and you cannot use the other thing to overcome the need of having the first thing.

اونٹ کے منہ میں زیرا

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Onth ke moun mein zeera

Literal translation: Cumin in camel‘s mouth.

Contextual Meaning: It implies that something is too little for a very big thing. It is used when you see that a certain task requires too much effort whereas the topic at hand is of very less effort which might not suffice the entire task.

آنکھ کا اندھا نام نین سکھ

Romanized Urdu: Ankh ka andha nam nain sukh

Literal translation: Blind from eye named happiness

Contextual Meaning: It implies something that is completely opposite to the thing which one is talking about. آنکھ (aankh) refers to the eyes, اندھا (andha) means a blind person, نام (naam) is the word used for name and سکھ (sukh) means happiness. نین (nain) is just another word for eyes. It is the synonym of آنکھ (aankh).

آپ بھلے تو جگ بھلا

Romanized Urdu: Ap bhale to jhag bhala

Literal translation: The world is good when you are good.

Contextual Meaning: It is used for a hypocrite who blames the world for everything. If you are a good person then and only then can you blame society for being bad at something. 

آگے کنواں پیچھے کھائی

Romanized Urdu: Agey kunwa peche khai

Literal translation: Water-well in the front abyss at the back

Contextual Meaning: It implies a choice given to someone in which both the scenarios are bad for him. He will have to choose whether he wants to jump into the water well or the abyss.

اپنے منہ میاں مٹھو

Romanized Urdu: Apne moun mian mithu

Literal translation: flattering oneself like a parrot

Contextual Meaning: It implies a person who is always talking about himself in front of others. It can be interpreted as self-centered or narcissistic. Someone who just won’t stop praising himself.

ایک میان میں دو تلواریں نہیں سماتیں

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Aik mian mein do talwarein nei samatin.

Literal translation: Two swords can’t stay on the same ground.

Contextual Meaning: It can be interpreted in two ways. One that there can always be only one boss as two bosses cannot run an office, there is always going to be tension between them. The same for a household where one person has to be in charge. The second interpretation is that you can only serve one master and be loyal to one person as it is not possible to serve two masters and do good for both of them.

ایک ہاتھ سے تالی نہیں بجتی

Romanized Urdu: Ek hath se tali nei bajti

Literal translation: One hand cannot clap

Contextual Meaning: It implies it takes two to quarrel. The reference used here is a clap as it requires both hands to clap. You cannot clap by using one hand the same way as it requires the mistake of two to quarrel. It can be interpreted as there is always the mistake of both parties in a quarrel and no one is innocent and blameless.

بندر کیا جانے ادرک کا سواد

Romanized Urdu: Bandar kya jane adrak ak sawad

Literal translation: What does a monkey know about how ginger tastes

Contextual Meaning: It implies Casting pearls before swine. It is used to call a person uncultured when it comes to his taste. Someone who doesn’t have a good taste in something and still insists that someone else has bad taste.

بھاگتے چور کی لنگوٹی هی سھی

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Bhagte chor ki langoti si sahi

Literal translation: A running thief’s loincloth 

Contextual Meaning: It implies gathering thistles and expecting pickles. It means to gain something from a bad situation. An example of a thief is used and as he is running he picks up a waist cloth which is better than stealing nothing. There is always something you can gain from a bad situation.

بوئے پودے ببول کے آم کہاں سے ہوئے

Romanized Urdu: Buye poday bubol ke aam kahan se hone

Literal translation: Acacia Arabica tree would yield gum not mangoes.

Contextual Meaning: The reference indicates if you want something you have to make an effort in the right direction. Not knowing where to put your efforts is not going to get you anywhere. You will get the fruit of the tree you plant. You can’t plant a gum tree and expect mangoes at the end. 

بھینس کے آگے بین بجانا

Romanized Urdu: Bhens key agay been bajana

Literal translation: His mind has gone to graze.

Contextual Meaning: It implies someone who is stubborn and won’t listen. The example used is of a cow who doesn’t listen to music like a flute. It won’t give a reaction if you play the flute in front of it.

بہتی گنگا میں ہاتھ دھونا

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Behti ganga mein hath dhona

Literal translation: Washing hands in running river.

Contextual Meaning: To make use of a favorable situation while it lasts. Ganga (گنگا) refers to a stream. And the example given is washing hands in a flowing stream. As there will come a stream when there won’t be a stream to wash hands so use the opportunity while it lasts.

