Turkish Idioms
Learning Turkish Language Idioms -- Letter A | Turkish Idiom translations in plain English | Spoken Turkish Idiom Voice Recordings

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The Plain English Meanings of
Turkish Idioms

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm kitap fırsatları için tıklayın !

Overheard at the 'Rakı Rendezvous' in downtown Cappadocia...

What's an idiom, Marvin?
It's a phrase or an expression with a meaning all its own, Mabel --
that's not immediately understandable from the words used in it.
Like, 'sit your ass in a tub of butter' in English --
which means 'get yourself into a favorable situation'.

Oh Marvin, why do you always have to push the envelope so?
I dunno, Mabel...
Guess it runs in the family...
My old maid aunt, Mary, yusta scatter pearls like that
at tea time on Sundays --
especially when we had high muckety muck guests.
And you shoulda seen the blue noses quiver.

I copy, Marv. It musta been like shootin' fish in a barrel...
And since the high hats couldn't find shelter, I guess they just had to sweat it out...

I guess we have to admit that
English idioms can be confusing too, sometimes...

color  bar

We know you've seen reference books written for
English speakers about English and American Idioms.
And you may have seen books for Turkish speakers on the same subject.
You may even have seen books for
Turkish speakers about Turkish Idioms -- all in Turkish.
But have you ever seen
a reference for English speakers about Turkish Idioms?
Well, when we couldn't find one after looking for seven years,
we decided to do-it-ourselves.
Observe our sampling just for Turkish idioms that begin
with the letter


color  bar

Turkish Idioms beginning with the letter A

The Turkish

The Literal English Meaning

The 'Plain' English Meaning

Comments and Examples


aba altından değnek (sopa) göstermek

to show a stick (bat) under the cloak

  • to speak softly but carry a big stick
  • to cause fear, indirectly

'Şöyle yaparım, böyle ederim' diye bize aba altından değnek gösteriyordu.

Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

He was threatening us indirectly by saying that he would do this or that.

Aba bulamaz etine, atlas yamar götüne.

This proverbial idiom is considered just a little

He can't even find coarse wool for his skin, but he patches over his ass with satin.

Even though he is poor, he likes to show off.

May be used as shown...

Abacı, kebeci; (ya) sen neci?

He makes coarse wool and felt jackets. And you, what's your line of work?

  • Where do you come in?! What concern of this is yours?!
  • It's all right for him to talk about this subject, because he's got first-hand knowledge. But what makes you think you know enough about it to butt in?
  • Onu ilgilendirmeyen konulardan söz etmesini kızıp: 'Abacı, kebeci; ya sen necisin?!' dedim. I got angry with her for talking about matters that didn't concern her and I said, 'So, who asked you?!'

    abanoz kesilmek

    to suddenly turn into ebony

    to harden extremely

    Ağaç kütüğü abanoz kesilmişti sanki. It became as hard as a tree trunk.

    abayı sermek

    to spread out the coarse wool coat

    to make yourself at home, move in on somebody

    Sizinkinde onur yok, gitti, yerleşip kaldı; abayı serdi. Your relative has no pride, he went, then settled in and stayed (at another's place); he just moved in.

    abayı yakmak

    to burn the coarse wool coat

    to give your heart to someone; to fall desperately in love

    Yoksul bir çoban zengin adamın kızına abayı yakmış.

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    A poor shepherd boy fell desperately in love with the rich mans daughter.

    Abbas yolcu

    'Abbas' traveler

    • "I'm taking off, and that's that!"
    • One cannot detain one who has to go.
    • "He/she's about to die."

    Abbas yolcuyum.

    I'm outta here!

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    Click for,
    The Rest of the Idiom Story!

    abdal dili dökmek

    to pour/pour out dervish tongue/language

    for one person to try to persuade another -- using (only) 'smooth' talk


    ablukaya almak

    to take blockade

    to [make a] blockade

    Şehri ablukaya almışlardı.
    It was reported that they blockaded the city.

    ablukayı kaldırmak

    to lift/raise a blockade


    İki ay sonra ablukayı kaldırdılar. Two months later they lifted the blockade.

    ablukayı yarmak

    to split/cleave a blockade

    to run a blockade

    Kahramanca savaşmış, ablukayı yarmışlardı. It's said that they battled heroically, and ran the blockade.

    abone olmak

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    to be a subscriber

    • to become a regular at...
    • become an habitué of (a place)...

    abuk sabuk konuşmak

    to talk nonsensically

    same as literal translation

    Böyle abuk sabuk konuşmayı bırak da, beni iyi dinle.

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    Stop talking nonsensically, and listen well to what I say.

    Learn more about abuk sabuk konuşmak on the Turkish Doublets page.

    abur cubur

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    • food eaten in casual snacks
    • haphazard, confused speech
    • ordinary, common-place (person)


    Abur cubur şeylerle karnını doyurmak doğru değildir.

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    It's not right to fill up your stomach with junk food.


    acayibine gitmek

    to go to strange

    • to find (someone or something) very strange/odd
    • to seem strange

    Bu nasıl adam, çok acayibime gitti yaptıkları.

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    What sort of man is this, the things he does seem very strange to me.

    acayip kaçmak

    to tend toward strange

    for words or actions to seem strange/odd

    Söyledikleri çok acayip kaçtı. The things they say seem very odd.

    aceleye gelmek

    to come hurried

    • for a job not to be done carefully because of time limitations
    • to do a job hastily and carelessly

    Aceleye geldi, yoksa daha iyi olurdu. We would have done [a] better [job], but time ran out.

    aceleye getirmek

    to bring hurried

    • to do a job haphazardly -- without caring
    • to deceive someone while acting or doing something quickly

    Zamanım var, aceleye getirmeyin.

    Learn Turkish Language -- sounds

    I'm not in a hurry, so don't do a quick and dirty job.

    Aceleye getirip istediği parayı benden kopardı. He took my money while he quickly did what he wanted.

    Acem kılıcı gibi...

    Note by AA: 'Acem' is the ancient Turkish proper noun for Persia.

    General Note: The Redhouse Turkish-English-Turkish CD Dictionary warns, 'Acem is a word to be avoided because it is resented by Iranians.' (See also acemi çaylak.)

    ...like a Persian sword (i.e., a double-edged sword).

    two faced, double dealing.

    Ona güvenme, acem kılıcı gibi, bir de bakarsın senin karşında yer almış.

    Don't trust her, she's two-faced and might oppose your position.

    acemi çaylak

    General Note: There is no warning in the Redhouse Turkish-English-Turkish CD Dictionary against the use of the word acemi (but, see acem kılıcı gibi...)

    an inexperienced 'kite' (the hawk-like bird)
    Note by AA: 'Acem' is the ancient Turkish proper noun for Persia. And, 'acemi' (see next entries also) is a derived adjective which has an anectodal origin. To make a long story short, an Acemi, which formerly meant 'a Persian', later came to mean 'an inexperienced person' and after a while, was no longer capitalized as a 'Proper Noun'.
    • a raw or clumsy or awkward or inexperienced person
    • a "rookie" in all senses of the word. An inexperienced (and somewhat gullible too) person.
    Ondan daha fazlasını beklemeyin, acemi çaylağın biridir.

