A SHORT LIST OF TURKISH PROVERBS... My notes toward a modest compilation of Turkish proverbs. Mütevazı bir Türk atasözleri derlemesine yönelik notlarım. 04. "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

04: Bıçak -- Çıkmadık

turkish proverb046  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).

turkish proverb047  Bir çiçekle yaz gelmez.  transl: A single kind of flower is not proof that summer has arrived.  equiv: One swallow doesn't bring the summer.

turkish proverb048  Bir 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.)]

turkish proverb049  Bir 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.

turkish proverb050  Bir 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.)

turkish proverb051  Boşboğazı cehenneme atmışlar; "odun yaş" diye bağırmış.  transl: They threw the blabbermouth into Hell; he shouted "The logs are wet!"

turkish proverb052  Boş fıçı çok langırdar.  Empty vessels make the most noise. (The Turkish word used here is fıçı = barrel.)

turkish proverb053   Bugünün işini yarına bırakma.  Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.

turkish proverb054  Bükemediğin bileği öpeceksin.  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.)

turkish proverb055  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.

turkish proverb056  Cahile 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.]

turkish proverb057  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.

turkish proverb058  Can çıkmayınca huy çıkmaz.  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 to".)

turkish proverb059   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.

turkish proverb060  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.


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 - 03      turkish proverbs - index page      turkish proverbs - 05


















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