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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 O

The Turkish

The Literal English Meaning The 'Plain' English Meaning Comments and Examples
o sayede
Note: This idiom means the same as 'bu sayede' and nearly the same as 'sayesinde'.
in this/that shadowbecause of this/that [reason], thanks to this/that [reason],
so, therefore
Şirket bu sayede ayakta kalabildi. Thanks to this [reason], the corporation was able to survive. [...to stay on its feet.]
objektif karşısına geçmek to pass opposite an objectiveto pose for a cameraSee example sentence at:
el üstünde tutmak.
[-in/-ın] ocağına incir/darı dikmek to plant a fig/kernel in the fireplaceto ruin or do away with sb's familyKumara alıştırmış, böylece ocağına incir dikmişlerdi.100 They became addicted to gambling and, just like that, it ruined their family.
okkanın altına gitmek/girmek to go/enter under the 'oka' (a measurement of weight)
  • to be the victim
  • to bear the brunt of sth
  • to (wrongfully) receive punishment
  • to fall into a bad situation, either uselessly or unjustly
Dikkat et okkanın altına gidersen karışmam.99 Be careful, if you're going to be blamed, [then] I won't get involved.
okuyup yazmamak to not read and to not writeto be illiterateHayatı boyunca okuyup yazamamış olan ve bunu saklayan Mike, aynı sorun torunde da ortaya çıkınca zor durumda kalır. Mike (who has been illiterate [can't read or write] and who has hidden the fact all his life) finds himself in a difficult situation when the same problem is also exposed in his grandson. A film summary of 'The Secret' (starring Kirk Douglas) -- found in DigiTurk TV Movie Guide, August 2005
olacak (olan) olurit will be as it will be
  • what will be, will be
  • it will be as it is fated to be
  • que sera sera
Ne yaparsan yap, olacak olan olur. Do what you must, what will be will be.
oldum bittim I was, I finishedSee
oldum olası.
oldum olası(ya) I was probablefor as long as I've known, for as long as anyone can remember, from time immemorial, always
  • Person A: Bizim şu Cola Turka'yı nasıl buldun?
    Person B: Vallahi, zaten oldum olası şu 'cola'lı içeçekler ile aram pek iyi değildir...Bu nedenle içmediğim için Cola Turka'nın içimi, lezzeti hakkında olumlu ya da olumsuz bir fikrim yok...
    Person A: How do you find this [new] Cola Turka of ours?
    Person B: To tell the truth, my relations with 'cola' drinkers have not been that good, for as long as I can remember. For that reason, I haven't drunk it [myself], so I don't have either a positive or a negative opinion about the taste or flavor of Cola Turka...
    Adapted from the Asabiye Koğuşu column (by Erdoğan Tokmakçıoğlu) appearing in Gözcü Gazetesi, 23 August 2003
  • Oldum olasıya Gümüldür'de mi oturuyorsun? Have you always lived in Gümüldür?
  • olmak üzere on the point to become
    1. being; who/which is/are; of whom/which is/are
    2. to be about to; to be on the point of being
    3. (along/together) with (sb/sth) (who is doing sth); including/included (with) (sb/sth)
    1. İşyerimizde, ikisi Fransız olmak üzere, yirmi eleman var.87 There are twenty employees at our workplace, two of whom are French.
    2. Sezer, bu yasama yılında 3'ü Anayasa değişikliği olmak üzere toplam 12 yasayı Mecliş'e geri gönderdi. In this legislative year, (Turkish President) Sezer has returned to the Turkish Parliament a total of 12 bills that were about to change the 3rd Turkish Constitution. Gözcü Gazetesi, 20 August 2003
    3. including (with), together (with)...
      • El kaide bağlantı Ebu Hafs El Masri Tugaylan, İtalya'nın 15 Auğustos'a kadar İrak'taki askerlerini çekmemesi halinde başta Roma olmak üzere büyük şehirlerde saldırılar düzenleyeceklerini iddia etti. Ebu Hafs El Masri Tugaylan (who is associated with El Kaide) claimed that they [El Kaide] will organize attacks in the big cities including and starting with Rome if Italy doesn't remove its troops from Iraq by 15 August.
      • See another example sentence at:
        bir sıçrarsın çekirge ...
    olsa gerek if he/she/it were necessaryhe/she/it must be [sth]
  • O kişi yabancı olsa gerek. That person must be a foreigner.
  • Tek göğsü açıkta kalan Jackson neye uğradığını şaşırırken, izleyiciler "Bu da Justin'in sahne fantezisi olsa gerek" yorumunu yaptı. Observers (who were astonished about why [Janet] Jackson stood there with a single breast exposed) commented, "And this must be Justin [Timberlake]'s stage fantasy." Gözcü Gazetesi, 3 February 2004
    (See photo-article at left.)