    He's a clumsy fellow, so don't expect too much of him.

    Click for, The Rest of the Idiom Story!

    Acemi çaylak bu kadar uçar.

    That is how an inexperienced hawk flies.

    • That's all you can expect from a clumsy person.
    • That's all you can expect from a raw, green, immature youth.

    See 'acemi çaylak' above.

    acemilik çekmek

    to tow inexperience

    to suffer from inexperience

    Yeni işimde ilk üç ay çok acemilik çektim.

    I suffered from inexperience in the first three months of my new job.

    acemilik etmek

    to do/make inexperience

    • to behave in an 'inexperienced' way (not necessarily 'thoughtlessly')
    • to behave thoughtlessly

    Acemilik edip sonunu beklemedik.

    We didn't act thoughtlessly and we didn't expect that result.

    acı çekmek

    to pull or bear pain/bitterness

    • to feel long-lasting pain
    • to feel distress, unhappiness, sorrow sadness

    Adamın acı çektiği her halinden belliydi.

    It was evident that the man suffered pain all the time.

    acından ölmek

    to die of hunger

  • to be very hungry
  • to be extremely poor, fall into poverty
  • Afrika'da binlerce insan acından ölüyor. In Africa thousands of people are dying of hunger.

    acısı içine (yüreğine) çökmek (işlemek)

    for pain to penetrate inside

    • for (something) to hurt deeply, to hurt (someone's) feelings very much
    • to give someone cause to be distressed or grieving
    • to cut (someone) to the quick

    O günlerin acısı içime çöktü, olup bitenleri unutacağımı sanmıyorum.

    I was hurt very deeply in those days, I don't think I can forget how things ended.

    acısını bağrına basmak

    to press pain to the breast/heart

    to bear sorrow without complaining

    Acısını bağrına basmış, kimseye bundan söz etmemişti.

    They say he kept his sorrow to himself, and didn't talk about it with anyone.

    acısını çekmek

    to pull the pain

    • to suffer the consequences (for bad behavior)
    • to pay the penalty for
    • to suffer for

    Gençliğinde yaptıklarının yaşlılıkta acısını çekiyor.

    He is suffering in old age for the things he did in his youth.

    aç açık kalmak

    (Available on CD)

    hunger, to remain open

    • to be left homeless
    • to lose everything

    Yangından sonra yüzlerce aile aç açık kalmıştı.

    After the fire hundreds of families were reported to be homeless.

    aç doyurmak

    to fill up a hungry person

    to help and nurture the poor

    Açları doyur, yoksulları giydir.

    He feeds and clothes the poor.

    aç kurt gibi

    hungry as a wolf

    with great desire, inclination, appetite (related to eating, gathering together, attacking)

    Yemeklere aç kurt gibi saldırdılar.

    (Available on CD)

    They attacked their food like hungry wolves.

    • açığa alınmak
    • açığa almak

    to take out to [the] open

    • to suspend
    • to 'lay off' temporarily from a job (as a government official/employee).
    Haklarında idari soruşturma açılan memurlar, soruşturma sonuçlanana kadar açığa alınırlar.

    Those employees who are subject to an investigation are suspended (from work, office) until the investigation is concluded.

    Önce açığa almış, sonra yargılamışlardı.

    They reportedly laid him off first, and then tried him in court.

    açığa çıkarılmak

    to be brought to the open
    • Primary meaning:
      To be brought to daylight, to be discovered (as a result of an inquiry, etc.)
    • Secondary meanings no longer in use (since 1995):
      • to be removed from office
      • for a job or a mission to be brought to an end
      • to be on temporary staff
    Primary meaning example:
    Kara kutu bulundu ve uçağın düşme nedeni açığa çıkarıldı: Pilot hatası.

    The black box was found and the reason for the plane crash was discovered: It was 'Pilot Error'.

    Secondary meaning example:
    Açığa çıkarılan görevliler arasında ben de vardım.

    I too was among the officials who were let go.

    açığa vurmak

    to hit to the open

    • to announce and explain to everyone a subject that has been kept secret
    • to bring a matter out into the open, reveal, disclose
    • (for a situation) to become apparent, evident, become clear

    Bir haftadır içinde sakladığı sırrı açığa vurunca çok ferahladı.

    He was relieved when the secret he had concealed was revealed within a week.

    açık bono vermek
    (açık çek vermek)

    to give a bank bond, a bill, an IOU, or other certificate of indebtedness

    • to give someone a blank check
    • to give someone carte blanche
    • to give someone complete authority to act on their own initiative
    • to vest someone with authority

    açık fikirli

    open minded
    • placing high value on new ideas and concepts
    • broad-minded, enlightened, liberal-minded

    açık kapı bırakmak

    to leave an open door
    • to leave someone with room to maneuver
    • to leave someone some leeway
    • not to tie one's hands

    Düşünsünler diye karşısındakilere bir açık kapı bırakmıştı.

    Because of the things you're concerned about, he gave some maneuvering room to the other side.

    açık kart vermek

    to give an open card

    to give complete authority to someone -- to carry out work in your name

    Gerekirse sana açık kart da veririm.

    If necessary, I'll also give you complete authority.

    açık olmak

    to be open

    to be sincere and completely honest in dealings with others

    Arkadaşlarına karşı açık ol, olduğun gibi görün.

    Be sincere toward your friends, appear like you (really) are.

    açık oturum

    open session

    • a panel discussion
    • a meeting about a specific subject where everyone at the meeting may ask questions and express opinions in an open manner

    İşimizin bugünkü durumu üzerine bir açık oturum düzenlendi.

    He arranged an open panel discussion on the situation today, of our business.

    açık saçık

    open and explicit

    • something too liberal (as to language or anatomy); off color, risqué, bawdy
    • something rude, indecent, immodest (as with clothing)
    • something that is found disgraceful by many people

  • O sinemada açık saçık filmler gösterilirdi. Kinky films are shown at that cinema house.
  • Paris, Milano ve New York gibi moda merkezlerinde düzenlenen açık saçık kıyafetleri günlük yaşamda kimsenin giymeye cesaret edemeyeceği konuşulur. Kim giyer dediler sonunda biri giydi! It was said that no one would be brave enough in daily life to wear [Gucci's] immodest [new, topless] dress (prepared in fashion centers like Paris, Milan, and New York). They said, 'Who'll wear it?'...and then, at last, someone did! Gözcü Gazetesi, 19 August 2003
    (See photo-article at left.)
  • açık seçik

    open clear

    • definitely, clearly
    • definite, clear
    • quite/very clear

    Yazının açık seçik bir anlatımı var.

