Proverb of the day:The worm wanted to imitate the snake, it stretched and fell apart

Ahram Online , Saturday 30 May 2015

The worm wanted to imitate the snake, it stretched and fell apart

snake
Photo: AP

  جت الدودة تقلد التعبان إتمطعت قامت انقطعت

Gat el douda teqalled el te‘ban etmatta‘et qamet enqata‘et

.Translation: The worm wanted to imitate the snake, it stretched and fell apart.

Meaning: It is risky to imitate people with better resources or skills than you. The proverb resembles the English saying about being too big for one’s breeches. It is not very much in use, perhaps because of its wordiness, although it has a comical quality that can be quite entertaining.

Source: Egyptian Proverbs, (Al-Ahram Center for Translation and Publishing, 1986) by Ahmed Taymour Pasha,

Translated by: Nabil Shawkat

 

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