Bıçak yarası geçer, dil yarası geçmez.
transl: A wound inflicted by a knife will heal; but one
that words inflict (= the tongue inflicts) never heals. equiv:
Words cut more (or, deeper) than swords
(or, the sharpest sword;
or, knife, blade).
çiçekle yaz gelmez.
transl: A single kind of flower is not proof that summer
has arrived. equiv: One swallow doesn't bring the
çocuktan bir deliden al haberi.
transl: Get the news from a child or a madman.
meaning: They chatter away and reveal secrets that we would
not normally hear. near equiv: Children and fools speak the
truth. (or, "..... speak true") (or, "Children, fools, and drunkards
...") [A lot more common saying goes, "Çocuktan al haberi. (= Get the
news from a/the child.)]
elin nesi var; iki elin sesi var.
transl: What does a single hand have? Two hands (i.e., together)
have a sound. (Wording in the second part, and hence the meaning, must
have been shaped largely because it rhymes with the first part. It may
also be because the idea can be demonstrated with a simple clap of
hands.) equiv: Many hands make light work. near equiv: Four
eyes are better than two.
koltuğa iki karpuz sığmaz.
transl: Two watermelons will not fit, cannot be accommodated in one
armpit; One cannot carry two watermelons under one armpit.
meaning: This is
meant to be a warning against doing more than one thing at a time.) (It
is not the "armpit" as such that is meant here; it is more like the
space created between the body and the arm up from the elbow.)
cehenneme atmışlar; "odun yaş" diye bağırmış.
transl: They threw the blabbermouth into Hell; he shouted
"The logs are wet!"
fıçı çok langırdar.
Empty vessels make the most noise. (The Turkish word used here is
fıçı = barrel.)
Bugünün işini yarına bırakma.
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Never put off till
tomorrow what can be done today.
trans: You should kiss the wrist you
could not twist. meaning: This is really an
invitation to acknowledgement and respect when you are beaten or bested,
physically or otherwise. near equiv: If you can't
beat them, join them. (However, the Turkish proverb
is normally not used in this opportunistic sense.)
Bülbülü altın kafese koymuşlar, (yine de) "Ah, vatanım!" demiş. transl:
(Though) They put the nightingale into a golden cage, it still moaned
for its home. [It is possible to use this proverb in the
"nationalistic sense" -- homesickness for one's homeland (= fatherland);
however, the basic dichotomy is between the "golden cage" and where one
belonged earlier, however modest that place might have been.
söz anlatmak, deveye hendek atlatmaktan zordur.
transl: Reasoning with an ignoramus is a lot more
difficult than making a camel jump over a ditch. [Camels have a
reputation for reluctance to jump over ditches.]
Can boğazdan gelir.
transl: Life comes through the food pipe.
meaning: The essential (and existential) pillar of life is
nutrition. This saying is addressed most usually to junior family members
or to visitors at a dinner table as a maxim of folk
medicine to goad them into partaking of food or eating
"adequately". There is also the humorous observation that says
"Can boğazdan gider," meaning that life leaves the body through the
same food pipe -- a warning against obesity.
Can çıkmayınca huy
transl: Bents and habits do not expire as long as life
does not leave the body. meaning: Bents and habits live on
till one's very dying moment; this implying, usually as a negative comment,
that it is futile to expect an improvement. A similar proverb says,
"Alışmış kudurmuştan beterdir." transl: The addict
is more desperate and dangerous than the rabid. ("Addiction" here has no
special reference to drugs; it merely amplifies the idea of "being used
Cömert derler maldan ederler, yiğit derler candan ederler.
transl: They call you "generous" and cause you to lose
your property and possessions; they call you "valiant; brave-hearted"
and cause you to lose your life. meaning: People mislead
you by flattery.
Çıkmadık (or, Çıkmayan) candan umut kesilmez.
meaning: So long as any life remains in the body, we
should not cease hoping. This may also be used in a more general sense,
by way of encouragement to struggle along.