A SHORT LIST OF TURKISH PROVERBS... My notes toward a modest compilation of Turkish proverbs. Mütevazı bir Türk atasözleri derlemesine yönelik notlarım. 09. "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

09: Kaz gelecek -- Koyun olmayan

turkish proverb121  Kaz gelecek yerden tavuk esirgenmez.  transl: Don't [be silly and] hold back your chicken if you are to receive a goose in return.  meaning: It would be foolish to hesitate to give away a little something if you are going to receive something much more valuable in return.  [This is offered a "crafty" piece of advice. i.e., Throw out a sprat to catch a mackerel.]

turkish proverb122  Kefenin cebi yok.  transl: The shroud has no pockets.  meaning: You cannot take your earthly belongings with you when you die.  [This is used as a strong admonition to tightfisted people.]

turkish proverb123  Kelin melhemi olsa kendi başına sürer.  transl: If a baldie knew the remedy, he'd rub it on his own scalp.  meaning: Medice cura te ipsum. You/They had better stop giving me advice on what I must do and attend to their own problems first.

turkish proverb124   Kel ölür sırma saçlı olur kör ölür badem gözlü olur.   (or, Kör ölür badem gözlü olur, Kel ölür sırma saçlı olur.)  transl: When a bald man dies, they say he had golden hair; when a blind man dies, they say he had almond-shaped eyes [famously judged attractive].  meaning: This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the exaggerated praise of the dead or of the past. [cf. "Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear." (Shakespeare)]

turkish proverb125  Kendi düşen ağlamaz.  transl: He who falls through his own fault should not cry. ["To fall" here does not have the Biblical sense that it might have in English. It simply means to make the wrong decision and consequently fail in an initiative.  It may even be addressed literally to a child in an actual situation.] akin to: As you make your bed, so you must lie on it.

turkish proverb126  Kızı gönlüne (or, keyfine) bırakırsan ya davulcuya varır, ya zurnacıya.  transl: Should you leave the girl to her own ways (= to her own heart's wayward desires), she will marry either a drummer or pipe-player. i.e., Girls need be guided by their parents in choosing a suitable husband; otherwise, they are certain to make terrible mistakes.

turkish proverb127  Kızım sana söylüyorum; gelinim sen anla.  transl: This I am telling you, my dear Daughter, so that you, my dear Daughter-In-Law, might take heed. [When do we use this? Obviously, not in particular reference to one's daughter-in-law, and never to her face, anyway. It is a statement referring to any situation when one has to be politic and appear to be addressing himself to other people also present rather than the intended person.]

turkish proverb128  Kızını dövmeyen dizini döver.  near equiv: (And just as unpleasantly worded) Spare the rod and spoil the child.  meaning: You are bound to repent it if you do not keep a strict eye on your daughter's actions. [Thus, this saying has a further unpleasant side to it in being directed to one's female children only.]

turkish proverb129  Kişiyi vezir eden de karısı rezil eden de.  transl:  Whether a man becomes a vizier or falls into squalor or disgrace is due to his wife.  near equiv: A good wife is a good prize.

turkish proverb130  Klavuzu karga olanın burnu boktan kurtulmaz.  transl: He who chooses the crow for his guide must but carry on sniffing dung! (literal: "His nose will never be rid of shit.")  meaning: Choose your mentor with great care.

turkish proverb131  Komşunun tavuğu komşuya kaz görünür. transl: One neighbour's chickens are all geese in another neighbours' eyes.  equiv: The grass is greener on the other side of the fence. The apples on the other side of the wall are the sweetest. [Sometimes playfully added: "....... karısı da kız görünürmüş." = "...... and his wife appears a maiden.]

turkish proverb132  Korkak bezirgan ne kâr eder ne ziyan.  transl. A timid merchant makes neither profit nor loss.  meaning: Nothing venture, nothing have.

turkish proverb133  Korkulu rüya görmektense uyanık yatmak yeğdir.  transl: It is better to lie awake than to have a nightmare.  equiv: Better safe than sorry.

turkish proverb134  Korkunun ecele faydası yoktur.  transl: Fear of death has no effect when the time comes.  near equiv: "Cowards die many times before their deaths, The valiant never taste of death but once." William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-37).

turkish proverb135  Koyun olmayan köyde keçiye Abdurrahman Çelebi derler.  transl: In a village where there are no sheep, the goat is called (= is known as) Master Tom. (Or, Master Jack, for that matter.). [variant: "Adam olmayan köyde.... = in a village where no "Man" exists...] similar to: In the kingdom (or, land) of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

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 - 08      turkish proverbs - index page      turkish proverbs - 10















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