Turkish Idioms Dictionary
Examples of Turkish Idioms, Origin of Turkish Idioms, Turkish Idiom Meaning, Turkish Idioms List,
Turkish Idioms - for English-Speakers

Learn Turkish Language Online -- Turkish Learning Logo
[Learn Turkish: Home] [Turkish: Beginners]
[Table of Contents] [Questions/Comments]
[Learn Turkish: Downloads] [Blog: Our Turkish Life!]
[Turkish Love] [Learn Turkish: Website Updates]
[Turkish: Movies, Index]
[Learn Turkish: Personal Names]
[Turkish: Website Search Engine]
[Online Turkish Word Dictionary]
Learn Turkish language, 
Online color bar

A Turklish Idioms Dictionary
comes in handy for describing
Deniz Akkaya
Turkish Fashion Modeel
in this whiter shade of pale...
Fashion model Deniz Akkaya -- in a whiter shade of pale
Famous Türk Picture Series

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Turkish Books, Interesting

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Ads by HepsiBurada

Free updates for life!
Jim and Peri's
CD/Broadband Editions
for Turkish Learning --
with triple ebook bonus!
Turkish movies and Turkish Language-learning CD/Broadband product

Bypass Turkish Government Censorship
Ask about our free Speed Trial account --
for in-country Türkiye

Turkish Censorship | Turkish Government Censorship | Religious-Right Censorship in Turkey
Click the image to learn how to protect your Internet freedom for as little as $6.55 a month!
-- 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee, No Questions Asked --

The Plain English Meanings of
Turkish Idioms

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm kitap fırsatları için tıklayın !

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 E

The Turkish

The Literal English Meaning The 'Plain' English Meaning Comments and Examples
ecel teri dökmek to sweat one's appointed time to dieto fear for one's life316 yolcu havada ecel terleri döktü. 316 (airline) passengers feared for their lives in mid-air. A headline from Gözcü Gazetesi, 5 August 2003
eciş bücüş ... ...
(Neither word has meaning except in this phrase.)
out of shape, crooked, distorted, ruined, uglySee Category 3 and 7, Turkish doublets.
eden bulmak/çekmek
See also
ettiğini bulmak.
to find/pull what one does/didto get one's just dessertsSen bilmez misin ki, eden bulur. Don't you know one gets his just desserts?
The Illustrated Story of Barbarossa -- book 3, plate 46
Also seen/heard as
efenim -- in special situations.
my masterefendim has multiple Plain English uses/meaningsSee complete definition and explanation on the Tips on Turkish page.
eğilip bükülmek to be bent and to be twisted
  • to fidget, squirm
  • to fawn
See Category 1 and 8, Turkish doublets.
eğitim cehaleti alır, eşeklik baki kalırLearn Practical Turkish Language color iconeducation takes stupidity, (but) remains donkey-like everlastingeven if you educate a stupid/uncultured person, he/she is still going to be a donkey
After Hülya Avşar described the student body at Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi in terms of this Turkish idiom, the University sued and won an undisclosed financial settlement from her. According to otisabi at ekŞisözlük.com (16 May 2000)
Also see eşeğe altın semer de vursan yine eşektir -- and the next entry in this table, just below...

eğitim cahilliği alır, hunilik baki kalırLearn Practical Turkish Language color iconeducation takes ignorance, (but) remains funnel-like everlastingeducation for stupid/uncultered (people) [is a waste], it flows through (them) like a funnel
The dumbo funnel-head youngster sez:
Let me do that too, Papa, let me do it!
The dumbo funnel-head father sez:
No! You're going to get an education!

