Tuesday, May 16, 2017


78.  Bulan jatuh ke riba
The moon falls into one’s lap

Unexpected good fortune. In luck’s way. Having all your Christmases come at once.

79.  Biar putih tulang 
jangan putih mata

Let the bones turn white but not the eyes

Death before dishonor. (White bones signify death. 
White eyes suggest, cowardice, shame, or disgrace.)

80.  Gigi dengan lidah 
ada kalanya tergigit juga
The teeth sometimes bite the tongue

Even the best of friends sometimes have fallings-out and hurt each other. 
Treat a friend as if he might become a foe.

81.  Hidung tak mancung, 
pipi tersorong-sorong
The nose isn’t pointed, but the cheeks are prominent
Originally an allusion to the unseemly behavior of a forward woman (symbolized by the cheeks) before an unwilling suitor (the flat nose). A more domesticated interpretation suggests: “Don’t stick your nose into affairs beyond your comprehension.”

82.  Jauh di mata dekat di hati
Far from view but close to heart

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

83.  Kudung dapat cincin
A man with no hands receives a ring

A waste of resources (not to mention adding insult to injury).

84.  Menarik rambut di dalam tepung (rambut tak putus, 
tepung tak berserak)

Easy as pulling a strand of hair out of flour 
(the hair doesn’t break and the flour is undisturbed)

A simple operation, easy as pie. At least, in theory.

85.  Potong hidung rosak muka

Cut off your nose and ruin your face

One who slanders his family discredits himself. And vice versa. 
Cutting off your nose to spite your face. 
(A warning to would-be investigative journalists?)

86.  Telunjuk lurus, kelengkeng berkait
The forefinger is straight,
 but the little finger is crooked

There may be more than meets the eye. Check the fine print.

87.  Tunduk kepala, 
bukan minta dipijak
I bow my head respectfully,
 I’m not inviting you to step on it

Deference without servility. Acknowledgement of rank need not cause a loss
 of self-respect. “I refuse to be treated like dirt,” said the earth.

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