It is observable that in many of the works done on Yoruba proverbs, a common thread runs through them. The emphasis in these works has often been on listing and translating or mere listing in the original. In some others, the forms the uses and annotation of some proverbs were examined.
However, no systematic research has been carried out on the themes, functions and poetic devices of Yoruba proverbs. Ondo is one of the largest ethnic groups in Yoruba land and shares a good number of the proverbs in the anthology of Yoruba proverbs. In spite of this expected similarity, it is pertinent to observe that Ondo has her own sui generis. She has proverbs that are distinct, unique and germane to her but which have neither been systematically collected nor documented and whose themes, functions and poetic devices have not been examined through disciplined and systematic research. It is in the light of this gap that this study was undertaken to collect, document, translate and examine some of the salient features of Ondo proverbs (owe) with special emphasis on their themes, functions and poetic devices. According to a Malian proverb “when an old man dies, it is like setting a whole library on fire and burning it down.”
D‘ omaiton baa n‘aso b‘agba, o da n‘ akisa b‘ agba i?
If child has cloth like adult he can have rags like adult.
To i ti da ma a te o we da n‘owo a‘a nen i.
One has one‘s own hand in order to avoid shame or disgrace.
Agboju l‘ogun m‘aa e ghun ‘ya je.
He who depends on heritage will suffer.
Atelewo ‘nen ee tan nen je.
One‘s palm does not deceive one.
To i da ma juya o we da ya ma juya ‘fa i.
One struggles in order not to suffer.
Uka owo onen o sayo i.
One‘s finger is satisfaction.
Da mu‘a s‘use da ma s‘apama eyin
One should work hard so that one will not regret in future.
Owo ye s‘use e le jeun
The hand that does not work must not eat.
Oj‘ ole igbad‘e gbo i
Corn matures in the presence of a lazy man.
O ko‘se m‘upe, e m‘upe buuku e m‘upe i ye.
A lazy man cannot discern a good call from a bad one.
Ole b‘owuo ku.
A lazy man wastes his morning but struggles when it is too late.
Apoti ole ee wowo
A lazy man‘s box is never heavy.
Ole du la ghun
One cannot work hard for the purpose of enriching a lazy man because he will eventually mismanage and waste the wealth
L‘uoka gb‘uoka, owo ole do fifo.
The owner of the ring collects his ring the lazy man regrets.
Onen gb‘oju l‘ogun, m‘a‘a e ghon si ta.
He who depends on heritage will suffer or will inherit poverty.