Turkish Idioms Dictionary - 'Once a dumbo always a dumbo'

Thanks to
Ruksan Fun Club
September 2011

ekmeğine yağ sürmek to drive oil to breadto help (sb) inadvertentlyYerel Yönetimler Yasısı PKK'nın ekmeğine yağ sürecek! Newspaper Headline...The 'Local Government Law' will inadvertently help the PKK! Gözcü Gazetesi, 16 January 2004
ekmeğini taştan çıkarmakto remove (extract) bread from stoneto make a living the hard way, to struggle to make a livingÇok çalıştı, ekmeğini taştan çıkardı. She worked hard and made her living the hard way.
eksik olmadon't be missing (something)Thank you!Frequently used in polite conversation instead of teşekkür ederim or sağ ol.
el ayak hand foothas many situational meanings, see examples in right panel...
  • El ayak çekilince bekçi düdüğü duyuldu. When no one's around, the watchman blows his whistle.
  • eli ayağı bağlı not free to act as you want, having your hands tied
  • eli ayağı buz kesilmek to be extremely cold
el bebek
(gül bebek)
hand baby
(rose baby)
  • to treat someone with great respect and honor
  • coddled, petted, spoiled
See Category 1 and 9, Turkish doublets.
el çabukluğu ilewith hand fastnessto do a trick with such speed that it goes unnoticed, to finish a job very quicklyYankesici, el çabukluğuyla adamın cüzdanını aşırmış. The pickpocket speedily made off with the man's wallet.
el çekmek to pull a handto withdraw from, relinquish, give upSee example sentence at:
haline gelmek.
ele geçir(il)mek to pass (sb/sth) through a hand
  • to catch, capture
  • to get, get hold of
  • to take possession of
Libyalı Tarehanad Elhaddad'ın bagajında yapılan aramada, 8 ayrı külçe halinde tam 30 kilogram altın ele geçirildi. In the search [the police] made of Libyan-citizen Tarehanad Elhaddad's luggage, they took possession of 30 kilograms of gold in 8 separate bars. Gözcü Gazetesi, 18 July 2003
Also see example sentence at
sona erdirmek.
el ele vermek
Note: This not the same as: ele vermek.
for hand to give handto join forces, cooperate
  • El ele verince her işi kolayca başarırız; birlikten kuvvet doğar. When you cooperate you succeed at every job easily, strength is born from unity.
  • El ele verip kızcağızı süsleyip püsledik. We joined forces and dolled up our dear daughter [so that she was] 'fit to kill'!
el kesesinden sultanım, develer olsun kurbanımI am the sultan taking from the money-bags [of others], so let camels be the sacrifice.
Note: In Ottoman times, the bigger the sacrificial animal the more 'tax' money the sultan could collect.
I'm someone who spends other people's money to live an ostentatious life.Parası yok, onuru yok; el kesesinden sultanım, develer olsun kurbanım, diyor. He doesn't have any money or honor. He says that he likes living ostentatiously -- off other people's money.
-a/-e el koymak for the hand to be put
  • to take over the investigation (of an unlawful act)
  • to confiscate; to sequester
  • Uzan ailesinin bazı üyeleri hakkında yakalama emri çıkarılmasından sonra, ailenin malvarlığına yönelik operasyonlar da sürüyor. Dün Uzan Ailesi'nin iki lüks yatına el koydu. After the siezure order was made regarding certain members of the Uzan Family, operations are continuing to be directed toward the family's assets. Yesterday two of the Uzan Family's luxury yachts were confiscated. Gözcü Gazetesi, 23 August 2003
    el sikiyle/yarağıyla gerdeğe girmek
    [Be careful with whom you use this, as it is an Off-Color Idiom]
    [for a man] to enter the wedding boudoir with a borrowed penis
    • to set up an enterprise with another person's money
    • to be arrogant in the use of someone else's money, success, home job, etc.
    • the idiom refers to a man who is likely to fail, because he depends too much on the help of others
    Elin sikiyle gerdeğe girersen böyle olursun işte. If you depend too much on the help of others, you'll end up like that [a failure], you see...
    el sürmemek to not hand drive
  • not to touch
  • not to do; not to lift a finger (to do sth)
  • to show no interest in (sth)
  • See example sentence at:
    kılını (bile) kıpırdatmamak.
    el üstünde tutulmakto be held on top of the hand
  • to be treated with great respect, honor, admiration
  • to be very 'popular'
  • Ayyıldız'ın 2003 mayo koleksiyonu için objektif karşısına geçen Brezilyalı manken Bruna Magagna, ülkesinde el üstünde tutuluyor. Brazilian model Bruna Magagna who posed for the 2003 Ayyıldız [brand] swimsuit collection is very popular in her country. Gözcü Gazetesi, 26 August 2003
