> Like the people of Ngerechelong, standing together on the base of the coconut tree.
The mound or hump that forms at the base of the coconut tree is said to represent the highest ranking village clan. The leader of that clan is spoken of as "standing on the mound." In the idiom, it is suggested that the people of Ngerechelong (northern Palau) would all like to be leaders-all standing on the mound at the same time. The idiom may be applied where too many people try to direct an operation; too many leaders.
> 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.
> Don't be like the man from Ngerchemai who lost both the turtle and the canoe.
Don't bite off more than you can chew...don't be selfish.
> 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.
> 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."