    The meaning of the article is very clear.

    açık yürekle

    with open heart without hidden reservations, frankly  

    açık yürekli

    open-heartedness open hearted, candid  

    açıktan açığa

    from open to open openly, without dissembling

    Açıktan açığa adayla alay ettiler.

    They openly ridiculed the candidate.

    açılıp saçılmak to be opened and scattered
    • (for a woman) to dress in a sexually provocative manner that is considered to be in bad taste; to wear revealing clothes; to dress immodestly.
    • to spend money extravagantly
    Seksi imaj uğruna açılıp saçılan Madonna, kocası Guy Ritchie tarafından transparan giyimi yasaklandı. Madonna, who dresses immodestly for the sake of her sexy image, has been forbidden from wearing transparent clothes by her husband Guy Ritchie.
    Adapted from
    an article in
    Gözcü Gazetesi
    23 November 2001...

    açlık çekmek

    to pull hunger

    to be poor/impoverished

    Savaş yıllarında ne açlık çektik anlatamam.

    I can't describe the poverty during the war years.

    [-a/-e] açtı ağzını yumdu gözünü

    sb opened his/her mouth, and clenched his/her eyes
  • sb flew off the handle (lost his/her temper)
  • sb said some very heavy words in anger
  • İddiaya göre, gece yarısı teleskobuyla yıldızları seyreden Bilge, sevinç çığlıkları atarak, 'Uçan daire gördüm,' diye bağırıp Tarkan'ı uyandırdı. Korkan ve neye uğradığını şaşıran Tarkan, Bilge'ye açtı ağzını yumdu gözunü. According to the report, [the girlfriend of Turkish pop-idol Tarkan, named] Bilge (who was viewing the stars with a telescope at mid-night) screamed joyfully, saying, 'I saw a flying saucer' -- and it woke Tarkan up. The confused Tarkan (who was startled and didn't know why he'd been roused) flew off the handle at Bilge. Gözcü Gazetesi, 9 September 2003

    Adam değilim!

    I'm not a man!

    I'll be damned!
    (I strongly support [it]!/I strongly do not support [it!])

    May be used as shown...

    adam evladı

    man offspring

    • a person of good family and upbringing
    • a serious-minded, sedate, sober person
    • someone inspiring respect

    Meğer adam evladıymış, bize çok yardım etti.

    It seems he's well brought up, he helped us a lot.

    Adam sen de!

    You are a man too!

    C'mon, man! Don't worry/Take it easy/Never mind.

    may be used as shown

    adama dönmek

    • to return to human being
    • to become a human
    • (for someone or something) to turn from bad to good
    • to (finally) realize a desirable condition
    • to begin to go well
    • to look presentable
    • to look like someone/something

    Eh, işte şimdi adama dönmüşsün!

    Well, look...you finally made it! You're a success!

    (The same phrase could be said to a man who has just returned from the barber where he had his long scraggily hair shorn.)

    adamdan saymak (sayılmak)

    to count [somebody] as a human being (to be counted as a human being)

    (for someone) to be worthwhile

    Birkaç lira paran var diye kendini adamdan mı sayıyorsun?

    Just because you've got a few lira, do you think you're somebody?

    adamına düşmek

    to wind up with an individual

    • to fall into the hands of an expert
    • to meet with a competent person (by chance)

    Çok şükür, tam adamına düşmüşüm, kısa sürede işimi yaptı, bitirdi.

    Thank God I fell into the hands of an expert! In a short time he started and finished my job.

    • adembaba (adembaba)
    • Adem Baba (Adem Baba)
    • man-father
    • 'Father Adam' (alludes to Adam, the first Biblical and Koranic man on earth -- therefore no clothes.)
    • bedraggled tramp
    • trampish-looking tourist
    • stark naked man
      See also anadan doğma.
    Adem baba kılığında dolaşıyordu.

    He was wandering around stark naked.
    (He was wandering around in the appearance of 'Father Adam'.)

    afiyet olsun let health be
  • I hope you enjoy(ed) it [said to sb eating or drinking]
  • bon appetit!
  • May be used as shown...
    aforoz etmek
    • to freeze someone out of one's social circle or group
    • to excommunicate (from a Christian religious affiliation)


    Sınıfça onu aforoz etmiştik.

    We froze him out of the class (activities).

    ağaç olmak

    to become a tree

    to stand and wait a long time

    Burada seni bekleye bekleye ağaç olduk!

    We waited and waited and waited for you here!
    (We became trees waiting and waiting here for you!)

    Ağaca çıksa pabucu yerde kalmaz.

    If he goes up in a tree, his shoes don't remain on the ground.

    • He's very cautious, he doesn't easily get into trouble.
    • She's careful, not easily led astray.
    Onu merak etmeyin, ağaca çıksa pabucu yerde kalmaz. Dont worry about her, she's not easily led astray.

    Click following for:
    The Rest of the Idiom Story!

    ağır top

    heavy cannon/artillery a 'big gun', an important or powerful person

    The phrase is used, for example, when referring to key persons of opposing groups.

    ağzı dört köşe olmak

    to be four corners mouth

    to be all smiles

    zevkten dört köşe olmak.
    ağzı süt kokmak to smell milk in the mouthto be naive, innocentAkıllı iktidar, milletvekilleriyle bakanlar arasına danışman diye nitelendirilen acemi oğlan misali ağzı süt kokan çocukları koymaz. Smart governing officials don't put naive novice-like children (who are described as consultants) between the parliamentarians and the ministers. Gözcü Gazetesi, 13 August 2003

    Ağzı torba değil ki büzesin!

    • His/her mouth is not a bag whose opening can simply be squeezed shut.
    • Let not the mouth bag be constricted!
    You can't stop someone talking!

    May be used as shown...

    Ağzı (var) dili yok.

    He has a mouth, he has no tongue.

    • He's very quiet.
    • He's no bother.
    • He doesn't oppose anybody/anything.

    May be used as shown...

    Ağzına sağlık!

    Health to your mouth!

    Well said!

    May be used as shown...

    Ağzına vur, lokmasını al!

    • Hit him/her in the mouth, grab his/her food.
    • Hit his mouth, take his cake!

    He's a real pushover!