    elde etmek to do/make in hand
    1. to get
    2. to win sb over; to get sb to one's own side
    Piknik yerlerinde devriye gezen jandarma ekipleri ateş yakanları uyarmalar-
    ına rağmen bir sonuç elde edemedi.
    In spite of the warnings of the Turkish Gendarme teams (who stroll around the picnic grounds) to picnickers who burn fires, no one pays attention (...they don't get a result). Gözcü Gazetesi, 29 July 2003
    See another example sentence at: turnayı gözünden vurmak.
    [-ın/-in] elde/elinde kalmak to remain in [the] hand
  • to be at the mercy of (sb)
  • to be under the control of (sb)
  • (for sth) to remain unsold
  • Çapsız politikacılar elinde kaldık! We were at the mercy of maladroit politicians! Click following to learn the story behind this headline, which appeared in Gözcü Gazetesi, 16 Aug 2005.
    elden bırakmak
    to leave from handto give up (sth)Ancak Bush itidali elden bırakmayarak, "Saddam'ın yakalanması şiddetin sonu demek değildir.' şeklinde konuştu. But [President] Bush (in a tone of moderation [not giving up moderation]) said, "Saddam's capture does not mean the end of violence." Zaman Gazetesi, 15 December 2003
    elden çıkmak to go out from hand
  • to go out of one's possession
  • to be out of one's hands (control)
  • to be out of one's power (to control)
  • See example sentence at:
    haline gelmek.
    elden gelmek to come from handto be within one's capabilitiesSee example sentence at:
    ele avuca sığmaz he/she/it doesn't fit to palm to handout of control, uncontrollable, very mischievious, waywardTürkan Şoray, ele avuca sığmayan kızını artık serbest bıraktı! From now on, Türkan Şoray (a former Turkish beauty queen and now Turkey's grande dame of film and TV) has set her wayward daughter free! Gözcü Gazetesi, 30 July 2003
    ele vermek
    Note: this is not the same as: el ele vermek.
    to give to handto inform on (sb);
    to tell on (sb)
    Yükledikten sonra bu yazılım kendisini farkettirmeden çalışıp, gizlice chat ve e-mail kayıtlarını belleğinde tutuyor ve çapkını kısa sürede ele veriyor. After this software is installed, it works by itself in the background, capturing secret e-chat and e-mail entries in its memory, and in a short while it informs on the womanizing 'Casanova'. Gözcü Gazetesi, 4 August 2003
    elekten geçirmekto pass through a fine sieveto sift, to examine very closely, minutelyİstedi ki denizi elekten geçirip onu bulsunlar.
    He wanted that they examine the sea minutely and that they find him.
    The Illustrated Story of Barbarossa -- book 1, plate 31
    eli açık
    [also eli bol]
    open hand
    [plentiful hand]
    generousBu senin kardeşin çok eli açık birisi, neyi var neyi yoksa veriyor. This your brother is a very generous person, whatever he has he shares (gives).
    eli boşempty handempty handed, penniless, brokeHırsızlar cüzdanını çaldıktan sonra eve eli boş döndü. After thieves stole his wallet, he returned home empty handed.
    eli çabukfast handfast (worker), efficienteli çabuk olanlar
    ones with fast hands...
    Coming soon,
    The Rest of the Idiom Story...
    [e/a] eli değmek (ermek, erişmek) to touch (attain, reach) the handto find the time to do (sth)Sitem etmekte haklısınız, bir elim değip de uğrayamadım. You are right in reproaching [me], I wasn't able to find time to stop by [to see you].
    eli kulağında in the ear's handwithin an ace of, on the brink of, on the verge of, about to happen, just around the cornerHavaya baktı, "Eli kulağında, belki bu gece kar yağar', dedi.100 He looked at the sky and said, "We're perhaps on the verge of a snow storm tonight."
    eli sıkıtight handto be stingy, niggardly 
    [-ın/-in] elinde kalmak See elde/elinde kalmak.  
    elinden gelmekto come from the handto be able to doElinden geldiğince herkese iyilik eder; yardımını esirgemez. He'll try when he can to do a favor for anybody; he doesn't withhold his help. Ali Uslu
    elinden geleni yapmakto make the coming from one's handto do the best one can do, do one's level best, do all one can do
  • Ben McGewen, kardeşinin intikamını almak için elinden geleni yapmaya niyetlidir. Ben McGewen is someone who intends to do everthing he can in order to avenge his brother. From a synopsis of the film 'Stark Raving Mad' -- which appeared in DigiTurk Magazine, February 2005
  • Elimden geleni yapacağım. I'll do the best I can.
  • elinden tutmakto hold from one's hand
    • to own, possess
    • to hold in reserve
