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LPT SymbolThe Plain English Meanings of
Turkish Idioms

Beginning with the letter 'B'...

If you've ever felt lost trying to follow a Turkish conversation,
it may be because of these
'comprehension killers'

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Idioms beginning with 'A'
Idioms beginning with 'G'
Idioms beginning with 'Z'
'House favorite' idioms...

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The second installment in our continuing saga --
featuring some of the world's most intriguing idiomatic expressions...
Observe our humble sampling just for the Turkish idioms that begin
with the letter B…

And don't overlook the clickable links for
voice recordings [Sounds] and for
the sidebar entries entitled,
The Rest of the Idiom Story
which cover interesting 'origins' of the idioms
found in the following table ...

Click Here!

Turkish Idioms beginning with the letter B
[Ba] [Be] [BI] [Bi] [Bo] [] [Bu] []

The Turkish

The Literal English Meaning

The 'Plain' English Meaning

Comments and Examples

baba adam

father man

a man -- older, mature, good hearted, with a pleasant disposition (and appearance)

Çetin Bey baba adamdIr; elinden geldigince herkese iyilik eder, yardImInI esirgemez.

Cetin Bey is a fine old fella, when it's within his power he'll do you a favor, he never withholds his help.

baba ocagI

father hearth

  • home
  • family home
  • home place

Baba ocagInI bIrakIp gitsen iyi olur.

You had better leave and go from your home.

babasInIn oglu

father's son


Her hali babasI gibi. Elbette, babasInIn oglu.

He is like his father in every situation. Of course, he's his father's son.

bacak kadar

as much as a leg

  • tiny, small child, very short person
  • a woman sitting with crossed legs

O bacak kadar çocuk kamyonu sürüyor!

That tiny kid drives a truck!

Baki kalan kubbede hos bir seda imis.

"It is said that... the thing that survives is a pleasant sound in the dome."

It's better to be remembered by the good words you've spoken, than the bad…

May be used as is -- in a situation where someone has just uttered an angry or hateful oath...

Click for, The Rest of the Idiom Story!

baklayI agIzIndan çIkarmak

to take the broad bean out of one's mouth

  • to be taken unawares and to say quickly what one had intended to keep secret
  • to "let the cat out of the bag"

Israrla sorunca baklayI agIzIndan çIkardI; gerçegi ögrendik.

Under intense questioning, he finally came clean, so we learned the truth.

bal gibi (pek ala)

like honey

  • like honey, very sweet
  • very well, without a hitch, smoothly, easily

Bu, bal gibi goldü, hakem saymadI.

It was easily a goal, but the referee didn't count it.

bal mumu yapIstIrmak

to stick beeswax

  • to mark so you won't forget
  • to notice and remember

Unutmamak için balmumu yapIstIrdIm.

I didn't want to forget so I stuck some beeswax on it.

balIk agaca/kavaga çIkInca

when fish climb [poplar] trees

  • It's impossible for the thing in question to happen.
  • Similar to the Americanism, When pigs fly!

BalIk kavaga çIkarsa onun da dedikleri olur.

What he says will never happen.
(because fish will never climb poplar trees...)

Click for, The Rest of the Idiom Story!

An illustrative cartoon of the idiom (above)...
Right click for options to 'View' larger image...

Editor's background note:
The cartoon must be viewed in light of the fact that
Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit's popularity at the moment (May 2001)
is at an all time low.

The Lout's female companion: What will happen if
[Prime Minister] Ecevit runs for office in the next election,
and his DSP political party comes in first? Do you know?

The Lout: Why don't you tell me?

The Lout's female companion (very sarcastically):
Ecevit will become Prime Minister again...
The Lout's female companion (continuing in the third panel):
...and, of course, fish will climb poplar trees...
[Tabii balIk da kavaga çIkmIs olur.]
Thanks to:
Gözcu/Asabi Gazetesi, Gerçek YayIncIlIk A. S.
(Mehmet Ali YalçIndag, Owner)
and Volkan Atalay, creator of  'Maganda, The Lout'.
7 May 2001

balIk etinde

in fish meat

  • a nicely proportioned (neither thin nor fat) woman
  • body with nice measurements
AA adds: "An English-speaking western person might consider Balik etinde to be a tad (a trifle, a mite) on the plump side, though not at all fat. You know, most Turks (mostly *male* Turks, that is) consider only "fish meaty" women to be physically perfect. The western ideal female figure is a few centimeters on the skinny side of "balik etinde", if you know what I mean..."