    May be used as shown...

    ağzından baklayı çıkarmak
    Also see
    baklayı ağzından çıkarmak.
    to remove the broad bean from the mouthto put away considerations and speak out; to let 'the cat out of the bag'Polis, biraz sıkıştırınca, hırsız ağzından baklayı çıkardı ve çaldığı eşyaları nereye gizlediğini söyledi.102 When the police pressured the thief a little, he let the cat out of the bag and told where he had hidden the stolen things.

    ağzından çıkanı kulağı işitmemek

    • to not hear one's own words coming from one's own mouth
    • to [pretend] not to hear words coming from one's mouth to one's ear
    • to not [or to pretend not to] realize what [harsh] things one is saying
    • to be carried away with one's temper
    • to say rude, offensive, hurtful things (because of anger)
    Bağırıyor, ağzından çıkanı kulağı işitmiyordu.

    He was just hollering, he wasn't realizing what he was saying.

    Ağzından yel alsın!

    Let wind take (it) away from your mouth!

    Heaven forbid!
    Don't say that!

    May be used as shown...

    • ağzını dağıtmak
    • ağzını burnunu dağıtmak
    • to scatter/distribute or to break/dissolve [his] mouth
    • to scatter [his] mouth and nose
    • to hit someone in the mouth, to 'smack someone in the kisser'
    • to hit someone in the face, to 'clobber' someone with a blow to the face

    Ağzını hayra aç!

    Open your mouth to good omens!

    Don't say such a thing -- it is a bad omen!

    May be used as shown...

    ağzını ıslatmak

    to wet your mouth

    to drink, to have a drink

    ahı tutmak
    (ahı yerde kalmamak)
    to hold 'ahhh'
    (for 'ahhh' not to remain in place)
  • to have one's curse take effect
  • to see the comeuppance of a rival/enemy
  • Türkler'in ahı tuttu! The curse of the Turks (finally) takes effect! Headline from Gözcü Gazetesi, 4 July 2003

    ahkâm kesmek

    • to cut flimsy speculations
    • to judge (things or people) halfwittedly
    • to offer up half-baked ideas as if they were faultless, tried and true
    • to pass out judgements, put forward opinions based only on superficial information

    ahmak ıslatan

    • wetting stupidly
    • (rain) that wets the unwitting

    a light drizzle (of rain)

    Ahmak ıslatan bütün gün sürdü, ne yağdı ne açtı hava.

    The weather is neither clear nor rainy, it's just been drizzling all day.

    Ahmet'in öküzü
    (bakar iki gözü)
    Ahmet's ox
    (stares with two eyes)
    one who looks very stupid(ly), understanding nothingAhmed'in öküzü gibi ne bakarsın? What are you looking at so stupidly? (What are you looking at, like Ahmet's ox?)

    ahret suali

    a question that will be asked at the gates of heaven

    a tiresome and difficult question

    Bırak bu ahret sualini sormayı da istediğini açıkça söyle!

    Stop asking these tiresome questions and say openly what you really want to say!

    ahreti boylamak

    to take the measurement of the afterlife (heaven)

    to die

    akan sular durmak to stop flowing waters ...means that "the subject under discussion (whether it's a factual conclusion, an oath, an order, or a law) is indisputable, beyond contradiction." Söyledikleriniz ve belirtmiş olduklarınız karşısında akan sular durur. The things you say and the way you clarify them are indisputable (Flowing waters stop when confronted by your factual conclusions).

    Click for, The Rest of the Idiom Story!

    akıl almaz
    Compare to
    akla hayale gelmeyen.
    it doesn't take reasonunbelievable, inconceivableAmerikan güçlerinin 11 askerimizi esir alıp 60 saat gözaltında tutması karşısında, AKP iktidarının düştüğü çaresizliğe ve akıl almaz şekilde pasif davranmasına vatandaşlar isyan etti. Citizens are up in arms (about the desperation of AKP officials and their passive behaviour in such an inconceivable way) against the taking prisoner of 11 of our soldiers by American forces and the 60-hour holding of them under observation. Gözcü Gazetesi, 8 July 2003

    akıl doktoru

    an intelligence or mind doctor

    a psychiatrist


    Akıl işi değil.

    It is not reason(ed) work.

    It's not acceptable.

    May be used as shown...

    Akıp gitsin!

    Flow -- go!

    May all your work go as smoothly as water!

    May be used as shown...

    akla hayale gelmeyen (gelmez, gelmedik)
    Note: akla comes from akıl.
    Compare to
    akıl almaz.
    not coming to the reason imagined thing
  • incredible
  • unthinkable
  • unbelievable
  • inconceivable
  • Kendisini çeken video ve fotoğraf kameralarına aldırmadan akla hayale gelmedik şeyler yapan kadın, polisin 'Yeter' ikazı üzerine toparlanıp gitti. When the police warned 'That's enough,' the woman (who had been doing some unbelievable things with indifference for the video and still cameramen who had been filming her), gathered up her clothes and left. Gözcü Gazetesi, 25 July 2003
    (See photo-article at left.)
    aklına eseni (yapmak) (to make) the wind that blows to the mind
  • to act on impulse, say/do whatever comes into one's head
  • to act without thinking, without thinking twice
  • See example sentence at:
    Aklına şaşarım!I'm confused to your mind!You're not making any sense!may be used as is...

    Aklında olsun!

    Let (it) be in your thought(s)!

    Don't forget (it)!

    May be used as shown...

    aklını peynir ekmekle yemek to eat one's intelligence with cheese breadto lose one's senses; to lose one's reasonSuçlamaları cevaplandıran Başbakanlık Müsterşarı Ömer Dinçer, "Cumhuriyet döneminde doğmuş bir kişinin Cumhuriyete karşı olması için aklını peynir ekmekle yemiş olması lazım" dedi. In answer to (while answering) his accusers, Ömer Dinçer (the Permanent Undersecretary to the Prime Ministry) said, "In order for a person who was born in the age of the Turkish Republic to be against the Republic... it would be necessary that [that person] had lost his senses." Gözcü Gazetesi, 3 January 2004
    aklının ucundan geçmemek not to pass from reason's end(for sth) to never cross (sb's) mind, to never occur to (sb)Newspaper Headline -- Unakıtan: ÖTV'yi düşürmek aklımızın ucundan geçmez. AKP Finance Minister Unakıtan says, 'It has never crossed our mind to reduce the Special Consumer Tax." Attributed to the AKP Finance Minister as he tried to fend off reporters who contend that the special AKP-imposed sin-tax has emboldened bootleggers to make low-priced counterfeit rakı and vodka -- poisonous batches of which have killed 23 in the past week. Gözcü Gazetesi, 5 March 2005

    Akmasa da damlar.

    And (if) it flows, (it is by) drops.
    [It keeps dropping, if not exactly flowing.]

    It brings in at least a little money.

    May be used as shown...

    aksi gibi

    like opposite...

    • ...wouldn't you know it?
    • as if to spite me...
    • ...it was just [my] bad luck.

    Aksi gibi cebimde beş para kalmamıştı!

    It was just my bad luck not to have any money on me!

    akşamdan kalma

    remaining from the evening

    having a hangover

    Akşamdan kalmayım.

