> 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.
> Collecting feathers
From the folktale about the origin of kite-flying in Palau: the inventor, Mesubed Dingal, while out fishing, lost his wife to kidnappers; he fashioned a kite in the shape of a frigate bird (kedam) using feathers collected from all the birds of Palau, then used this to go in search of his wife. The idiom applies to one who borrows freely.
> Like the chelechelui [fish].
The chelechelui fish reputedly resists rotting when cooked, remaining firm long after other fish would be soft and rotten. The saying implies mature persistence.
> Like coconut water, passing from darkness to darkness.
Water, drunk from a coconut, passes from the dark of the nut to the dark of the mouth. Some discussions, such as those of village leaders, are secretively passed from mouth to mouth without public discussion.
> Like coconut syrup.
A general reference to incestuous relations. That this is a recent idiom, probably first used during the period of Japanese administration, is suggested by the Japanese word "ameyu," used in Palau to mean coconut syrup. The incident from which the idiom derives is said to be one in which a Palauan coconut-syrup maker had relations with his wife's sister.