> That man is like a duck.
The native duck, debar, doesn't fly very well, or high like other birds, it doesn't walk or run like some animals, it can't sing well, and it doesn't swim as well as a fish. But it can do all these things. Applied to a person who seemingly can do many different things, none of them expertly. "Jack of all trades."
> Like the man of Ngerechemai, who lost his turtle and lost his canoe.
Relates to a fisherman who jumped from his canoe to catch a turtle only to find that his canoe had drifted beyond recovery. Applies to any situation where a person fails at a task, or, aptly, to a situation where a man, through his own foolishness, loses both his wife and his mistress.
> Like a man circumcised, insufficient skin.
Circumcision seems to have been known in Palau prior to contact, perhaps through contact with the Philippines, but was not widely practiced. As in this context, it usually draws attention in the form of ridicule. The idiom applies to any circumstance in which there has been insufficient preparation or planning; a premature decision.
> It's like when the men of Ngesias clamored over what they had lost (after a party of raiders had attacked without warning and taken a head as a trophy).
The men of the Ngesias (Peleliu) village club were sitting near their clubhouse one evening when raiders broke through the brush, shouted wildly, and excaped with the head of one of them. When they recovered their senses, the men jumped to their spears and shouted threats into the darkness of the surrounding brush. Aroused by the commotion, the village chief appeared and ,when appraised of the situation, admonished them to be quiet since the fuss would gain nothing. "Don't cry over spilt milk."
> This liver is shark.
A blind man lived with his wife and son at Ngetmel (in Ngerechelong, northern Palau). Since he was blind, his wife and son would often fool him. For one thing, she would leave him in charge of their prize piece of money, indicating its hiding place, when she left for work in the gardens. But before she left she would hide it in another place. One day when he was alone, his brother came to visit and to help around the house. The blind man asked him to gather some wood for a fire so he could warm himself. The brother did so and left. While the man warmed himself, he found, to his surprise, that he could see a little. The following day, with his improved sight, he found out about the money deception and located the real hiding place of the money. Once more his brother visited, and the blind man asked what wood he had used in the fire. The wood was driftwood and he had his brother build another fire. Again his sight improved and he was so pleased that he invited his brother to stay and help himself to some ray-fish liver. The brother looked at the liver and told the man that it was not ray-fish but shark liver. With this the man realized that he had really been deceived, for shark's liver is hardly considered worth eating. Hurt and angered, he told his brother to find the piece of money, pointing out its actual location, and gave it to his brother, saying his wife and son deserved nothing. When the wife came home she at once looked for the money. Unable to find it, she asked her supposedly blind husband about it and, of course, he insisted that she would find it in the place she had pointed out to him, since he had not touched it. Finally she gave up the search and exclaimed: "It simply isn't here." To this he replied: "This liver is shark." The saying may be used when one has discovered another's deception or when a person faces a very frustrating or defeating situation.