    I have a hangover.


    Al benden de o kadar.

    • Take from me -- and that much.
    • Take the same amount from me.
    • I'm in the same situation; I'm as bad off as you.
    • I was thinking the same thing; I agree.
    • You took the words right out of my mouth;
      I couldn't have said it any better myself!
    • You said it, mate!
    • You hit the nail (right) on the head!
    May be used as shown.
    See illustration below.
    You took the words right out of my mouth...
    I couldn't have said it any better myself!

    • Al birini vur birini (çarp ötekine).
    • Al birini, vur (çarp) ötekine.
    • Take one, hit one (hit the other).
    • Take one, and hit the other one with it...
      (so that both useless things can be broken without harming anything else)
    • It all needs fixing.
    • None of them are useful.
    • One is no better than the other.

    May be used as shown...

    al sancak

    red flag the Turkish flag,
    also, when spelled as 'Alsancak' it's a borough of the city of İzmir

    May be used as shown...

    Al takke ver külah

    Take skull cap,
    give conical hat
    intimate relationship -- Turkish idioms
    Thanks to Erdoğan Kara/Sadık Pala
    for the cartoon.
  • [for 2 people] to be on extremely good (even intimate) terms with each other, up to and including having sexual relations -- though they may not necessarily be 'in love'.
  • becoming very intimate with each other
  • [for 2 people] to bargain fiercely over some item of value, before settling amicably
  • struggling, tumbling with one another
  • with a great struggle
  • Alev Altın (Turkish female adult filmstar of the mid-1970s thru the mid-1980s): Tamamen soyundum ama erkek oyuncuların alt çamaşırı mutlaka vardı... Öyle açılardan çekilirdi ki, seyirci onu tamamen çiplak sanırdı... Sonraki yıllarda durum değisti, çamaşırın altı da gitti. Al takke ver külah durumlari oldu yani. (In my earliest films) I undressed completely, but the male actors always wore 'briefs'. And the scenes were shot at an angle, so the audience believed the men were completely naked. In the years that followed, the situation changed -- and the male actors stopped wearing briefs. After that, things got very sexually intimate indeed.
  • Yarım saat al takke ver külah pazarlık ve iki taraflı savrulan bir sürü küfüden sonra balıklar okkası elli paradan satıldı. After half an hour of hard bargaining and cursing at each other, they (amicably) agreed to sell the fish for 50 (money units) per 'oka' (a weight of 1282 grams). H. Balikçısı
  • Alan razı, satan razı.

    The buyer agrees, the seller agrees.

    Since the two parties agree on the deal, let them complete it without interference from others.

    May be used as shown...

    Aldı yürüdü.

    He/she/it took, he/she/it walked.

    • He/she/it succeeded in a short time.
    • It prospered and grew.

    May be used as shown...

    alev saçağı sarmak See ateş bacayı sarmak.  
    Aleyküm selam. See Selamün aleyküm.  
    alkış toplamak to gather applause
  • to receive applause, to be vigorously applauded
  • to receive a standing ovation
  • to be acclaimed
  • Ünlü Popstar Tarkan albümüne adını veren 'Dudu' adlı parçasını yoğun istek üzerine tam 4 kez seslendirdi ve büyük alkış topladı. Famous pop-star Tarkan had to sing his song called 'Dudu' (which is also given to the name of his album) 4 times complete on account of strong (audience) demand -- and he received thunderous applause. Gözcü Gazetesi, 2 July 2003
    Allah "Yürü ya kulum" demiş.
    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    Allah bid her/him, "Go forward, my subject."

    • She has advanced her situation in a very short time.
    • Whatever job he takes on, it always turns out well.
    • He certainly got rich fast.

    May be used as shown...

    Allah akıllar (akıl, fikir) versin.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    May God give intelligence.

    • You're doing a rather senseless thing/job/work.
    • Where is your good sense?
    • I'm surprised at you/him.

    May be used as shown...

    Allah Allah!

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    God, God!

    • What an astonishing thing!
    • What must we do now?
    • Oh my, how odd!
    • Goodness Gracious!

    Allah allah, böyle bir şeyi ilk kez görüyorum!

    Now that's amazing, it's the first time I've seen something like that!

    1. Allah aratmasın.
    2. Allah bugünümüzü aratmasın.
    1. May God not replace.
    2. May God not make (us) wish (or long) for (our) present situation.
    1. It's not flawless but it does the job. Besides, what would we do otherwise?
    2. We may not be as well off as we might have liked, but still we are content with it.

    May be used as shown...

    Allah aşkına!

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated
    For the love of God!
    • For heavens sake!
    • For goodness sake!
    • That's amazing!

    May be used as shown...

    Allah bağışlasın!

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated
    May God refrain (from killing someone).

    May God protect (children, loved ones) from accident and harm.

    May be used as shown...

    Allah bana, ben de sana.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    [From] God to me, and [from] me to you.

    I don't have the money I owe you right now, but I'll pay you the minute I get it.

    May be used as shown...

    In Turkey - Türkiye'de
    Erotic Turkish Movies
    Allah belanı(ızı) versin!
    Also seen as
    Allah (senin/sizin) belanı(ızı) versin!
    Allah (senin/sizin) belanı(ızı) vermesin!
    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated
    Let God give you trouble.God damn you!May be used as shown...
    Allah bereket versin.
    (Also see bereket versin...)
    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    May God give abundance.

    May God return the generosity you show.
    This is/may be said by one who receives a tip or a bonus -- to the person giving the tip/bonus.
    For example, our marangoz; carpenter, Hilmi Usta, said this to us when we gave him a 10% bonus for the beautiful decorative doors he made for us...

    May be used as shown...

    Allah bilir.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    God knows.

    • Only God knows for sure.
    • It's hard to say.
    • It's not obvious.

    May be used as shown...

    Allah cezanı (cezasını) versin!

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    May God punish you (him/her/it)!

    Damn you (Goddamn her, dammit)!

    May be used as shown...

    Allah kahretsin!
    A frequently heard idiom that is, nonetheless, rather off-color.
    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated
    Let God destroy!God damn her/him/it!Has same figurative meaning as Lanet olsun!

    Allah rahatlık versin.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    May God provide comfort.


    May be used as shown...

    Allah [senden] razı olsun.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated
    May God be agreeable (to you).

    God bless you (for the kind act that you did, for the nice thought you had, etc.).

    May be used as shown...

    Allah vermesin.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    May God not provide.

    God forbid!

    May be used as shown...

    Allah versin.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    May God provide.

    • I'm glad everything is fine (about this situation). I feel happy (about it).
    • May God help you. I'm not able to give the alms you wish (Said to a beggar when you don't give him/her something).

    May be used as shown...