    eline su (bile) dökemez he/she can't (even) pour water to his/her handhe/she is much inferior to sb; he/she can't hold a candle to sb
  • Tavlada kimse babamın eline su dökemez.116 My father is very expert at playing backgammon (no one can pour water to my father's hand).
  • O senin eline su bile dökemez.105 She can't hold a candle to you (she can't even pour water to your hand).
  • Bobby kay kayda Jimmy'nin eline su dökemez.103 Jimmy is a far better skate-boarder than Bobby. (Bobby can't pour water to Jimmy's hand, at skate-boarding).
    See a newspaper example at:
    gününü gün etmek.
  • elinin hamuruyle/hamuruyla erkek işlerine karışmak
    Note: this 'politically incorrect' sexist idiom is only used for women, normally.
    to mix in man's works with hand's doughfor a woman to try to do a man's job (which is believed to be beyond her capability or skill)
  • 'Elinin hamuruyla erkek işine karışma' sözü artık tarih oldu. Büyük şehirlerde erkek rakipleriyle yarışan kadınlar işçiler aç kalmamak için inşaatlarda harç, boya, kalıp işi yapıyor. The words, "Don't mix in men's work" will have to be relegated to history from now on. [Turkish] women workers (who compete with their male rivals in the big cities) are plastering, painting, and pouring molds at construction sites in order to avoid being hungry and poor. Adapted from an article in Gözcü Gazetesi, 8 September 2003
  • Musluğu ben tamir ederim, sen neden uğraşıyorsun? Elinin hamuruyla erkek işine karışma! 102 I'll repair the faucet/tap, why are you struggling with it? Don't try to do a man's job!
  • En 
    engel çıkarmak
    (Note how the literal and plain-English meanings of this two-word idiom are the opposite of what one might think, upon first encountering it.)
    to remove barrier, difficultyto raise or create difficulties, barriers, or problemsAlso see güçlük çıkarmak and işi yokuşa sürmek.
    er geçearly lateone of these days, when it will beEr geç bir ev alacağım. One of these days I'll buy a house.
    eski çamlar bardak oldu old pines became drinking glass
  • Times have changed.
  • Things aren't what they used to be.
  • Artık birbirimizle anlaşamıyoruz, eski çamlar bardak oldu.102 We don't agree with each other anymore, things aren't what they used to be.
    eski hamam eski tas old Turkish bath, old metal bowl
  • Nothing has changed; it's business as usual.
  • History repeats itself; there's nothing new under the sun.
  • It's the same ol' same ol'.
  • Bizim büro eski hamam, eski tas. Şube müdürü değişti, ama yönetim sistemi yine aynı.102 Nothing has changed at our office, it's business as usual. The branch manager was replaced, but the management system is still the same.
    eski püskü old ...rather old; old and battered looking; shabbySee Category 2 and 9, Turkish doublets.
    eski toprakold earth
    • a healthy, well preserved older person
    • a 'good old son-of-a-gun!'
    Ey oğul! Biz eski toprağız ölünceye kadar çalışırız. Hey sonny boy. We're old (well persevered) guys, we'll work until we die. The Illustrated Story of Barbarossa -- book 1, plate 6
    estağfurullah don't mention it; don't say so; not at allestağfurullah has multiple Plain English uses/meaningsSee complete definition and explanation on the Tips on Turkish page.
    eş dost mate friendfriends and acquaintancesSee example sentence at
    olsa olsa.
    eşeğe altın semer de vursan yine eşektirLearn Practical Turkish Language color icon if you put a golden saddle on a donkey, it's still a donkeysame meaningSee similar idoms/proverbs at: eğitim cehaleti alır, eşeklik baki kalır.
    eşek sudan gelinceye kadar dövmek to beat until the donkey comes from the waterto beat the hell out of sb; to tan sb's hide; to beat sb to a pulp; to give sb a good thrashingDükkan sahipleri hırsızlık yapan çocuğu eşek sudan gelinceye kadar dövdüler. The store owners beat the hell out of the thieving kid.
    ettiğini bulmak/çekmek
    See also
    eden bulmak.
    to find/pull what one does/didto get one's just dessertsSee example sentence at
    eden bulmak.
    etekleri zil çalmak for skirts to ring bell(s)to be overjoyed (about sth); to be extremely glad/happy/pleased (about sth)
  • Ağabeyim askerden dönünce annemin etekleri zil çaldı.100 When my big brother returned from doing his military service my mother was overjoyed (my mother's skirts rang bells).
  • Şanghay'a gideceği için etekleri zil çalıyor.109 He/she is extremely happy because he/she is going to Shanghai (his/her skirts rang bells).
  • In Turkey - Türkiye'de

