Thoughts Of My Own


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Well, this blog hasn’t been updated in awhile. Reason being, I’ve starting working as an intern for the first time in my life and it’s draining me of my energy. Alright, it’s not that bad. I love it there. No, really, I do.

Another excuse reason is that I’ve created another blog where I can put in all of my thoughts and personal experiences instead of filling it here. So this blog can be purely ironies of phrases, proverbs and idioms from now on 🙂

I’ve got a couple of entries up on there already.
Feel free to read and judge away!
Cause that’s what the internet is all about, isn’t it?

Judge away here —–>


& A



Malay Proverbs Translated


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Ever since I was seven, I was taught in schools about peribahasa (“proverb” in the Malay language) as it was vital to score extra marks in my karangan (“essay”). So everyone resorted to memorizing numerous Malay proverbs and idiom to get that extra marks allocated for using some phrases smartly. Of course, most of us used that few common ones that everyone knows of.

Then I went into secondary school and we were encouraged to not use the simple ones. So we resorted to memorizing another set of newer and trickier ones. Once in awhile, we’d try to act smart and use one obsolete proverb and ended up misunderstanding it thus having that whole paragraph wrong.
That wasn’t fun at all.

For me, I’ve always had a harder time with Malay proverbs. English proverbs, no problem; but the ones in the Malay language seem to always confuse me. Give me an English proverb that I’ve never heard of and ask me define it, I’ll be able to get the main idea right. Give me a Malay proverb I’ve never heard of, I’d usually be way off point. Don’t get me wrong, I converse and understand Malay well. Not the best but I’d say I’m good.

So, in this post I want to bring up famous Malay proverbs and attempt to translate it directly and also find for a similar proverb in English. Here it goes…

Sediakan payung sebelum hujan
Direct Translation (DT): Prepare the umbrella before it rains.
English Proverb (EP): Prevention is better than cure

Air yang tenang jangan disangka tiada buaya
DT: Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm
EP: Still waters run deep

Bertepuk sebelah tangan, tidak akan berbunyi
DT: Clapping with the right hand only will not produce a noise
EP: It takes two to tango

Tong kosong nyaring bunyinya
DT: A fool is like the drum that beats fast but does not realize its hollowness
EP: Empty vessels make the most noise

Sikit-sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit
DT: Bit by bit, in the end it becomes a hill
Sehari selembar benang, lama-lama menjadi kain
DT: Everyday a thread, soon a cloth
EP: Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

Seperti kera kena belacan
DT: Like a monkey who eats belacan (chilli)
EP: Like a cat on hot bricks

Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung
DT: On which soil we stand on, that is where we carry the weight of the sky.
Masuk kandang kambing mengembik, masuk kandang kerbau menguak
DT: Enter a goat’s shed, you bleat; enter a buffalo’s shed, you moo
EP: When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Tanam lalang tak akan tumbuh padi
DT: If you plant grass, you won’t get rice
EP: You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear

Sambil berdiang nasi masak
DT: While toasting, cook the rice
Sambil Menyelam Minum Air
DT: While diving, drink water
EP: Killing two birds with one stone

Sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga
DT: After Falling, The ladder falls on you.
Terlepas dari mulut buaya, masuk ke mulut harimau
DT: Escaped from a crocodile’s mouth, enter a tiger’s mouth
EP: It never rains but it pours

Diberi betis hendak paha
DT: Calf is given, but then thigh is requested.
EP: Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile

Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke tanah juga
DT: No matter how high the squirrel jumps, it will eventually fall onto the ground.
EP: Curses, like chickens, come home to roost

Diam-diam ubi berisi, diam-diam besi berkarat
DT: The Potato grows in silence, The iron corrodes in silence.
EP: Speech is silver, silence is golden

Jika tidak dipecahkan ruyung, manakan dapat sagunya
DT: You can’t get at the precious sago without first breaking the bark.
EP: You can’t make bricks without straw

Ukur baju dibadan sendiri
DT: Measure your coat on your body.
EP: Cut your coat according to your cloth

Bagaimana acuan begitulah kuihnya
DT: How the mould is, that’s how the cake turns out
EP: Like father like son

Minyak setitik di laut timbul juga
DT: Because of a drop of blue dye, a whole pot of milk is contaminated.
EP: One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel
(Thank you for helping, Ana!)

