Proverbs are the little gems of advice that are passed down from one generation to the next. They are stated in a poetic mode so as to make us think a little about what we do.

Here Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises thought we would share some of the Jamaican proverbs and explain them.

For a start, here is one that might be good after arriving from a long flight from Europe: Big blanket mek man sleep late, or woman for that matter. What it means is this: Too many luxuries makes a person complacent, which is not such a bad thing if you are on holiday or on vaction!

Then, perhaps this is some advice for all those planning on buying souvenirs. Non buy puss in a bag. This means of course, that you shouldn’t buy a cat in the bag, or you should check what you are planning to buy carefully before you pull your money out. This advice, of course, goes for anywhere in the world.


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The person that is always ready to help another might say, “Wan han wash de odder”. This means one hand washes the other, which of course means one good turn deserves another.

If you are planning on traveling around Jamaica then you may hear, “Payshent man ride danki,” which translates as the patient man or woman rides a donkey. The inner meaning is that even if the donkey is slow it may be more reliable than a faster ride. More like slow and stead wins the race.

One of our favorites, if you are planning a visit to Dunn’s River Falls would be “rack stone a river battam cyan feel sun hot.” Of course the rock under water won’t feel the hot sun. Or, we cannot know how someone else feels unless we feel it ourselves. In other words, it reminds us of that one about walking in someone else’s shoes so that you will be able to understand them.


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Remember that when saving up for your next holiday Every mickle mek a muckle, or every little bit adds up, and then another one meaning just about the same involves coconuts. One one coco full basket, or little by little you will achieve your objective.

Here is a good one to finish with: Good frien’ betta dan packet money. A good friend is better than money in the pocket.

All of these proverbs were taken from the The National Library of Jamaica page on proverbs. If you would like so see more go here .