Turkish Proverbs and Idioms (Part 2)

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Back by (my own) popular demand, here is part two of my series of posts about Turkish proverbs and idioms – exciting!

Sonuna düşünen kahraman olamaz. 

“The one thinking about the end can not be a hero.” I’m not really sure when you would hear this said. I don’t even really remember how I learned this, but I had it conveniently saved in my phone so here it is. I can just imagine some Turkish martial arts movie, though, where the old wise sensei encourages the young student with this droplet of wisdom.

Damlaya damlaya göl olur.

“Drop by drop it becomes a lake.” According to my student this is only ever used in the context of saving money. It is straightforward enough – save enough, and you’ll end up with a huge amount of money.

Hanım köylü.

“From the wife’s village.” This is just the Turkish way of saying that the husband is whipped. Whipped to such a degree, in fact, that he picked up and moved to her hometown.

Hayal kırıklığına uğratmak. 

“To arrive at broken dreams.” This is the idiomatic way of saying that you are frustrated with something. I love the imagery of how being frustrated is associated with a broken dream.

____ senin köpeğin olsun.

“May ____ be your dog.” Dogs are not very highly regarded in Turkey, or actually in Muslim society in general. As such, saying “may ____ be your dog” means that the thing is valueless to you. For example, if someone asks if they can use your car you can respond in this way. It essentially means “of course!” or “what’s it to me?” Apparently this phrase should never be used for food or money, though, as then it becomes offensive as they are necessary for survival.

9 thoughts on “Turkish Proverbs and Idioms (Part 2)”

  1. My favorite this time around is, “Hayal kırıklığına uğratmak”. Mainly because it makes frustration seem so much more beautiful, but also even more depressing. Yay!

    And it’s not just your own popular demand. I love reading these. :)

    1. It’s when something’s depressingly beautiful that you know you got it right. Glad you enjoy them, though! I definitely enjoy writing it

  2. I love your posts on idioms. I think my favorite today is the first one- Sonuna düşünen kahraman olamaz- which I’ve decided to read as an almost Buddhist call to live in the present.

    Of course, it’s now set in a Turkish martial arts film in my head (your summer writing project perhaps?)….

    1. A Buddhist call to the present works really well with a martial arts film. Now all I need to do is find some Turkish Buddhists and this writing project will basically take care of itself. Glad you liked the post, though!

    1. That’s really interesting that the idioms are so similar! I wonder if there’s some broader connection or something…

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