geçinceye (or, geçene) kadar ayıya dayı de. (or, diyeceksin).
transl: Call the bear Uncle till you have crossed
the bridge. meaning: Keep on good terms with those
who may (by their superior position) hinder your progress, especially
with those who are overbearing, cruel or unjust. [Turkish differentiates
between a paternal uncle (= amca) and a maternal uncle (= dayı). The
preference here is due purely to the rhyming pair.]
Körle yatan şaşı kalkar.
transl: He who sleeps with a blind person gets up
cross-eyed. [This is to be interpreted in the figurative sense only: If
you hang around in bad/unwise company, you are bound to be influenced in
a negative way somehow or other.] near equiv: The rotten
apple injures its neighbours.
haber tez yayılır.
Bad news travels fast. Ill news travels/runs apace. [A note for
Turkish-speakers: "ill" = "kötü" anlamına gelen bir önek veya sıfat
Kurda ensen neden kalın demişler, kendi işimi kendim görürüm de ondan
transl: They asked the wolf how come its neck is so thick;
the retort was that he did his job himself, that was why.
meaning: To prosper in any plan, initiative or undertaking, one
must attend to it oneself and not leave it to others' doing. This
is somewhat in the same category as, "God helps them who help
themselves," with emphasis on individualistic and independent action.
Kurunun yanında yaş da yanar.
transl: Damp wood, too, will burn alongside the dry.
meaning: The whole group will face the consequences of the
actions of those targeted. Innocents and all will share the same fate as
the culprits. (Often with the implication that this is inevitable.)
Kuzguna yavrusu anka (or, şahin) görünür.
transl: The raven sees her chicks as phoenixes (or, as
falcons). equiv: All his geese are swans.
Lâfla peynir gemisi yürümez.
transl: You can't move a "cheese ship" by idle talk.
[meaning "a ship carrying a cargo of cheese" -- there is an old anecdote
behind the saying] meaning: You can prove or solve
nothing by chattering away about the subject. Tangible results call for
action. equiv: Deeds are fruits, words are but
leaves. Actions speak louder than words.
Mart kapıdan baktırır, kazma kürek yaktırır.
transl: The month of March makes one look through the door
and makes one burn hoes and shovels. meaning: Although
wintery conditions continue, you have by now run out of
all your stored wood for heating. near equiv: Ne'er
cast a clout till May is out. [It is interesting to note the way
climatic reality is reflected here: Warm days put in an appearance in
April in Anatolia, whereas the poor poor British have to wait on till
May is out!]
elinden (hiç)birşey kurtulmaz.
equiv: Where there is a will, there is a way. [will
= istek, istek ve kararlılık, istenç, irade]
kıptî şecaât arzederken sirkatin söyler. (or, Şecaât arzederken merd-i
kıptî sirkatin söyler.) transl:
A truthful gypsy, as he talks of his bravery (= of his daring exploits),
admits to his thieveries. [Said of people who, while defending their
position or bragging about themselves, give away a past action which is
culpable in the eyes of the listeners.]
Meyveli ağacı taşlarlar.
transl: They throw stones at the tree that bears fruit.
meaning: Creative, productive, and successful people become a
target for people's jealous slanders.
çalan kılıfını hazırlar.
transl: He who steals a minaret would have prepared a
cover for it. meaning: A person who intends to
commit any kind of misappropriation takes precautions beforehand not to
be caught. [The meaning may be extended to cover other forms of
misbehaviour or crime; and it may even take the form of some practical
Murat insandan, takdir Allah'tan.
equiv: Man proposes, God disposes. meaning:
People can make and do make plans; but God will determine how things
will work out.
Mühür kimde ise Süleyman odur.
transl: Whosoever has the seal, he is "Solomon".
meaning: Whoever is the boss, he calls the shots.
["Süleyman": According to the shared Jewish, Christian and Islamic
legends, the prophet-king Solomon had a magical signet ring which gave
him the power to command demons and jinni, or to speak with animals. The
ring is known as "The Seal of Solomon".]
Nerede (= nerde) çokluk orada (= orda) bokluk.
many cooks spoil the broth. meaning: When there are
too many people involved there is sure to be discordance and conflict.
[This is a coarse saying and it must be avoided in polite company.
"Bokluk" means "something shitty".]
Nerede (= nerde) hareket orada (= orda) bereket.
transl: Where there is activity, there is plentifulness