For these proverbs, they translate directly into English Proverbs. That means both English and Malay have the same proverb using the exact words!

Bersatu teguh, bercerai roboh
United we stand, divided we fall

Nasi sudah menjadi bubur
It’s no use crying over spilt milk

Di mana ada kemahuan, di situ ada jalan
When there’s a will, there’s a way

Kata periuk belanga hitam
The pot calls the kettle black

Biar lambat asalkan selamat
Better late than never

As for these, I could not find the English proverb. I know there’s a similar one out there but I can’t seem to think of it now. If you know, do let me know in the comments below and I will add!

Hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih
DT: If you want something, you’ll do a thousand things to obtain it. But if you don’t want something, you’ll give a thousand excuses to refrain from it.

Seperti kacang lupakan kulit
DT: Like the peanut, who forgets its shell.

Lembu punya susu, sapi dapat nama
DT: Milk belongs to the cow, but the bull cow gets the publicity.

Hutang emas boleh dibayar, hutang budi dibawa mati
DT: One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.

Harimau mati meninggalkan belang, manusia mati meninggalkan nama
DT: Tigers die and leave their stripes, but humans die leaving their names.

Melentur buluh biarlah daripada rebungnya
DT: To bend a bamboo, start when it is a shoot.

Semut mati kerana gula
DT: Ants die in sugar.

Ada gula ada semut
DT: Where there is sugar, there are bound to be ants.

If you know of anymore similar Malay and English proverb or even another language, comment down below!
Terima kasih!

Eating Proverbs


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Today, I highlight three proverbs that are a foodie’s nightmare, which I am. I love food, all kinds of food and I have to say, I eat a lot. However these proverbs are probably what I should practice; to eat less. I’m not saying to not eat or to skip a meal, just make that portion smaller because chances are, you are like me and you love to eat too.

A famous proverb, eat to live not live to eat. This one tells us that we should eat to keep alive and not love to indulge our greed. On the other hand, I feel as if we should be able to indulge ourselves in some good comfort food once in awhile. If not, life would be pretty boring and bland. Well, you know what they say; all work and no play make Jack a dull boy!

Another similar proverb would be the eye is bigger than the belly. This means that the visual appeal of food makes us eat even when we have no appetite. And here’s another problem of mine, anything that looks delicious makes me hungry and this I’m sure I am not alone in this. Food can really make one hungry even right after having a meal.

For those who’d want to be healthier, here’s one that might help, enough is as good as a feast. This means moderation is ultimately more satisfying than excess. Of course, one should never gorge themselves. Instead, you should stop eating once you feel full and take smaller portions but many.

Well, there you go, three complementing and similar proverbs.
Let me know in the comments if there are any more similar proverbs, or better yet, any contradicting one.
All these talk of eating and food is making me hungry.
I’m off to eat!

Witty Chiasmus


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A couple of months ago I had come across this very interesting article about chiasmus. Some of you must be wondering what chiasmus is. You probably know what it is but did not know there was a name for it. Well, that was what I thought. Chiasmus is words that are skillfully repeated in reverse order to express an idea or opinion which are often entertaining and witty.

Now, before I go on, I would like to give credit to the original writer of this article I read from, Tan Ling Suan. I found this article via a local newspaper, The Star ( in the English section “Mind Our English”. I have been an avid reader of this section ever since I started reading the newspaper (which was probably when I was 10 years old). They highlight many common mistakes in the English Language, numerous idioms and proverbs, the infamous Manglish slang (Malaysian-English) and occasionally little-known things like these chiasmus. This writer had written an article on chiasmus and I just had to share it. You can read the original article here and here.

The chiasmi that were featured were so witty and I love wit. They make you think twice about it and how it is so very true and smart that words can be twisted to complement itself. A very commonly heard chiasmus would be One should eat to live, not live to eat by Cicero. However that is just a needle in a needlestack, as I found out there are so many more fascinating ones out there!