جتنی چادر ہو اتنا پیر پھیلاو

Romanized Urdu: Jitni chadar ho utnay pair phelao.

Literal translation: Spread your feet according to your veil.

Contextual Meaning: It implies cutting your coat according to your cloth. It refers to doing things according to your financial status. If you don’t have the money to buy something they don’t get it. And get something that you can afford.

جتنے منہ اتنی باتیں

Romanized Urdu: Jitnay moo utni batain

Literal translation: As many mouths as many talks.

Contextual Meaning: It implies something that more mouths will have more talks. It is used to describe people gossiping and telling lies. It can also mean people exaggerating what happened. There is also a message that you should focus on yourself and not what people say about you because people are always going to talk about whatever you do.

جلے پر نمک چھڑکنا

Romanized Urdu: Jalay per namak chirakna.

Literal translation: Rubbing salt on one’s wound.

Contextual Meaning: To make someone feel worse about something or to do something that makes a situation worse. If a person has a wound you don’t put salt on it because it hurts more. It means to attack someone on something he or she already feels bad about and ruin their mood

جو گرجتے ہیں وہ برستے نہیں

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Jo garajtay hain wo barastay nahi

Literal translation: Those who thunder don’t rain

Contextual Meaning: It implies Barking dogs seldom bite. It refers to someone who says a lot but doesn’t do anything. Basically, a person who is all talk no action.

جہاں چاہ وہاں رہ

Romanized Urdu: Jahan chaah wahan raah

Literal translation: Where there is desire there is a way

Contextual Meaning: It is a beautiful proverb that can be interpreted as if you really love something you will find a way. It can be used to describe something you want or maybe someone trying to get a person. Lovers will always find a way to meet. 

جیسا دیس ویسا بھیس

Romanized Urdu: Jesa dais wesa bhais

Literal translation: The kind of country, the kind of outlook

Contextual Meaning: It implies In Rome do as the Romans do. It is used when you are doing something you wouldn’t normally do but you have to because of the situation around you.

جیسا راجا ویسی پرجا

Romanized Urdu: Jesa raja wesi praja

Literal translation: The kind of king, the kind of people

Contextual Meaning: It implies as the King so are the subjects. It is used for people who always blame the government and the system for everything when they themselves are a part of the problem.

جیسے اللہ رکھے اسے کون چکھے

Romanized Urdu: Jisay Allah rakhay usay kon chakhay

Literal translation: Who can taste a person who is kept by Allah.

Contextual Meaning: It implies if Allah wills not, no one can Harm. It is used in conditions where someone is saved by the will of God when there was no other way of saving him. It is also used to describe your trust in God.

جیسی کرنی ویسی بھرنی

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Jesi karni wesi bharni

Literal translation: As you do, you pay

Contextual Meaning: As you reap so shall you sow. It is used for someone who harms another and expects that karma wouldn’t get him. It is also used to describe that you will be treated the same way that you treat others.

دال میں کالا

Romanized Urdu: Daal mein kaala

Literal translation: Black in the grains

Contextual Meaning: It implies More to it than meets the eye. It implies that something is off about the situation. It can also be used to describe a suspicious person.

دودھ کا جلا چھاچھ بھی پھونک کر پیتا ہے

Romanized Urdu: Dudh ka jalla chach bhi phoonk ker peeta hai

Literal translation: A person burnt by milk drinks even the cold milk by blowing on it.

Contextual Meaning: It implies once bitten twice shy. It is used to describe someone who has learned from experience in the past and won’t make the same mistake again. 

دور کے ڈھول سُہانے

Romanized Urdu: Dur key dhol suhanay

Literal translation: The drums from far away sound better.

Contextual Meaning: It implies that the grass is always greener on the other side. It describes a person who envies someone’s success but is completely unaware of their sacrifices. It can also be used to describe someone wanting something and then not liking it when they finally get it. 

دھوبی کا کتا نہ گھر کا نہ گھاٹ کا

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: dhobi ka kutta na ghar ka na ghaat ka

Literal translation: The laundry dog ​​is neither at home nor at the dock

Contextual Meaning: It implies a person trying to be on two sides goes nowhere. It is used to describe a people pleaser who is not loyal to anyone and people won’t trust him.

