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20 Weird Turkish Slang Words Every Native Speaker Uses

Have you realized that Turkish people use weird words in casual talk and wonder what they really mean? If that’s the reason why you’re here, great! Because the most commonly used Turkish slang words are explained by a native speaker in this blog post!

The highest goal for us, language learners, is to achieve fluency in speaking. We want to talk like native speakers as much as possible and the shortcut to sounding like a native speaker is to use slang words.

The same thing applies when learning Turkish and consequently, Turkish slang words can help you both sound like a native speaker and also understand native speakers more easily.

Slang is a part of the vivid life in Turkey. I’m sure you get it if you’ve learned some Turkish before traveling to Turkey and realized that the actual spoken language on the street is nothing like what you’ve been learning.

So, this blog post will help you become familiar with the most commonly used slang words in the Turkish language.

Page Contents:

 

What Is Slang?

We use English slang words almost every day in daily life but do you really know what is the definition of slang? Here is the dictionary definition of the word:

Slang is described as a type of language consisting of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, and are more common in speech than writing.

 

When To Use Turkish Slang Words?

Turkish Slang Words

It is a matter of life and death to know when to use Turkish slang words because if used inappropriately, you can get in trouble. Let me explain how.

In general, Turkish people, especially men, are known to be hot-tempered. Moreover, they can have an argy-bargy just because of a misused or misunderstood slang word. So, if you talk in slang language to a stranger, they tend to get it wrong and give you a look while lifting one eyebrow.

But don’t worry, it’s usually the case among natives so, they’re much more tolerant toward foreign travelers since you obviously don’t know the culture and language of the country.

Long story short, you can use Turkish slang language while only talking to your close friends.

 

20 Most Commonly Used Turkish Slang Words

There are a lot of Turkish slang words used in various situations but I included the ones that you’re most likely to hear in daily life.

1. Lan

Though it is by far the most frequently used slang word in Turkish, it doesn’t really have a meaning. Because it’s an exclamation expression. It can be used at the beginning or end of a sentence.

It is kind of similar to the usage of “man” in English slang. However, both men and women use “lan” in casual talk with friends. I must say that it is not a polite word that a gentleman or lady would say.

Example 1:

+ Lan bana neden söylemedin? (Man, why didn’t you tell me?)

– Ne bileyim lan unuttum. (I don’t know man, I forgot.)

Example 2:

+ O kim lan? (Who is that, man?)

– Sadece bir arkadaş. (Just a friend.)

2. Valla mı?

This phrase originated from the Arabic word “vallahi” meaning to take a vow. In Turkish, it is shortened to “valla” which gives the same meaning as “really” or “I swear” in English. And when it is used as a question “valla mı?” it means “really?”

Example 1:

+ Onlar artık Almanya’da yaşıyor, haberin yok mu? (They live in Germany now, haven’t you heard about it?)

– Valla mı? Hiç haberim yok! (Really? I haven’t heard about it.)

Example 2:

+ Yemekler benden! (The food is on me!)

– Valla mı? (Really?)

+ Valla! (Really!)

3. Kanka

buddies doing high-five - Turkish Slang Words

“Kanka” means blood brother but the right correspondence would be dude or buddy in English. It is commonly used among youngsters. Close friends call each other “kanka” but grown-ups don’t like to use this word.

Example:

+ Kanka naber? (Buddy, what’s up?)

– İyi kanka, senden naber? (Fine buddy, what about you?)

4. Naber

It is the informal way of asking “nasılsın” which means how are you in Turkish. “Naber” has the same meaning as “what’s up” in English so you can use it in the same way you use it in English.

Example:

+ Naber lan? (What’s up, man?)

– İyi değilim kanka. (I’m not good, dude.)

5. Kazıklamak

“Kazıklamak” means selling something overpriced, more than its value, so the seller who does that is trying to deceive the customer to increase their profit. Also, the seller who does that is called “kazıkçı” in Turkish slang. If you buy something overpriced, you are the one who is “kazıklanmış.”

Example:

+ Bu elbiseyi sadece 500 liraya aldım. (I bought this dress for only 500 liras.)

– Ne? Kazıklanmışsın! Aynı fiyata iki elbise alabilirdin. (What? You were overcharged! You could have bought two dresses for the same price.)

6. Ekmek

“Ekmek” is a verb that means you have an appointment with someone but you don’t show up there. It has the same meaning as “to stand someone up” in English.

Fun fact: “Ekmek” as a noun means bread in Turkish.

Example 1:

+ Dün beni neden ektin? (Why did you stand me up yesterday?)

– Çok hastaydım, özür dilerim. (Sorry, I was so sick.)

Example 2:

+ Bu akşam işin var mı? (Are you free tonight?)

– Var ama boşver, onu ekerim. (Yes but it doesn’t matter, I’ll stand him up.)

7. Tuzlu

It describes something very expensive. The literal translation would be “salty” but it gives the meaning of “pricey” in English.

Example:

+ Bu elbise ne kadar? (How much is this dress?)

– 500 lira. (500 Lira.)

+ Çok tuzlu. Buna bütçem yetmez! (It’s too pricey! I can’t afford it!)

8. Beş parasız

man with empty pockets - Turkish Slang Words

“Beş parasız” refers to someone with no money so this phrase has the same meaning as “broke” and “penniless” in English.

Example:

+ Neden bir taksi çağırmadın? (Why didn’t you call a taxi?)