BalIk etinde biridir; giysileri pek yakIsIyor.

She's got a nice body; her clothes look good on her.

bam teline basmak

to press the low string
on the lute

  • to vex or annoy
  • to upset someone by what you do or say on a sensitive subject
  • to touch/press a sore spot
  • to press a (raw) nerve

Gençlerin giyimini begendigimi söylemekle meger kadInIn bam teline basmIsIm!

It seems that by saying I like young people's fashion, I'm touching that woman's sore spot.

bana göre, hava hos

according to me, the weather's fine

  • I'm agreeable.
  • Whatever happens, it doesn't matter to me.
  • I don't care.

Istedigin gibi davran, sen bilirsin; bana göre hava hos.

Do what you want to do, as you wish, I don't care.

bardagI tasIrmak

to overflow the glass

to cause (someone) to run out of patience

Son sözü bardagI tasIrdI.

The last remark made me lose my patience.

barut fIçIsI

gunpowder barrel

  • powder keg
  • where strife and trouble can break out

TaraflarIn hIzla silahlanmasI BalkanlarI barut fIçIsI yaptI.

Arming the sides with weapons made the Balkans a powder-keg.

baston yutmus gibi

like (a person who) swallowed a walking cane

  • standing or walking very erect
  • as stiff as a poker

Korse takmIs adam baston yutmus gibi yürüyor.

The man wearing the corset walks as stiff as a poker.

bas asagI

head down

upside down

Senin teknenin alemi bas asagI olmustu. Ben yine kaldIrIp yerine diktim.

Your flag became upside down. I got up and put it back in place again.

bas göz etmek

to do head eye

to marry off

Komsumuz kIzlarInI bas göz etti.

Our neighbors married off their daughter.

bas tacI etmek

(available on CD)

to do head crown

to treat someone with great respect and affection

Biz büyüklerimizi bas tacI ederiz.

We respect and love our elders.

basI baglI olmak

(for) head (oneself) to be connected

  • to be tied down
  • to be dependent
  • to be engaged

Bir yere gidemiyor; basI baglIdIr.

He doesn't go anywhere, he's tied down.

basI dara düsmek

(for) head (oneself) to fall narrow

  • to get into trouble
  • find oneself in a difficult situation
  • to be without money

BasImIz dara düsünce akrabalarImIz yardImImIza kosar.

When we got into trouble our relatives ran to help us.

basI dinç olmak

(for) head (oneself) to be energetic and vigorous

  • to be without trouble, at ease, peaceful
  • to be carefree, free of grief, tranquil

islerimi düzene koydum; basIm dinçtir.

I put my work in order and I don't have a care in the world!

basIge ermek

(for) head (oneself) to attain heaven

  • to be overjoyed
  • to find happiness

Olaganüstü basarIsIndan dolayI basIge erdi.

Because of her extraordinary success, she was overjoyed.

basI için

(available on CD)

for the head

for the sake of (used when imploring)

Sevdiklerinin basI için bu isimi yapIver.

Do this business quickly for the sake of your loved ones.

basI kazan olmak

(for) head to be cauldron

to have one's head throb from noise or confusion

SInIftaki gürültüden basIm kazan oldu.

Because of the noise in the class my head throbbed.

basIn(Iz) sag olsun

  • Lit. let your head be healthy
  • may your life be spared

"Please accept my condolences." (said to a grieving person upon the death of loved one)

This is the first thing you say to a grieving survivor when a member of his/her family (or a close friend) passes away. And, no more than this is necessary.

basIna çorap örmek

to knit a sock for the head

  • to plot against someone
  • to prepare a plan to trap someone
  • get someone into trouble

Bu adam onun basIna çorap örebilir; dikkatli olmalIsIn.

This man can make trouble for him/her; he/she must be careful.

basIna devlet kusu konmak

(for) the state bird to land on your head

  • to have a stroke of luck
  • to attain happiness
  • to win a prize or the lotto

Ahmet Agabey'in basIna devlet kusu kondu.