  • DYP lideri Mehmet Ağar, Kara Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı'nın fişleme kampanyasına tepki göstererek şunları kaydetti: 'İçeriğe baktığınızda orada sayılan niteliklerin hepsini eğer potansiyel suçlu olarak kabul edersek, Türkiye'de suçsuz insan kalmayacaktır. Herhalde bir teknik yanlişlık olsa gerek diye düşünüyorum.' DYP party leader Mehmet Agar said the following (while showing his reaction to the Turkish Army's [new] campaign to create an intelligence data base [on Turkish citizens]), "If we accept as potentially guilty all of the qualities found upon investigation (when you look inside), there won't be an innocent person left in Turkey. In all likelyhood, I think it [ie. news of the Army's plan] is probably due to a technical mixup. Vakit Gazetesi, 12 March 2004
  • olsa olsa if be if beat the most, at most
  • Olsa olsa oraya dört saate gidilir. It takes at the most four hours to get there.
  • Olsa olsa akraba, eş dost ve yakın kadınlara gösterilir. It is shown at most to the family and close women friends and acquaintances.
  • olur olmaz he/she/it becomes, he/she/it doesn't become
    • just any old, whatever,
      any (of sth)
    • at random, whenever, without thinking
    • Olur olmaz kişilerle arkadaş olmayın.103 Don't be friends with just any old people.
    • Herkesi olur olmaz sebeplerle haraca kesiyorlar.99 They extract protection money for any old reason from anyone.
    • Olur olmaz konuşma!87 Don't speak up whenever you feel like it!
    orta yaşlı middle-agedsame meaning... 
    ortada fol yok, yumurta yok/yokken
    Also see,
    fol yok yumurta yok...
    (while) there is no nest egg, there is no eggthere is no apparent reason for it; for no apparent reason whatsoever; there is no proof of its existenceOrtada fol yok yumurta yokken kavga çıkardı. An argument started up for no apparent reason. [...while there was no apparent reason.]
    ortalık düzelmekfor the surroundings to be put in orderfor law and order to be restored, for public morals to improveOrtalık düzeldi, herkes işine döndü. Law and order was restored, and everyone returned to work.
    ortaya almakto take to the middleto surround 
    ortaya atmakto throw to the middleto suggest, throw (something) out for considerationSame as meydana atmak...
    Sağlıkevi düşüncesini ortaya attım, herkes hemen benimsedi. [When] I suggested the idea of a health clinic, everyone immediately accepted the idea [as if it were their own].
    ortaya atılmakto be thrown in center
    • to be suggested, be proposed, thrown out for consideration
    • to go forth, sally forth
    Same as meydana atılmak...
    Mağaraya girme işinde ortaya atılan iki kişiden biriydi. She was one of two people who volunteered for the job of entering the cave.
    ortaya bir balgam atmak to throw an expectoration to the middleto throw a monkey wrench into the works, to say something to upset matters (just at the point when all's going well), to drop a malicious hint 
    ortaya çıkarmakto put in the middle
    • to expose, reveal, bring to light
    • to create, introduce a new thing
    ortaya çıkmakto go to the middle
    • to be revealed
    • to appear, come on the scene
    • to show up on the scene
    • for something to come to light
    Vatandaşlara bedava İncil dağıtan 3 misyoner yakalandı. Afyon'da, Ekim ayında bir otelde toplantı yapacakları ortaya çıkınca oluşan tepkiler nedeniyle, rezervasyonları iptal edilen misyonerler dün Afyon sokaklarında ortaya çıktı. Three missionaries get nabbed for distributing free Bibles to [Turkish] citizens. Missionaries (who cancelled their reservations because of reactions that arose when it came to light that they'd have a meeting in an Afyon hotel in October) showed up in the streets of Afyon yesterday. Headline and first line of an article in Gözcü Gazetesi, 14 August 2003
    ortaya dökmekto pour to the middleto disclose, make public 
    ortaya düşmekto fall to the middleto become a prostitute 
    ortaya koymakto put to the middle
    • to indicate (that), suggest (that), reveal (that), prove (that)
    • to bring up (a matter), put forth (something) for consideration
    • to create, produce
    Açlık sınırının 453 milyona çıktığını ortaya koyan araştırmanın yorumu: Türk halkı cennetlik! The interpretation of research (indicating that the poverty level has climbed to 453 million Turkish Lira [monthly]) is that the Turkish people are deserving of going to heaven! Gözcü Gazetesi, 28 May 2003
    ortaya sürmekto drive to the middleto bring up, expose, reveal 
    ortaya vurmakto strike to the middleto expose, disclose, to make public 
    oyuna gelmemekto not come to the gameto not be deceivedMHP'li Ünal oyuna gelmedi. The MHP [political party] representative [named] Unal was not deceived. Yeni Asır Newspaper, Headline, 4 May 2001
    In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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    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.

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