    Allah'ın binasını yıkmak

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    to demolish God's building

    to kill yourself or someone else


    Allah'ın günü

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    God's day

    everyday, any day
    (it is said that all days 'belong' to God)

    Allah'ın günü aynı şeyleri söyledi durdu.

    He stopped and said the same things every day.

    Allah'ından bul[sun].
    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated
    Let him/her find [it] from God.Let/May God punish him/her.Allah'ından bul! Göknur Gündör, sınav belgelerinin olduğu çantasını kaptırınca "Kapkaççı geleceğimi çaldı, Allah'ından bulsun" diye ağladı. Let God punish him! [Student] Göknur Gündör (when her purse that contained her [final] exam [admission] documents was snatched) cried, "The purse snatcher stole my future. Let God punish him." Headline and newsphoto caption from Gözcü Gazetesi, 21 June 2004
    (Click here to see photo-article.)

    Allah'ını seven tutmasın.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    Let not the lover of God [try to] restrain.

    If you love your God, then don't try to stop me! (This is said angrily by someone about to take drastic action)

    May be used as shown...

    Allaha bir can borcu olmak

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    to owe only a soul or a life to God

    to not owe 'anyone' [anything] -- other than God, for the life he's given


    Allaha ısmarladık.

    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated

    We commend you to the care of God.

    idiom used to say 'Good bye' -- by the person leaving a location

    May be used as shown...
    Allah'tan ...
    Also see: Turkish Exclamations, Illustrated
    ... from God
  • Thank goodness that ...
  • It's a good thing that ...
  • I'm glad that ...
  • fortunately, luckily
  • from birth
  • Allah'tan senin kızınım benim imajimı sen kurtarıyorusun! Thank goodness I'm your daughter, you are saving my image. Attributed to Özlem Önal while speaking to her mother -- Hurriyet Gazetesi, 16 May 2004
    allak bullak ... ...confused, topsy turvySee Category 3 and 4, Turkish doublets.
    altı kaval, üstü şişhane
    Note: Şişhane is no longer capitalized in this idiom, as being accepted in the vernacular.
    bottom is shepherd's pipe, top is Şişhane (a section of Istanbul)odd-looking; having an outlandish look -- used mostly when speaking about dress, clothing, attireAltı kaval üstü şişhane diye ifade olunabilecek bir kıyafet ne millidir ne de beynelmileldir. 109 It was an outfit that had an outlandish appearance (..that could be described as 'odd-looking'), neither national nor international [in style].

    altından çapanoğlu çıkmak

    for 'Çapanoğlu' to pop up

    Note: Over time, the 'Çapanoğlu' family name (when used in this idiom) has lost its 'Proper Name' status and is, therefore, no longer capitalized...

    • to meet with possible danger in dirty business
    • for events to take an unexpected bad turn
    • to have a difficulty arise, to have a snag in plans

    Bunun altından çapanoğlu çıkmasın?

    Will this [activity] get us in trouble?

    Click for, The Rest of the Idiom Story!

    altından kalkamamak to be unable to get up from underneath
    1. to be unable to carry (something) through to completition
    2. not to be able to protect oneself (from a difficulty)
    "Gül, ikinci tezkerenin altından kalkamayacağını söyleseydi, üzerimize düşeni yapardık." "If [then Prime Minister] Gül had said that he couldn't complete [parliamentary passage of] the second [US troops] residence-permission, we [the Turkish military] would have stepped in to do our part." Attributed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hilmi Özkök in a meeting with the current Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; Cumhuriyet Gazetesi, 23 May 2003

    Altından ne çıkacak bilinmez.

    It's not known what will emerge from underneath.

    The final result is uncertain.


    Amma yaptın (ha)!

    • But, you did!
    • How you (over)did it!

    Do you really expect me to believe that?

    May be used as shown...

    ana avrat dümdüz gitmek

    to go straight forward, including mother and wife

    to swear a blue streak

    Adam, hepimize ana avrat dümdüz gitti!

    That guy...He swore at all of us!

    Adam hepimize ana avrat dümdüz gitmesin mi?

    Would you believe how he (that guy) swore at all of us?

    anadan doğma as born from [his/her] mother stark naked
    Also see anadan üryan.
    [this idiom may be used for either male or female genders; also see Adembaba.]
    Kadın çıldırmış olmalı, anadan doğma hamamdan sokağa fırladı. The woman must have been crazy; she rushed out of the hamam (Turkish bath) completely naked.
    Halen yaz mevsiminin sürdüğü şehirde kimse mankenin anadan doğma olduğunu fark etmedi. No one in the city noticed the complete nakedness of the model, during the (then) present summer season.
    Gözcü Gazetesi, 2002 (See illustrated article at left.)
    anadan üryan naked as [born] from [his/her] motherstark naked
    Also see anadan doğma.
    [this idiom may be used for either male or female genders; also see Adembaba.]
    İspanya'nın Barcelona şehrinde 7 bin kişi anadan üryan soyunup yol ortasına uzanarak Amerikalı fotoğrafçı Spencer Tunick'e poz verdi. In the city of Barcelona Spain, 7 thousand people undressed stark naked, stretching out in the middle of the road, and gave American photographer Spencer Tunick a pose. Gözcü Gazetesi, 9 June 2003 (See illustrated article at left.)

    anafora konmak

    to alight in a whirlpool
    • to get something for nothing
    • for extra profit to fall into your hand


    from the whirlpool

    • from illicit gain
    • improperly or without effort

    anası danası

    mother (cow) and her calf

    his mother and the rest of whole family

    Anası danası içeriye doldular.

    His whole family filled up the entire [interior] space.

    Anasını satayım!

    • Let's sell his mother!
    • Let [me] sell (his/her/its) mother!
    • Oh, what the hell... It's not that important.
    • What will be, will be.
    • Damn it!

    anasını sattığım

    ...[the one] whose mother I sold

    • (that) damned thing!
    • damn!

    anasının gözü

    his/her mother's eye

    • the most [deceitfully] intelligent one in the family
    • very intelligent
    • clever
    • tricky
    • self seeking
    • deceitful
    • sly, shifty
    Anasının gözüdür o, işini bilir!

    She's clever, she knows her business!

    Anladımsa Arap olayım.

    Let me be a [black African] Arab, if I understand [that/it].

    • I don't understand [it] at all.
    • I'll be damned if I understand it.

    May be used as shown...

    apar topar ... ...headlong, in a panic, stampedingSee Category 3 and 4, Turkish doublets.
    aptalın aptalı the stupid of stupiddumber than dumbSee Category 1 and 6, Turkish doublets.


    Don't seek!

    • It's too much to expect.
    • Nevermind. Forget it.

    May be used as shown...

    Aramakla bulunmaz.

    You don't find [it if] you look for it.

    It is/was very lucky.

    May be used as shown...

    Arap olayım.

    ...[then] let me be a [black African] Arab.

    I swear that...

