primary authors: Soneath Hor, Sody Lay and Visna Sann
  others contributors: Bunreth Hor, Sinuon Mey, Navy Phim and Vathany Say

  The affection is gone, but the woman remains.
Admonition for men to be cautious with the affection of women.
Too generous a nature makes one poor.

  One with a generous nature will not be poor for long.
Interpretation: Generosity enables you to accumulate merit so that in the future you will have good karma. Taken together with the prior saying, they advise a person to be generous but also do not squander money. Take the middle path between thrift and generosity. The proverb below further illuminates this concept.

  Be generous according to the situation, whether duties are light or heavy, use your judgment; be like the forest deer near the tiger's mouth, acting as if brave, according to the circumstance.
Interpretation: Decide what is appropriate for each unique situation.

  The greedy nature does not care about other's suffering, is unconcerned about anything but materialism; without realizing it, it embraces a pile of bones amounting to over 300 pieces.
Admonition against greed (we're not sure of the significance of "300 pieces").

  There are those who like to speak and take no action, but what kind of result can arise from such an endeavor; they put much reliance on luck and fate, only to discover that they have achieved little.

  It is the nature of the wicked of the world to be sweet only in words and speech - children, both boys and girls, do not imitate such people.

  In the water, crocodiles; on land, tigers.
Similar to "Caught between Scylla and Carybdus." or "Stuck between a rock and a hard place."

  Befriend the wise; do not imitate the wicked.

  Look at the long-term; do not look at the short-term.
Enter a stream at the turn; enter a boat at the port; enter a country according to its customs.
Interpretation: Act appropriately according to the situation. The third phrase is similar to "When in Rome, do as the Romans."

  When walking under the sun, make sure it is at your back; when going near the fire, approach from your front; when going near your boss, use the appropriate channels; you may go to heaven by refuting feelings of anger.

  In the forest are wild beasts, causing you to appeal for others to join you; having sugar and honey, you hide in your home and eat alone.
Reference to a self-centered person.

  Avoid animals with 25 meter long horns; avoid horses with 100 ra long legs; avoid elephants with tusks hundreds of meters long; avoid evil people who have been outcast from their villages.
ra = an ancient unit of measurement

  The banana tree dies when it bears fruit.
When a banana tree has too much fruit it causes the trunk to break killing the plant. Interpretation: ??? perhaps a metaphor for a situation in which someone over-exerts or over-extends themselves?

  Whatever comes from oneself is not yet complete, you must take from others as well, so that whatever you are trying to achieve will be successful, according to your worthy intention.
Interpretation: Listen to the advice of others where appropriate.

  The knowledgeable they call mean; the wise they call stupid. or (they are knowledgeable, you say they are mean; they are wise, you say they are stupid).
Used to admonish an ignorant person for misrepresenting others with whom he or she disagrees.

  When you understand the law, you do not fear lawsuits; when you understand religious rules, you do not fear monks.
Overconfidence impairs your skills.
Wisdom from learning; wealth from seeking; poverty from laziness.

  Know one or two things as long as you know it well, know it thoroughly as an expert; in this way you can support yourself, and relatives will consider you dependable.
Being skilled in ten things is not as good as being expert in one. or (Those who are skilled in ten things...)

  Being knowledgeable you fail to respect the knowledge of others; being skilled you fail to respect the skill of others.
Used to admonish an arrogant person for failing to respect the ability of others.

  Skill cannot defeat will.

  You admittedly have some knowledge but there is still much you do not know, because information can be found in so many forms and varieties as to be immeasurable, do not yet claim that you know everything.
When you have knowledge, have regard for the knowledge of others as well.

  Unusually short in stature, yet you want to reach out to grab a star.
Admonishment against attempting to do something beyond your ability or competency.
You throw out the meat and collect the bones; you discover the bone is hard when you bite down, so you return to look for the meat.
An adage referring to when a person is impetuous and throws out the old to get at the new but later realizes the old was better than the new. May be used in reference to anything, such as a car or a lover.
When the boss has merit, the assistant moves up in rank; when the boss experiences misfortune, the assistant falls into the well.
Interpretation: Your fortune is tied to the people for whom you work. Perhaps implicitly advising that you be cautious who you work for, or that you should work hard for your boss because your fortunes are intertwined.

