Proverb for calling people out

Context & Background:

An example of a proverb used to make fun of people or call people out. Translated from Hindi to English. Informant – collector’s father. 

Performance: (in person)

Proverb: “Naach Na Ai, Aangan Teda”


Naach: dance

Na: not

Ai: know 

Aagna: floor/courtyard

Teda: uneven/slanted

Translation: Don’t know dance, then the floor is slanted.  

Explanation: If you don’t know how to dance, you blame it on the dance floor. You don’t admit to not knowing, you just blame it on someone else. Basically blaming your bad dancing to the uneven dance floor, not your faulty skills.     


This proverb is used to call people out on their bluffs. It is often used with children when they blame someone else for a mistake they’ve made. An example of a situation where this proverb can be used is when a dad tries to fix the plumbing, and isn’t able to because he doesn’t know how to do it, but blames it on tools he has or the materials he has. In that case, the mom would say – “Naach Na Ai, Aangan Teda.” Based on a true story. This proverb comes from the big dance culture in North India and dance is present during festivals, which there are a lot of. So incorporating dance into a proverb seems natural.