    Casus değilse Arap olayım.

    I swear that he's a spy (If he's not a spy, then let me be a [black African] Arab).

    Is this similar to the American idiom, '...then I'll be a monkey's uncle"...?

    arapsaçına dönmek to turn to Arab-hairto turn into a mess, become thoroughly confusedAKP'lilerin, DYP'yi Meclis'e sokmamak için Yüksek Seçim Kurulu'na baskı yaptığı ileri sürüldü. Sandalye sayısı azalacak AKP'lilerin YSK'ya, "DEHAP'ın oylarını iptal ederseniz kaos olur. Herşey arapsaçına döner," şeklinde kulis yaptığı belirtildi. AKP-backers have put pressure on the Supreme Election Committee [the YSK] in order to stop the DYP from placing representatives in the Turkish Parliament. The AKP (which will lose seats [in Parliament if the DYP succeeds]) has reportedly lobbied the YSK by saying, "If you nullify the [fraudulent] votes for DEHAP [a minor Turkish political party] there will be chaos. Everything will turn into a mess."

    Arkadaş değil, arka taşı.

    (Note the play on words and the nice rhyming quality of the phrase...)

    Not a friend, just a backload of stones...

    He's supposed to be a friend -- but all he does is cause me worry, pain, and injury.

    May be used as shown...

    Arkasında yumurta küfesi yok ya!

    There's no egg basket behind him!
    [Of course, he/she's not carrying a basketful of eggs on his/her back!]

    He'll reverse direction, change his mind, or break his word anytime it suits him.

    Şimdi de tersini söylüyor, arkasında yumurta küfesi yok ya! Now he's saying the reverse [of what he said before], he breaks his word whenever it suits his purpose.
    arasından su sızmamak for water not to trickle betweenfor there to be a close friendship betweenTayyip bey ile Adnan bey arasından su sızmıyor. There is a close friendship between Tayyip bey and Adnan bey (Water doesn't trickle between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan and the entertainer Adnan Şenses). Gözcü Gazetesi, 15 June 2003
    Click here to follow-up
    on the two 'friends'.
    askıya almak to take to the hanger
    1. to temporarily suspend, stop, or delay (something)
    2. to prop up (a building) temporarily (for repairs)
    3. to lift (a sunken or disabled ship) by lines (from other ships)
    İngiltere-Kenya uçak seferlerini askıya alırken, Avustralya ve Yeni Zelanda da vatandaşlarını Güneydoğu Asya'ya gitmemeleri konusunda uyardı. After [commercial] flights between the UK and Kenya were temporarily suspended, Australia and New Zealand warned their citizens not to travel to Southeast Asia.
    Gözcü Gazetesi, 17 May 2003

    aslan sütü

    lion's milk

    rakı (the Turkish national alcoholic drink)


    Astığı astık, kestiği kestik.

    Hanged is the one she says 'hang', cut is the one she says 'cut'.
    [We hang what he/she wants to hang, we cut what he/she wants to cut.]

    • What she says goes.
    • Nobody can object to what he says/does.
    • She doesn't have to account to anyone for what she does.

    May be used as shown...

    Aşağı tükürsem sakal, yukarı tükürsem bıyık.

    If I spit down (I'll hit my) beard, if I spit up (I'll hit my) mustache.

    • I'm torn between two sides or situations. If I select the one, I'll reject the other.
    • I can't decide in favor of one thing without jeopardizing the other.
    • I'm faced with an impossible choice.

    May be used as shown...

    aşağılık duygusu (kompleksi)

    vulgar feeling (complex)

    inferiority complex

    Aşığa Bağdat uzak/ırak değil.
    Note: Serves both as an idiom and a proverb.
    For one who is in love, even Baghdad is not too far to go.No task is too difficult in the pursuit of love.May be used as is...
    Aşık alemi kör, dört yanını duvar sanır.
    Note: Serves both as an idiom and a proverb.
    The lover imagines all people blind and himself/herself surrounded by four walls.A lover is blindly preoccupied with love.May be used as is...
    aşık atmak/oynamak
    Note: Though the spelling is nearly the same, the first word of this idiom is not aşık.
    to throw or play knucklebonesto rival, compete with, vie with (a superior)Şarkıcı Petek Dinçöz "Hülya'yla aşık atmam. Ben kimse ile gereksiz yere polemiğe girmek istemiyorum" demiş. Singer Petek Dinçöz said, "I'm not competing with Hülya [Avşar]. I don't want to get involved in an unnecessary controversy with anyone." Adapted from an article in Gözcü Gazetesi, 15 June 2003
    Aşk bir deryadır dalmayan bilmez.
    Note: Serves both as an idiom and a proverb.
    Love is [like] a sea, one who doesn't dive in doesn't know it.Until you experience love, it's a mystery.May be used as is...

    aşk çekmek

    to pull love

    to suffer the pangs of love

    aşkolsun See the 700 Club of Essential Turkish.See the 700 Club of Essential Turkish.See durdu durdu (da) for an example sentence.

    at koşturmak

    to let a horse run about

    This may have a variety of meanings; such as:

    • to fool around, to 'chase rainbows'
    • to have a free hand

    ateş bacayı (saçağı) sarmak
    Also seen as:
    alev saçağı sarmak

    for the fire to spread to the chimney

    • a situation is dangerous, and has taken a turn for the worse
    • for things to get out of control
    Ateş bacayı sarmadan gerekli önlemleri almalıyız, yoksa iş işten geçer.

    If we don't want things to get out of control, we have to take the necessary precautions -- or else this [problem] is going to spread from job to job.

    ateş pahası (pahasını) fire pricevery expensiveAvrupa malı bir gömlek almak istedim, baktım ki ateş pahasına vazgeçtim.99 I wanted to buy a European-made shirt, but I had a look, saw that they were very expensive, and gave up (the idea).
    ateş püskürmek to spray fire from one's mouthto spit fire (at); be very angry (with)Geçen hafta 'altın vuruş' yaparak öldüğü iddia edilen Yıldız Tilbe, bu habere ateş püskürdü. Yıldız Tilbe got extremely angry when she heard the news that claimed she had died last week from a 'golden hit' drug-overdose. Gözcü Gazetesi, 11 July 2003
    atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti.

    The one who took the horse has (already) passed Üsküdar [aka Scutari, a section of Istanbul, on the Asian side].

    • The opportunity at hand, is lost.
    • It's too late now (to rectify it).
    • There's nothing more that can be done.

    Bırak peşini, atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti.

