Ready to finally learn the weirdly funny Turkish phrases that every Turk says? I explain the twenty of them in this blog post!
No matter how good your Turkish is, Turks will always boggle your mind with funny Turkish phrases used in everyday life. Because there are pretty interesting yet on-the-spot phrases for almost every situation in the Turkish language.
In this blog post, I will teach you a bunch of common phrases with direct translations for each of them so that you won’t be dumbfounded when you hear these from your Turkish friends.
Funny Turkish Phrases You Need To Know
1. Şeytan tüyü
Meaning: The devil’s feather
This phrase is used to describe someone who is charming and can become close with everyone.
2. Nazar Değmesin
Meaning: May you not be touched by the evil eye
We say this phrase when we admire and compliment someone pretty, but to protect them from any harm and to indicate that you’re not jealous in a wrong way. It’s usually accompanied by the word maşallah.
3. Bir yastıkta kocasınlar
Meaning: May they grow old on one pillow
It’s like wishing a newlywed couple to be together until they get old. There is a big long pillow in almost all Turkish family homes. Couples used to share that one long pillow when sleeping in older times, but it’s not a thing today.
4. Etekleri zil çalıyor
Meaning: The bells on her hems are ringing
This phrase is used to describe someone who is excited about something.
5. Pabucu dama atıldı
Meaning: His shoe was thrown onto the roof
This phrase is used when someone who is in the spotlight has been passed over by another. This one has an interesting backstory so let me share it with you.
In the Ottoman era, quality and honesty were crucial in commerce, so the tradesman who cheated customers were punished by closing their shops and labeling them as fraud. If it was a shoemaker, one of the shoes he sells would be thrown to the roof of his shop so that all people would know that the shoemaker is unreliable.
6. Balık etli
Meaning: Fish fleshed
It’s no secret that most Turkish men like women with a bit of meat on their bones, and this phrase describes all curvy girls.
7. Elini sallasa ellisi
Meaning: If she waves her hand, fifty will come
It means someone is so beautiful/handsome that fifty people will fall for them with just one move. So it literally translates as there are plenty more fish in the sea in English.
8. Armut piş ağzıma düş
Meaning: May the pear be cooked and fall into my mouth
This phrase describes a person who doesn’t like to work and wants everything comes ready and done for themselves.
9. Kafayı üşüttü
Meaning: He has caught a cold in their head
This phrase describes someone who has gone crazy.
10. İlk göz ağrım
Meaning: The first pain of my eye
This phrase describes the parent’s love for their first child, so the child won’t be jealous of their younger siblings.
11. Güle güle gidin
Meaning: May you go laughing
Nobody likes sad goodbyes, right? Turks do the farewell in the best way possible by saying this phrase to departing visitors.
12. Güle güle kullan
Meaning: May you use it smiling
This phrase is said when someone buys something new. You can also say this when you give someone a present.
13. Kafam güzel
Meaning: My head is beautiful
This phrase means that you’re high or drunk.
This word is used to describe very attractive young women. I think it literally means “chick” in English.
15. Ağızla kuş tutmak
Meaning: Catching a bird with his mouth
This phrase is used when the acts of someone will not be approved even if he does the miracles.
16. Balık kavağa çıkınca
Meaning: When the fish climbs the tree
This phrase is used when you mean that something is never going to happen.
17. Kulağını tersten göstermek
Meaning: Showing the ear from the opposite side
This phrase means that you take the farthest and most difficult way to do something while there is a much easier way.
18. Ense yapmak
Meaning: To lie on nape
This phrase refers to someone who eats, drinks, and enjoys themselves but never works. It’s used for lazy people.
19. Çam devirmek
Meaning: To take down a tree
This phase is used for someone who draws people’s attention with their words and puts themselves in an unpleasant situation.
20. Yağlı müşteri
Meaning: Fatty customer
This phrase refers to someone rich and spending a lot of money shopping.
If these Turkish phrases interest you, why don’t you learn more about them in Ling App?
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Until next time! Görüşmek üzere!