> Like the honey bee, celebrating without first boiling down the coconut syrup.
Once coconut syrup, dripping from the cut flower stem, is collected it is thickened
by boiling. The honeybee, however, collects his nectar, puts it in the hive without boiling
it, then proceeds to fly around noisily as though celebrating the completed task.
Hence, to talk or boast loudly about successes and accomplishments when one has none;
to make plans but never carry them out; to celebrate without cause.
> He's like Chelebesoi of Ngeriil, dead in a fishtrap not his own.
A man named Chelebesoi (also the name of a fish) was robbing another man's fish trap when a head-hunting party came by and removed his head. He lost both his head and his reputation. The idiom may apply to one who gets hurt while trying to do someone else's job.
> Like Kerosene, poling his canoe with no obvious destination
Under the German administrator Winkler before World War I, a Palauan named Ngirakerisil (Mr. Kerosene) was employed as a canoe operator. Daily he would take the tireless administrator to a different part of Palau to inspect the various economic programs (largely coconut planting) instituted by the now legendary Winkler. The operator, least of all, could predict where they would be going next. The idiom is applied to any aimless person or action; indecision; a changeable person.
> An ukall tree won't become a titimel tree.
i.e., a child will resemble its father; human nature will not change. The ukal, a lumber tree, resembles the titiml, a fruit bearing tree, at least to the extent that both are trees and become quite large. Both have assets but are quite different. The idiom is applied in the sense that a child resembles its father and will become what its father was. It may also be used to mean "human nature can't be changed."
> Without looking afield, it was cut down behind the house.
From the folk tale concerning Mesubed Dingal, the inventor of the Palauan kite (see also No. 73). After his wife had been kidnapped, he constructed a kite using feathers from all the birds of Palau and he needed also wood from an Edebsungel tree to fashion the body of the bird-kite. After looking all over Palau and being on the point of giving up, he found the tree he needed behind his own house. The saying may be applied to anyone who does things the hard way, or who goes far afield to find something which is close at hand.