Older brother Ahmet had a stroke of good luck.

basIna dünyayI dar etmek

to make the world narrow on somone's head

to make life miserable for someone

Seninle bulusup Hayreddin'in basIna dünyayI dar edelim.

Let's get together and make Hayreddin's life miserable.

basIna eksimek

to turn sour on the head

  • to be a burden (to)
  • to be a permanent and unwelcome nuisance

Bu isi bitiriverelim; ikide bir gelip basImIza eksimesin.

Let's finish this work quickly then he/she won't constantly come back to burden us.

basIna gelenler

things coming to your head

unpleasant things (that happen to you)

BasIna gelenleri anlattI.

He explained the bad things that had happened to him.

basIna is açmak (getirmek)

to open (bring) a job on your head

to cause trouble to

Durup dururken basImIza is açtIk.

Suddenly we got into trouble.

basIna vur, lokmasInI agzIndan al

hit his/her mouth, take his/her food

  • he/she is a "pushover"
  • he/she is so agreeable that anyone can walk right over them
  • he/she is simple-minded

Kendi halinde biridir; basIna vur, lokmasInI agzIndan al.

He's quite simple-minded, anyone can take advantage of him.

basInda kavak yeli esmek

(for) the wind to blow a poplar tree on one's head

  • to live a problem-less carefree life
  • to be day-daydreaming

Gençliginde basInda kavak yelleri esiyormus.

When she was young, she lived a carefree life.

BasInda kavak yellerin estigi yIllardI, ne issünürdü, ne güc!

For years he lived a carefree life, never thinking of work, or difficulty!

basIndan kaynar sular dokülmek

(for) boiling water to pour from your head

  • (in an embarrassing or tiresome situation) to sweat hotly
  • to be shocked about something

Onu görünce basIndan kaynar sular döküldü.

When I saw him, I broke into a hot sweat.

YalanImI yakalayInca basImdan kaynar sular dökülüyor gibi oldu.

When she/he caught me in my lie, it was like boiling water pored from my head.

battI balIk yan gider

the fish has sunk and now swims sideways

the situation is in such a mess that there's no use trying to do anything about it

isin sonundan umutsuzum; battI balIk yan gider.

I'm hopeless that you'll complete your job, it's in such a mess it can't be fixed.

bayram degil, seyran degil eniste beni niye öptü?

it's not festival time, it's not a pleasure trip, [so] why did my brother-in-law kiss me?

there must be something behind this…

Bayram degil, seyran degil; AvrupalIlar bize durup dururken çok anlayIslI davrandIlar.

There must be something behind this -- suddenly the Europeans are treating us with intelligence.

That'll be the day, Mabel.
I know, I know...

bedava sirke baldan tatlIdIr

free vinegar is sweeter than honey

anything you can get for free is better than something you have to pay for...

may be used as shown...

ben sana hayran, sen cama tIrman

I admire you, you climb glass

  • this is a one-sided love
  • love should not be one-sided

Note: Depending on the way this expression is used, it can also have a sexually suggestive meaning because 'cama tIrmanmak' (to climb glass) may also be used to describe 'uncontrolled sexual desire'.

Onu çok seviyor; ama sevgisine karsIlIk bulamIyor; ben sana hayran, sen cama tIrman.

She loves him a lot, but she doesn't get a loving response. It's a one-sided love.

ben seninle çok ekmek yedim.

I've eaten a lot of bread with you.

We been through a lot together.

Ben seninle çok ekmek yedim. Öldürürsem senin gibi nankör olurum.

I've eaten a lot of bread with you. If I have you killed (now) I'll be just as bad as you.

bende o göz var mI?

is there that eye on me?

am I so innocent looking that I should believe that?

Beni kandIrmaya çalIsIyorlar bende o göz var mI?

They're trying to fool me; do I look so innocent that I'd believe them?

benden günah gitti

sin went from me

don't blame me

Gereken uyarIyI yaptIm; kendisi bilir; benden günah gitti.

I gave the necessary warning; he himself knows it; so don't blame me.

  1. bereket versin
    (also see Allah bereket versin...)

