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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.")
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
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.
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.
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.")
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".
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.