سانچ کو آنچ نہیں

Romanized Urdu: Sanch ko anch nahi

Literal translation: Pure gold doesn’t melt

Contextual Meaning: It implies Pure gold does not fear the flame. It is used to describe a person who is fearless because he hasn’t done anything wrong. 

لکیر کا فقیر

Romanized Urdu: Lakeer ka fakeer

Literal translation: Beggar of the line

Contextual Meaning: It implies going about the same old beaten path. It describes someone who won’t let go of the old ways or someone who won’t think outside the box. It can also be used to describe someone who gets the task done just to get it done without effort. 

لوہے کے چنے چبانا

Romanized Urdu: Iski aqal ghas charnay ko gai hai.

Literal translation: His mind has gone to graze.

Contextual Meaning: It implies a Hard nut to crack. To make someone pay for something by giving them an impossible or hard task. It can also be used to describe making someone’s life hard.

مان نہ مان میں تیرا مہمان

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Iski aqal ghas charnay ko gai hai.

Literal translation: His mind has gone to graze.

Contextual Meaning: It implies getting involved without having. The example used is of an unwanted guest who you have to take care of regardless of the fact that you did not invite them over.

ناچ نہ جانے آنگھن ٹیڑھا

Romanized Urdu: Iski aqal ghas charnay ko gai hai.

Literal translation: His mind has gone to graze.

Contextual Meaning: It implies A poor worker blames his tools. The example used is of a bad dancer who blames his bad performance on other attributes other than his talent. 

چار دن کی چاندنی پھر اندھیری رات

Romanized Urdu: chaar din ki chandni phir andheri raat

Literal translation: Moonlight of nine days followed by a dark night

Contextual Meaning: It implies a nine days wonder. It is used when someone’s life gets a little easier like on a vacation but then it’s the same boring job and routine after that. 

چور کی داڑھی میں تنکا

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: chor ki daahri mein tinka

Literal translation: a lining in the thief’s beard

Contextual Meaning: It implies that one is afraid of his/her crime. It is used for a person who is nervous and says something that doesn’t make sense or relates to the crime.

چھوٹا منہ بڑی بات

Romanized Urdu: chota moo bari baat

Literal translation: Smaller mouth, bigger talk

Contextual Meaning: To talk big without having a big position. It is used when someone is talking about big things when he is not in the place to talk like that. It is also used by a person when he is being humble before saying something in front of his boss or someone of a higher rank than him.

ڈوبتے کو تنکے کا سہارا

Romanized Urdu: Dubte to tinke ka shara

Literal translation: drowning man catches a straw.

Contextual Meaning: It is used to describe a person who appreciates any help he can get. The same way that a drowning person would do anything to save himself.

کر برا تو ہوئے برا

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: kar bura tou hoye bura

Literal translation: If you do bad, bad happens

Contextual Meaning: It implies doing evil and looking for like. It is used when someone does something bad and something bad happens to him too. 

کھسیانی بلی کھمبا نوچے

Romanized Urdu: khisiyani bili khamba nochay

Literal translation: A mad cat scratches the pole

Contextual Meaning: It implies showing anger after getting embarrassed. In this idiom, a cat is described as scratching a pole because it is not able to catch the mice. 

کہاں راجہ بھوج کہاں گنگوتیلی

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: kahan raja bhoj, kahan ganguteli

Literal translation: Where is Raja Bhoj, where is Gangotili

Contextual Meaning: It implies something big difference in status or class. It is an old proverb of the days when there was caste discrimination in India and someone from a lower caste was not allowed to sit with someone from a higher cast.

گھر کا بھیدی لنکا ڈھائے

Romanized Urdu: ghar ka bheaidi lanka dhaye

Literal translation: Destroy the secret Lanka of the house

Contextual Meaning: It implies division is the main reason for the damage. The example given is of a family member who damages his own home. When someone is responsible for the damage done to their own company or home/family

ہاتھ کنگن کو آرسی کیا

Urdu proverbs

Romanized Urdu: Hath kangan ko aarsi kya

Literal translation: The hand braced the bracelet.

Contextual Meaning: It implies that evidence does not need proof. Arsi آرسی means mirror. It means that someone who is wearing bracelets lined with mirrors does not need a mirror to show their wealth. It dates back to when the rich families of India sued to wear big bracelets lined with mirrors. 

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