    (available on CD)

  2. bereketini gör

    (available on CD)

  • 1) may God give abundance, plenty
  • 1) may God give you increase
  • 2) may you see the increase

  1. The figurative meaning usually carries directly over from the literal. But, in some cases, there is the additional meaning of, "Thank God that all is well".
  2. The phrase may be said by you to someone who has given you payment, tip, or bonus.
  3. in which case your response is bereketini gör...

Bereket versin arabamIz sigortalIydI; yoksa perisan olmustuk.

Thank God our car was insured; otherwise we'd be in a pickle!

beterin beteri

(available on CD)

worse of worse

the very worst possible thing

Beterin beteri var; Allah beterinden saklasIn.

This is the very worst possible situation; may God hide you from [even] worse.

bIçak altIna yatmak

to lie down under the knife

to have an operation

Ilk kez bIçak altIna yattIgI için çok zayIf düss.

He lost a lot of weight due to his first operation.

bIyIgI terlemek

for the mustache to sweat

(for a boy) to have peach fuzz beginning to grow on the upper lip

Uzun boylu, güzel yüzlü, bIyIklarI yeni terlemis bir gençti.

He was a young fella with peach fuzz on his upper lip -- tall, with a handsome face.

bIyIk burmak

to twist the mustache

to try to make others believe in one's bravery and manliness

Daha dünkü çocuk, karsImIza geçmis, bIyIk buruyor.

Since yesterday, the kid has been confronting us, twisting his mustache.

bildiginiz (gibi) yapmak

to do what you know, to do as you know

  • to (ignore advice or interference and to) follow your own inclinations
  • to do something one's own way

OcagImIzIn Midilli'de tütmesini isterdim. AnlIyorum ki sizin talihiniz denizlerde yazIlmIs. Bildiginiz gibi yapIn.

I had wanted you to take over my pottery business in Midilli. But I now understand that your fate is written on the seas. Follow your own dream.

bindigi dalI kesmek

to cut the branch on which you are mounted

  • "to cut the branch you're sitting on"
  • to be responsible for creating your own problems

insanlar çevreyi kirleterek bindikleri dalI kesiyorlar.

People who foul the environment are cutting the branch they are sitting on.

bir ayagI çukurda olmak

to be one foot in the hole

  • to have one foot in the grave
  • to be at the age of dying

Bizim bir ayagImIz çukurda artIk, ogul -- insallah sen aileye büyük olur, benim yerime onlara bakarsIn.

I (royal 'we') have got one foot in the grave, son -- hopefully you'll be head of the family, and in my place, you'll look after them.

bir baltaya sap olmak

to be a handle to an ax

to have a job, be employed

A oglum, kocaman oldun; artIk bir baltaya sap ol, bir is yap.

Ah son, you're grown now; it's time you got a job and do some work!

bir çuval inciri berbat etmek

to ruin a sack of figs

  • to foul things up, but good
  • by incorrect behavior or words, to upset an activity that was going well

Son söyledigin sözlerle bir çuval inciri berbat ettin.

By what you just said, you really screwed up the works!

bir dikili agI olmamak

not to have a planted tree

  • to have no wealth nor property
  • not to own land or home

Dünyada bir dikili agacIm yok, diye sIzlanIyor.

"I'm poor and have no place to live," he complained.

bir eli yagda bir eli balda

one hand in butter, one hand in honey

  • to want for nothing
  • to be materially well off
  • to be 'living in clover'

Her istedigi oluyor, bir eli balda, bir eli yagda yasIyor.

She has everything she wants; one hand in honey, the other in butter.

bir kasIk suda bogacak

to drown in a spoonful of water

to be ready to 'kill' on the slightest pretext

Eski ortagIna çok kIzIyor; bulsa bir kasIk suda bogacak.

He was very angry with his old partner. If he found him he would have killed him.

bir sIçrarsIn çekirge, iki sIçrarsIn çekirge, üçüncüde ele geçersin çekirge

(available on CD)

let the grasshopper jump once, let the grasshopper jump twice, the third time he'll be captured

You can't always trust to luck

O kadar çapkIndI ki, aynI anda birkaç kIzla flört ediyordu. Ama sonunda bir sIçrarsIn çekirge, iki sIçrarsIn çekirge, üçüncüde ele geçersin çekirge misali yakalandI ve bütün kIz arkadaslarInI kaybetti.