A few that I’ve found which seem to interest me;
Quitters never win and winners never quit.
– Unknown

It’s not the men in my life, it’s the life in my men.
– Mae West

I’d rather be looked over than overlooked.
– Mae West

Each success brings with it the potential failure and each failure brings with it the potential of success.
– John F. Kennedy

If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do, you are misinformed.
– Mark Twain

In peace sons bury their fathers, but in wars fathers bury their sons.
– Croesus

And my personal favourite would have to be Some cause happiness wherever they go; other whenever they go by Oscar Wilde because it’s true and I can relate to it in my life. 🙂

These are the ones that were featured by the writer;
*it’s a lot, so sit back and be ready to be amused!*

Charm is a woman’s strength just as strength is a man’s charm.
(Havelock Ellis)

Content makes poor people rich; discontent makes rich people poor.
(Benjamin Franklin)

A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough.
(Benjamin Franklin)

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.
(John G. Diefenbaker)

It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.
(Robert G. Ingersoll)

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
(Robert Byrne)

Think like a man of action; act like a man of thought.
(Henri Bergson)

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.
(Jimi Hendrix)

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
(John F Kennedy)

My great concern is not whether God is on my side; my concern is to be on God’s side.
(Abraham Lincoln)

It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
(Abraham Lincoln)

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
(Winston Churchill)

The instinct of a man is to pursue everything that flies from him, and to fly from all that pursues him.

The two most engaging powers of an author, are, to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.
(Dr Samuel Johnson)

Never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you.
(A book title by Dr Mardy Grothe)

An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh.

In infancy we learn to wrinkle our faces; in old age we learn to face our wrinkles.

It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

What’s right isn’t always popular; what’s popular isn’t always right.

The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavour upon the business known as gambling.
(Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary)

I have discovered that people with money have no imagination, and people with imagination have no money.
(Simone Weil)

The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.
(Peter de Vries)

But many that are first, shall be last; and the last, shall be first.
(Jesus, the Bible, Matthew 7:6)

Rivals on Court, Friends Otherwise


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This is another non-phrase related blog post, but because of tonight’s World Badminton Championship Men’s Singles Final between the top 2 players in the world, I’d like to write about it.

Tonight, my country, Malaysia has once again united and supported one of our national sports hero, Datuk Lee Chong Wei. He faced China’s top badminton player and defending title holder, Lin Dan.

I will admit that I am biased against Lin Dan as I am a Malaysian and I fully support and love Chong Wei. However, this post is not to go against him but to point out the friendship that these two players have for each other. On court, they play against each other and fight for the title but outside, they are friends. They even invited each other to their own weddings recently! Tonight’s game just proves that again.

Chong Wei and Lin Dan

Chong Wei and Lin Dan

I managed to only catch the third set of the game. Chong Wei (which I will now refer to as LCW) had a pretty good lead on Lin Dan (LD), but LD came back on full force at the tenth point. From then on, it was neck and neck until LD put in a five point lead at 19. LCW managed to catch up and at his 16th point, LCW fell to knees because of leg cramps. He could barely stand up but managed to pull himself to the sides for a rest. It was painful to watch him suffer those leg cramps. After seeking some medical help from paramedics there, he got up and went back on court, looking very much in pain. The whole stadium could be heard cheering for LCW although this game was set in China where majority were LD’s supporters.

He continued playing two rounds of which he won one, before collapsing down on his knees again. This time, looking much worse than before. The current score was 20-17 and this went on to become the final score. What really had me respecting LD was when he walked across to the other side of the court to check on LCW who could no longer stand.

Lin Dan checking on Chong Wei

Lin Dan checking on Chong Wei


Medical help came again and after much deliberation, LCW managed to stand up and walk over to the divider towards LD and retired from the game. At this point, I could no longer care for the game or title. I only wished for LCW’s health and recovery.

Chong Wei retiring from the game

Chong Wei retiring from the game

LCW then had to be escorted out via a stretcher as he was in a lot of pain. The friendship of these two badminton legends came into play again when LD, after going around the court celebrating his fifth world title, went over to LCW and helped carried him onto the stretcher. So there, their rivalry lasted only for the game. I applaud LD and LCW for they are both great badminton players, but I will always back LCW in badminton games.