    Tüm cd fırsatları için tıklayın !

    Turkish movies, Türk filmleri
    Related Pages:
  • The Turkish Idioms A-Z, Index
  • Turkish Acronyms/Abbreviations
  • The Idiomatic M-Doublets
  • Idioms Origin Stories, Index
  • Unrelated fun:
  • Turkish Recipe, Kadınbudu Köfte (Kadinbudu Kofte) - 'a womans thigh'
  • Cheese -- Best Turkish Cheeses, Gourmet Top 10
  • Wine -- Best Turkish Wines, Gourmet Top 10
  • Turkish Movies - Best-Looking Bad Girl of the 1970s, Sevda Ferdağ
  • Bad Girls of the 1970s Turkish Cinema, Aliye Rona
  • Frequently asked questions about Turkey and the Turkish language
  • llustrated Nargile Users Guide -- and Encyclopedia
  • Our Honda Generator -- A Member of the Family
  • 'Erotik' Movies -- The Short Unhappy Life of Mine Mutlu
  • Erotik Angel? -- Melek Görgün
  • Sizzling transsexual -- Emel Aydan
  • Erotik 'Second Banana' -- Gülden Gül
  • Deep-inside Dilber Ay
  • White-Hot Real Blonde... the Ceyda Karahan Center
  • Figen Han -- Fire down below...
  • Arzu Okay -- brainy 'erotik' bombshell
  • The Feri Cansel Story -- an erotik 'Beauty and the Beast'
  • Zerrin Egeliler - (most of) everything you always wanted to know
  • The Seyyal Taner Center
  • The Seher Şeniz Center
  • Tarkan's Metamorphosis Album -- Christmas Day Release
  • Turkish Music -- Tarkan
  • Real-Life Weight Loss a la turc - with alcohol!
  • Habibullah and the Great Cannon Caper
  • A simple Turkish 'thing'...
  • Turkish Music -- Kayahan
  • Turkish Belly Dancers
  • Turkish Tango, Dance the Romance
  • Turkish Food and Turkish Drink
  • Turkish Terms Of Endearment
  • Turkish Personal Names
  • Politically Incorrect Turkish Humor
  • Why Off-Color Turkish is important too
  • Gossipy Turkish Who's Who
  • Turkish Movies -- Conventional and 'Erotik', Index
  • Learn Turkish language

    We wish to extend thanks to
    Emin Özdemir, Osman Çizmeciler, Ömer Asım Aksoy, H. Fethi Gözler,
    Ferit Devellioğlu, Nermin and Muammer Yüzbaşıoğlu,
    Halil Uysal, Ali Püsküllüoğlu, and Ali Uslu

    for their Turkish Idioms source material -- on which some of this page is based.

    Learn Turkish language

    In Turkey - Türkiye'de

    Ads by HepsiBurada

    In Turkey - Türkiye'de
    Turkish Food, Turkish Drink


    [Learn Turkish: Home] [Learning Practical Turkish Table of Contents] [Turkish Learning Message Center]Please email us and tell us how we can improve the Learning Practical Turkish Web site.

    © Turkish Idioms Dictionary | Turkish Idiom Meaning | Turkish Idioms List | Turkish Idioms | Examples of Turkish Idioms | Origin of Turkish Idioms