A SHORT LIST OF TURKISH PROVERBS... My notes toward a modest compilation of Turkish proverbs. Mütevazı bir Türk atasözleri derlemesine yönelik notlarım. 02. "A proverb is a traditional saying, which offers advice or presents a moral in a short or pithy manner. As with proverbs of other nations, the Turkish-speaking peoples’ folk philosophy, distinctive regional customs and, above all, the peculiar flavor of their language and phraseology constitute the uniqueness of Turkish proverbs. A close examination of these proverbs reveals observations about men and things, oriental customs and ceremonies, facts of natural history, fragments of poetry, and quaint rhymes, puns, and similes." Nejat Muallimoğlu, The Turkish Delights, A Treasury of Proverbs and Folk Sayings, (New York, 1998).

turkish bard proverbs

The Bard and

his Bağlama









turkish mosque

Selimiye Camii










aegean folk costumes

Folk Costumes









turkish proverbs - title

Doç.Dr. Yalçınİzbul's [Anthropo-Linguistics]


turkish proverbs - title

My notes toward a modest compilation of Turkish Proverbs

copyright01-turkish proverbs copyright02-turkish proverbs 2009

Doç. Dr. Yalçın İzbul,  http://www.ingilizce-ders.com

UYARI: Özgün ve Basım veya İnternet Hakları Telif Yasası Çereçevesinde Saklıdır.

İzinsiz çoğaltılamaz veya İnternette Yayınlanamaz.

turkish proverbs - classified

02: Alçak -- Avcı

turkish proverb016  Alçak yerde yatma sel alır, yüksek yerde yatma yel alır.  transl: Do not sleep on low ground lest a flood wash you away; do not sleep on high ground lest a storm sweep you off.  meaning: Be wise, judicious and provident in your plans and actions; a calculated moderation is the best plan.

turkish proverb017  Al elmaya taş atan çok olur.  transl: It is the red (= ripe and juicy) apple that gets a lot of people throwing stones at it. meaning: Successful people are often a target for envious and slanderous criticism.

turkish proverb018  Alet işler, el öğünür.  meaning: Though it is the hand (=man) that grabs the credit, it is in fact the tool that does the work. This is the inverted way of saying, "A bad workman (always) blames his tools. A poor workman blames his tools."

turkish proverb019  Alışmış kudurmuştan beterdir.  transl: The addict is more desperate and dangerous than the rabid. ("Addiction" here has no special reference to drugs; it merely points to "one who is used to".) A similar proverb says, "Can çıkmayınca huy çıkmaz." meaning: Bents and habits live on till one's dying moment, implying, usually as a negative comment, that it is futile to expect an improvement.

turkish proverb020  Alma mazlumun âhını, çıkar aheste aheste.  transl: Desist from provoking the innocent's malediction; otherwise, your wrongdoing will be visited upon you by and by, slowly but surely.

turkish proverb021  Anasının övdüğü kızla değil, eltisinin övdüğü kızla evlen.  transl: Do not marry the girl whose own mother brags about her; marry the girl whose sister-in-law (husband's brother's wife) speaks highly of her. WARNING: There is no such proverb and indeed one to that effect would be utterly illogical because the "sister-in-law" status comes only after marriage. It might make sense if we spoke of a prospective sister-in-law, i.e., müstakbel eltisinin öveceği.

turkish proverb022  Anlayana sivrisinek saz, anlamayana davul zurna az. transl: Mosquito buzz is music enough to those who (choose to) comprehend; drums and trumpets will not be adequate for those who do not (choose not to) comprehend. equiv: A word to the wise is enough.

turkish proverb023   Araba devrilince yol gösteren çok olur.  transl: So many people show the way after the carriage has already toppled over. (Another version goes, "Kağnı devrilince ..... ." = ox-cart.) meaning: There are always a lot of people offering to show you how to do something properly, but only after a failure or accident has come to pass.

turkish proverb024  Arayan mevlasını da bulur, belasını da.  meaning: One ends up with what one seeks, whether it be good or evil. (I have noticed that this is translated by some as "He that seeks finds." However, the sense is quite different from the Biblical "For every one that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened." The Turkish proverb is normally used as a warning or as an after-judgement in the disapproving sense of "You/He got what you/he deserved.")

turkish proverb025  Armut dibine düşer.  transl: The pear falls straight down to the base of the tree.  equiv: What is bred in the bone will come out in the flesh. Like father, like son. (The Turkish proverb is more often than not used as a comment of disapproval, but sometimes also by way of a father's approval playfully voiced.)

turkish proverb026  Aslan yattığı yerden belli olur.  transl: You can tell a lion from its lair. meaning: How well one cares for and maintains the place where he lives is the real tell-tale account of his habits.

turkish proverb027  Aşağı tükürsen sakal, yukarı tükürsen bıyık.  transl: Spit downwards, but your beard gets in the way; spit upwards, but your moustache is there. equiv: "between Scylla and Charybdis": facing a situation in which one has to choose between two equally disaster-spelling options.

turkish proverb028  Ateş olmayan yerden duman çıkmaz.  (or, Ateş olmayan yerde duman olmaz.)  There is no smoke without fire.  (Precisely the reason why libel laws should exist to protect hard-won reputations: There are always people who are ready to believe that "There is no smoke without fire.")

turkish proverb029   Atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti.  (colloq: "Ohooo! Atı alan (çoktaaan) Üsküdar'ı geçti.") Shown in several sources as the Turkish equivalent of "It's no use closing the stable door after the horse has bolted." However, the Turkish proverb basically says, "It is too late to do anything about it; you have missed your chance because you have tarried too long." Thus, the emphasis is on "a chance missed due to procrastination" rather than "a mishap due to lack of sufficient precautions".

turkish proverb030  Avcı ne kadar hile bilirse, ayı da o kadar yol bilir.   i.e. The bear knows as many means of escape as the multitude of tricks that the hunter knows.

turkish proverbs - pageend

http://www.ingilizce-ders.com yalçın izbul e-mail

Doç. Dr. Yalçın İzbul, http://www.ingilizce-ders.com

turkish proverbs - pageend

turkish proverbs - 01      turkish proverbs - index page      turkish proverbs - 03















folk dances thrace

Folk Dancers












turkish proverbs - 05

Ancient Ephesus











turkish proverbs - 06

Bridging over The Bosphorus





ingilizce eğitim seti

pratik ingilizce


pratik ingilizce

kpds seti



The Turkish word for a proverb, atasozu means "grandfather's sayings," or "words," or "elder's words." "In Turkey no conversation takes place without one or more proverbs being mentioned, and it is amazing to see the influence they have on an audience; as soon as a proverb is recited all heads nod in approval and all arguments cease, a suffering or loss becomes bearable and even death loses its sting, for proverbs embody the crystal truth found by long and painful experience, and even though it may sometimes be bitter, it is an acceptable form." Nejat Muallimoğlu, The Turkish Delights, A Treasury of Proverbs and Folk Sayings, (New York, 1998)

Turkish Proverbs: Doç. Dr. Yalçın İzbul, http://www.ingilizce-ders.com  Notes toward a modest compilation of Turkish proverbs. Türk atasözleri derlemesine yönelik notlarım. 2009