  If you are wrestling with a monk, why be afraid of touching his head? or (do not be afraid of touching his head).
Interpretations: (1) In wrestling the monk, you have already committed a grave sin. Why then try to observe lesser rules of proper conduct? For example, it would be akin to a corrupt official stealing from the people, then donating part of that money to charity. When you observe rules of conduct, do not just pick and choose which rule you observe, thinking observation of some rules will offset the breach you've committed with others. (2) If you are wrestling a monk, it is perhaps because he has done something improper which prompted your reaction. If this is the case, he is no longer someone who deserves respect and normal rules of proper conduct toward monks no longer apply toward him.

  Many varieties of food will make you eat more; children with many paternal figures will mostly turn out good.
Interpretation: Many varieties of food will make you eat more because you will likely want to sample all the different varieties. The proverb is similar to "It takes a village to raise a child."

  Do not keep tasty food for tomorrow; do not let an attractive wife walk behind you.
Interpretation: Do not keep tasty food for tomorrow, for tomorrow it may become spoilt or consumed by someone else; likewise, an attractive wife should not be neglected as others may express desire for her if her husband does not.

  Regarding those who are wise and educated, go ahead and join in admiration and praise of them; regarding those who lack education and make mistakes, do not ridicule but show them compassion.

  The education and wisdom you have accumulated may be kept as a bounty of treasures; no matter how poor and needy you become, you will be able to find adequate shelter.

  Wisdom rides on your own neck.

  Know something until you are expert; do not try to fake understanding.

  Laws, customs, rules have much meaning; you should study hard to acquire enough understanding to serve as an oar to steer yourself to the banks of success.

  Laws will not win over stubborn evil persons with guns; it is better for us to not get in their way; let the kite fly its course; when it runs out of air, its face will certainly fall.
Of course, "its face will fall" in the literal sense refers to the kite falling; figuratively, it refers both to the person falling on his/her face (failing) as well as the person losing face (reputation).
In squeezing the neck of the Chinese, Khmer tongues stick out.
Interpretation: "squeezing the neck of the Chinese" = taxation on Chinese businesses, causing them to raise their prices; being the consumers, it is "Khmer tongues [that] stick out" - i.e., Khmer consumers who are harmed. Suggestive of the strength and monopolistic nature of Chinese businesses in the Cambodian economy.

  A lot comes from a little, through lots of work; as for saving money, it is like a small creek turned into a large river; it flows back on itself, becoming increasingly larger.

  Metal gives rise to rust, which will always eat the metal in return.
Reference to bad karma - i.e., an evil act will eventually return to harm the individual who instigated it.

  Boulders are heavy in nature, but the divinely patient nature is heavier; listen to advice of the elderly for it is even heavier still. The teaching of the Buddha is especially heavy, beyond imagination, because it transcends the world and is immeasurable.

  Crazy about women, crazy about liquor, crazy about gambling - these are/give rise to disagreeable deeds.

  When a dog bites you, look for its master; when a cow pokes you, look for its overseer.
A dog that barks will never bite; thunder that resounds will never signal rain.
Interpretation: Individuals who make a lot of noise have nothing really to offer.
Wild dog, do not pretend to be king of the lions; common bird, do not pretend to be king of the swans; dumb and ignorant one, do not pretend to be wise; vigorous baku, do not imitate the woodpecker.
A dog that has nowhere to go; waves that cannot go beyond the bank.
Reference to being trapped in a corner or pushed to the limit.

  A dog given food to eat will stay and protect your valuables (military goods should be kept for soldiers, sacred books should be kept for scholars).

  Consuming passion is delicious; consuming words of wisdom even more so.

  Something tasty to the mouth is not as potent as something tasty to the soul.


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