> A male child, though small, is yet like a small barracuda that braces against the flowing stream.
The small barracuda (mersaod, a small ai) can be seen bracing, without apparent motion, against the stream, usually where fresh water flows into the lagoon, or where tide water runs off the reef, until suddenly it dashes into the stream to grab a small fish. Then it retreats once more to its place of watchfulness. This watchful, quiet, reserved, almost crafty approach to life is much admired, and parents will encourage their male children with this saying.
> Water is without cost.
Palauans bathe frequently; many will not miss a daily bath if at all possible. Bathing places are usually widened areas, natural or artificial (some elaborately paved with stone) in fresh-water streams. The phrase simply reminds another, probably a reluctant child, that he should bathe.
> Firebrand politics extinguished with water.
In a sense this is a response to "Fire brand politics," but it appears to be a fully developed technique none the less. It involves responding to anger with quiet calm and kind words. If it has a character of its own it would be called compromise. Buying the opponent off is approved. J. Useem names this strategy, but was perhaps unaware of the wider significance, For him the phrase pertained to "a small time official who use his authority for his own benefit but shrewdly avoids being detected by superiors." I think that most Palauan political leaders would agree that any political tactitian,knowingly using the strategy of his training, would expect to accomplish as much.
> Estuary water
Water of the estuary (toach) is mixed sea and fresh water, therefore neither. Hence a person who is indecisive
> A thing of water.
Soft or easy, like water. "It is easy."