LCW carried out on a stretcher

LCW carried out on a stretcher

Also, I’d just like to add this little tweet I sent out earlier. 🙂

Twitter   adrienneyong  Congrats Lin Dan  you just ...

*Neck and neck
Very close or equal

Disclaimer: All photos are not mine (except for the tweet photo) and are credited to the original article I found it from via links I’ve attached to the photo.

Mum’s The Word


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Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful women out there with children!
And to the most beautiful mother of all in my eyes, MY MOTHER!
Today’s entry in this blog is for all you mothers out there
…and my lovely readers too, of course!

Ever thought about the phrase ‘Mum’s the word’ and its meaning?
I did.
I have always thought it was telling you that mothers are the most important person in the world.

Well they are. However, that meaning is just how some people market it as.

The real meaning behind this phrase can be traced back to centuries ago. ‘Mum’ sounds like the expression ‘mmm’, as if you were making a sound with your lips sealed, which is trying to say; ‘Mmm’s the word’. That translates to keep silent and to not say anything.

In the play Henry VI, Part 2 by William Shakespeare, he uses this phrase in Act 1, Scene 2;

“Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.”

Of course, in this post I don’t want you to keep silent. In fact, I want YOU to go up to YOUR mum or any mums out there and wish her a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY and to tell her how much YOU LOVE HER! That’s right! Even if she’s not your mother, she’s still a mother and she is wonderful in her own way.

For everyone out there, mother or not, here are some great proverbs and quotes celebrating mothers;

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

Oscar Wilde

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best but his other the longest.

Irish proverb

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.

Jewish proverb

A mother understands what a child does not say.

Jewish proverb

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.

Spanish proverb

A man’s work is from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done.

Author unknown

Optimistic Proverbs!


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In conjunction with the recent 13th General Elections in my country, Malaysia, I’d like to apply the recent happenings with a few appropriate proverbs here.

To those outside of Malaysia who is not aware of the current situation, let me enlighten you.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not siding with either party nor am I promoting anyone. I am only writing about what has been going on for the past couple of days. I shall not reveal which party I support to avoid any conflicts and misunderstandings. As you know, political discussions can be very intense.

The current government before the elections is called Barisan Nasional (BN).
The opposition party is a collaboration of three parties, Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) which form the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or in English, the People’s Alliance.

On May 5th 2013, the polling was held all over the country. Official reports state that 80% of the registered voters turn up to cast their votes. This was the highest percentage ever. Well done, Malaysia!

After the polling time ended, the votes were counted. So happens that in four states, the power was suddenly cut off. Now before the power went out, the opposition party was leading in the vote count. However when the power was finally restored, the majority of the votes went to BN. Nevertheless, people started to wonder and many stories popped up. Thus came the story how BN manipulated the votes in those states where reports of new ballot boxes appearing everywhere with votes in BN’s favour. By 1am on the next day, it was officially announced that BN has won the elections and will retain the government.

People everywhere started to take it to social medias to complain and voice out about what had happened. It had even triggered a trend of changing their Facebook profile photo to a black background to signify the ‘blackout’ and to protest. Students in various campus also gathered to wear black T-shirts to silently protest. A ‘Silent Walk’ flash mob in shopping complexes was held the very next day.

Again, I would like to remind you that I am only writing about what has been going around and the reactions that had taken place.

To the supporters of the opposition party, I have a few words for you;
the darkest hour is that before the dawn. PR may not have won these elections but there is always another one in 5 years time. When circumstances cannot get any worse, a turn for the better will not be long. Meanwhile, take these five years to better yourself and get stronger for the next one.

Know that tomorrow is another day. You keep living, keep trying and keep improving. Do not allow present troubles to defeat you, for tomorrow brings the hope of better things.

Also, remember that hope springs eternal in the human breast. You might not have heard that before, it means to have optimistic expectations for the future is part of man’s nature. So be yourself!

To the supporters of BN;
please do not gloat and make fun of anyone else. Let’s keep this elections as humane as possible. You may celebrate but do understand that there are different people with different opinions.

To everyone;
try to not make matters worse and take it in with an open mind. Do not go to conclusions without further clarifying the situation.

With that, I hope for a better future for Malaysia.
BN has won, I hope they fulfill their promises of a better nation.