– Lan, beş parasızım. (I’m broke, man.)

9. Hayırdır?

This word is usually a sign of a quarrel so be aware. A typical Turkish man says “hayırdır?” while walking up to someone to start a fight or quarrel. It has a similar meaning to “what gives?” in English.

Close friends can also use this word to ask what is going on or why are they acting weird.

Example 1:

+ Sen aşk şarkıları dinlemezdin, hayırdır? (You wouldn’t listen to love songs, what gives?)

– Lan, galiba aşık oldum. (Man, I think I’ve fallen in love.)

Example 2:

+ Şuan seninle konuşmak istemiyor. (She doesn’t want to talk to you right now.)

– Hayırdır? Sen kimsin lan? (Who the hell are you? What gives?)

10. Akşamdan Kalmak

“Akşamdan kalmak” means feeling bad the next day after drinking too much alcohol so, it is the same as “hangover” in English.

Example:

+ Neden bu kadar yorgun görünüyorsun? Akşamdan mı kaldın sen? (Why do you look so tired? Are you hungover?)

– Evet akşamdan kalmayım. (Yes, I’m hungover.)

11. Takma kafana

This phrase can be said to someone who overthinks to relieve them. It is the same as the phrases “never mind” or “shake it off” in English.

Example:

+ Sınavı geçemedim. (I couldn’t pass the exam.)

– Takma kafana. Elinden geleni yaptın. (Shake it off. You’ve done your best.)

12. Hadi oradan

This phrase is used when you don’t believe something or when you are very mad at something that was said to you. It has a similar meaning to the phrase “you gotta be kidding me” in English.

Example:

+ Bu akşam Paris’e uçağım var! (I have a flight to Paris tonight.)

– Hadi oradan! Gerçekten mi? (You gotta be kidding me! Really?)

13. Beleş

In slang, we use the word “beleş”, which originated from Arabic, instead of “bedava” and it literally means “freebie” in English.

Example:

+ Dondurmayı ne kadara aldın? (How much did you pay for the ice cream?)

– Beleş. Para istemediler. (It’s a freebie. They didn’t ask for money.)

14. Racon Kesmek

man is bullying another man - Turkish Slang Words

“Racon” actually originated from the Italian word “ragione” which means reason in Italian. Turkish people use this word a lot. “racona ters” means that it is against reason and logic. “racon kesmek” means settling an argument according to the rules that prevail in the world of bullying.

Example:

+ Ben ne dersem onu yapacaksın! (You’ll do as I say!)

– Burada racon kesemezsin! (You can’t swagger here!)

15. Enayi

“Enayi” refers to someone who can be easily deceived, and is excessively dumb. It is similar to words such as sucker, and dupe in English slang.

Example:

+ Ona sevgililer günü hediyesi olarak ne aldın? (What did you get her as a Valentines’ Day gift?)

– Yeni çıkan Iphone’dan aldım. (I bought her the latest iPhone.)

+ Enayi misin sen? Neden o kadar para verdin? (Are you a dupe? Why did you spend that much?)

16. Keko

In Turkish slang, “keko” is used to refer to a man who looks like a vagrant or a low-life. I think the right counterparts for it would be “yokel or honyock” in English slang.

Example:

+ Kaan’la çıktığını düşünüyorlar. (They think you’re dating Kaan.)

– Ne? O kekoyla işim olmaz! (What? I wouldn’t touch that yokel with a ten-foot pole!)

17. Dandik

In slang, “dandik” is used to describe poor-quality things and the best counterpart for this word is “cheapo” in English slang.

Example:

+ Dizüstü bilgisayarım düzgün çalışmıyor. (My laptop computer doesn’t work properly.)

– Kurtul artık o dandik şeyden. (Get rid of that cheapo already.)

18. Mal

“Mal” actually means a goodie in the dictionary but is used to humiliate someone indicating that they have a limited understanding capacity. It kind of has the meaning of “dumb” in English.

Example:

+ Okul çantamı evde unuttum. (I left my schoolbag at home.)

– Kanka, mal mısın? (Dude, are you dumb?)

19. Oha

a shocked woman - Turkish Slang Words

“Oha” is an exclamation expression in Turkish, the same as “whoa” in English. Turkish people usually say it when they’re shocked or surprised.

Example:

+ Ünlü şarkıcı Halsey’nin Türk bir adamla evli olduğunu biliyor muydun? (Did you know that the famous singer Halsey is married to a Turkish man?)

– Oha! Ciddi misin? (Whoa! Are you serious?)

20. Aga

Similar to kanka, “aga” is another word that close friends use to address each other, however, this is only used by males to address other male friends.

Example:

+ Akşam müsait misin? (Are you free tonight?)

– Agalarla dışarı çıkacağım. (I’m going out with the boys.)

 

Learn Turkish With The Ling App!

If you want to learn Turkish or other foreign languages, waste no more time and check out the Ling App to start learning something new today!

Learn Turkish With Ling App

Ling is a language learning app designed to help all language learners passionate about learning a new language. Ling App consists of various interactive exercises, such as writing and listening exercises, mini quizzes, and an AI chatbot to practice your speaking skills. The Ling App offers you everything to enhance the four primary language skills.

Also, remember to come and go to Ling’s Turkish blog for weekly new articles about the Turkish language and culture!

So, what are you waiting for? Try Ling for FREE by downloading it from the App Store or Play Store!

Until next time! Kolay gelsin!

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