Proverb – Tamil (India)

Yaanaikkum Adi Sarukkum

Even elephants do slip.

I got this proverb from my informant who has always said this to me when I was young. She got this proverb from her great-grandfather who used to tell her this to her whenever she got a bad grade in her exams. The proverb in literal translation means Even elephants do slip. Metaphorically it means that even the might slip and make mistakes at times.

When I was young my informant used to tell me this proverb too. Here is a sample conversation of when my mother used to tell me this proverb:

Me: Mom I lost in basketball today I never loose in basketball!

Informant: Don’t worry, you will win next time.

Me: But mom I never loose.

Informant: Ashwin, Yaanaikkum Adi Sarukkum.

I think that this proverb has a lot of importance in my life, as it was passed down many generations. Whenever I fail at something that I wasn’t supposed to I always think back to this proverb and assure myself that not everyone becomes successful at everything. This proverb was probably conjured by the famous Tamil poet Bharityar. He lived in the early 20th century and was a famous poet who thought of a lot of proverbs in the Tamil language. He is the Shakespeare to the language of Tamil. In conclusion, I think that this proverb is very meaningful and has a lot to it which will surely be passed down from generation to generation.