    Stop persisting, it's over -- we lost our chance.

    atın ölümü arpadan olsun
    A proverbial idiom...
    after the book
    Let the horse's death be due to (something good like) barley.
  • It is not worth depriving oneself of something one likes for fear of bad consequences.135
  • Let's throw caution to the wind!
  • Türkiye genelinde Kuş Gribi paniği sürerken beyaz et tüketimi de yok denecek kadar azaldı. Ancak "Kuş Gribi nedeniyle tavuk yemiyorum" diyenler bedava döneri görünce "atın ölümü arpadan olsun" demeye başladı. In general during the recent Bird Flu panic in Turkey, the consumption of poultry (white meat) has sunk to an all time low. But upon seeing [the offer of] free [chicken] döner kebap... those who [in the past] have said, "I'm not eating chicken because of the Bird Flu," are now starting to say, "Let's throw caution to the wind!" Gözcü Gazetesi, 31 Jan 2006 (See photo-article at left.)
    ava giden avalır
    Note: Serves both as an idiom and a proverb.
    the one who goes to the hunt is trappedA person can fall into his own trap.Mehmet Ağar, Orman Yasası referandumu konusunda, geçmişten örnekler verdi ve 'Her seferinde ava gidenler avlandı' diyerek, AKP'nin referandumda beklediği sonucu alamayacağını savundu. On the subject of the Forests Bill [national] referendum, [DYP  party leader] Mehmet Ağar warned that the AKP will not get the result they expect -- and he gave examples from the past, saying 'Every time, the hunter fell into his own trap.'

    avucunu yala

    lick your paw, lick your palm

    • to not expect anything
    • to be left empty handed
    • to not hope for anything

    Sürekli çalışmasan sınavı kazanamaz, avucunu yalarsın sonra.

    If you don't study diligently [continuously], you won't pass the exam and you'll be left with nothing.

    ayağa kaldırmak to elevate foot
    • to excite, arouse (a group)
    • to incite, stir up (a group) to rebellion

    Belediye başkanının haberi şehri ayağa kaldırmıştı.

    The mayors news incited the village to the point of rebellion.

    ayağının tozu ile
    Also seen as:
    ayağının tozuyla...
    with her/his feet's dusthaving just arrivedAyağının tozuyla İstanbul gecelerinde boy gösteren Seben Koçibey, geçtiğimiz gece Malmumcu'daki Caliente Kulüp'teydi. Having just arrived [back to Istanbul from America where she lives], Seben Koçibey (who was showing herself off -- in [various] Istanbul night-spots) turned up at the Caliente Club in Balmumcu the other night. Gözcü Gazetesi, 14 June 2004 (See photo-article on the Who's Who page.)
    Ayağını yorganına (yorgana) göre uzat.
    A proverbial idiom...
    Lengthen your foot according to your quilt.
  • Live within the limit of your income.
  • Live according to your means.
  • Ayağını yorganına göre uzatmayan hayatta sıkıntıdan kurtulamaz.99 Those who don't live within their means won't be able to escape financial difficulties in life.
  • "Ayağını yorgana göre uzat" diyorsun ama durmadan yorganını kısaltıyorsun. You say [that I must] "Live within the limit of my income," but then you keep on reducing my limit. Gözcü Gazetesi, 23 July 2003
    (See political cartoon below.)
  • ayağının altına karpuz kabuğu koymak to put a watermelon skin under someone's foot
    • to cause someone's downfall, to cause someone to be ousted from office
    • to lay a trap for someone, to intrique against someone

    Yerini alacağımdan çekiniyor, bunun için de buradan ayağımın altına karpuz kabuğu koymaya çalışıyordu. She's afraid I'll take her place, so she's trying to trip me up!

    Click following for:
    The Rest of the Idiom Story!

    ayaklar atamaz

    can't throw feet

    can't make a fool out of

    Hiç kimse bana böyle ayaklar atamaz! Nobody can do this to me (make a fool of me)!

    ayazda kalmak

    to remain in the cold

    • to end up getting nothing
    • to go home empty-handed
    • to lose out
    • to be left out in the cold

    Ayıkla pirincin taşını.

    Pick [separate] the stones from the rice.

    • What a mess!
    • How am I going to do this?
    • This business is messed up, so get out of it if you can.

    Vaktinde önlem almadın; şimdi ayıkla pirincin taşını.103 You didn't take action in time, now this business is in a mess.

    Ayıptır söylemeşi (ama)...

    Saying may be a shame (but)...
    [It may be improper to say (but)...]
    • "I'm sorry, I feel I have to say this, though it may seem disrespectful..."
    • "Excuse me for saying so, but..."
    • "Excuse the expression, but..."

    May be used as shown...

    aynı tüfeğin demirinden

    from the iron of the same gun...

    • two physical things that share the same characteristic
    • two situations or things of a negative nature that resemble each other

    "Bizim evdeki maşa da aynı tüfeğin demirinden galiba, ne zaman öfkelenip fırlatsam daima benim avradı topuğundan vuruyorum," demiş. "We have a pair of tongs at home that's probably made from the same material, because every time I get angry and throw it at my wife I hit her right in the heel!" he said...

    Click following for:
    The Rest of the Idiom Story!

    ayrısı gayrısı (olmamak, bilmemek) (to not be, to not know) separate otherto be close friends; to be family; to have all things in commonSee Category 1 and 7, Turkish doublets.

    ayvayı yemek

    to eat a quince (fruit)

    • to be in trouble
    • be in for it...
    • be done for...
    • for one's goose to be cooked
    Beklediğimiz para yarın da gelmezse ayvayı yedik demektir. If the money we expect doesn't arrive by tomorrow, it'll mean our goose is cooked.
    az buçuksmall and a half
    • scanty, hardly enough, very little, somewhat
    Senin bu konuda az buçuk deneyimin de vardır. You have very little experience with this subject.
    az buz olmamakto not be small iceto be of no small matter, to be a significant amountAz buz değil, belki bir ton şeker vardı mutfakta. It's no small matter, there must be a ton of sugar in the kitchen.
    Also see Category 1 and 4, Turkish doublets.
    az çoklittle, muchmore or less 

    Az değil (o kişi).

    (That person...) He's not small.

    • (That person)...just because he's quiet, it doesn't mean he doesn't know his job; In fact, he's a nice guy, quite intelligent and competent.
    • He's quite different than what he seems to be.

    May be used as shown...

    az kaldı
    (az kalsın)
    [a] little remained (let a little remain)[for a job to be] almost, nearly [done, finished]Az kalsın unutuyordum; evin anahtarını aldınız mı? I almost forgot; did you take the house key?

    Related Pages:
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  • Turkish Acronyms/Abbreviations
  • The Idiomatic M-Doublets
  • Idioms Origin Stories, Index
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    We wish to extend thanks to
    Metin Yurtbaşı, Emin Özdemir, Osman Çizmeciler, and Ömer Asım Aksoy
    for their Turkish Idioms source material -- on which some of this page is based.
    And, to Avni Aksoy
    -- for helping us gain greater insight and appreciation of this nifty subject.
    We are most gratefully indebted...

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