He was such a womanizer, he was flirting with several girls at the same time. But he couldn't always trust his luck, for when they found out -- he lost all his girl friends.

Click for, The Rest of the Idiom Story!

bir sIkImlIk canI olmak

to have one squeeze's worth of life

  • to be very frail
  • to be such a 'pipsqueak' that anyone can easily beat up

Bir sIkImlIk canI var, herkese kafa tutuyor.

He is such a weakling but (even so) he challenges everyone.

bir tahtasI eksik

one plank missing

derisively…(someone) who's mind is not right, who has a 'screw loose', who's not 'all there'

Böyle ölçüsüz davranan insanIn, bir tahtasI eksik olsa gerekir.

A person who acts in such a reckless way, must have one plank missing.

bir yastIkta kocamak

to age on a pillow

for a husband and wife to live a long time together

"Mutluluklar dileriz, bir yastIkta kocayIn," dedim.

I said, we wish you happiness and a long life together.

bir yasIma daha girdim

I entered another age of mine

  • I'm very much surprised
  • we live and learn

A, bir yasIma daha girdim! Genç çocuk traktörü sürüyor.

Oh! What a surprise! There's a young child driving that tractor.

birden öfkelenmek

to suddenly get angry

  • to fly off the handle
  • to lose one's composure


biri esikte, bir(i) besikte

one on the threshold, one in the cradle

they (the children) are still quite young

ÇocuklarI pek küçük; biri esikte, bir(i) besikte.

The children are very small, they are still quite young.


  • In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful
  • In the name of God, the most gracious, most merciful

Same… This 'formula' is used as the introduction to almost anything that has a religious context. It may be the first words of a book about a religious subject, the beginning of a religious speech, the opening of a written public announcement about something religious, etc. It opens every 'sura' (chapter) of the Koran. Actually (ÜÖ assures us), "It is also very common to say this phrase before starting many actions other than religious ones, like starting a journey, starting to eat -- in fact almost starting anything."

This single, long Arabic word is referred to by some as the 'Islamic formula' (as opposed to the 'creed' that states, 'There is but one God and Muhammad is his Prophet.').

bit yenigi

(a) louse bite

  • a job that doesn't seem right
  • a direction that doesn't inspire trust

Bu iste bir bit yenigi var, ben kuskuluyum.

There's a louse bite in this business, I'm suspicious about it.

borusu ötmek

to toot a horn

  • to have authority, be influential
  • to 'call the shots'

Hamdi Beyin bu mahallede borusu öter.

In this district, Hamdi Bey calls the shots.

bosuna ugrasmak

to strive uselessly

to waste time and/or effort

An illustrative cartoon of the idiom (above)...
that also provides biting social commentary about
the differently perceived effects of
the 50% devaluation of the Turkish Lira
(during March/April 2001)
on the different Turkish population classes.

Right click for options to 'View' larger image...
The rich Turkish 'Fat Cat' shouts loudly (in the foreground):
Help!... We're sinking!.. We're ruined!.. Help!..
The poor 'Average Ahmet' shouts feebly (at background left):
Help, we're ruined!..
Average Ahmet's pal opines (at background right):
Come. Don't waste your efforts! (BOSUNA UGRASMA!)
It's hard to hear our voices, next to this guy.
This cartoon commentary,
(that appeared in Gözcu Gazete on 30 March 2001)
is originally from GIrgIr humor magazine.

boyu boyuna huyu huyuna uymak

(available on CD)

to fit length to length temperament to temperament

  • suitable, good match
  • for two people to be in good balance with one another

Boyu boyuna huyu huyuna uyan biri ile evlendi.

She married someone who is suitable to her temperment.

boyunun ölçüsünü almak

to take a measurement of your size

  • to learn painfully about your short-comings/inadequacies
  • to 'measure up', unfavorably
  • to be disappointed at someone's indifference
  • to be unsuccessful, against hope, at what you attempt

Sen de yap, sen de boyunun ölçüsünü al da, bu isin öyle kolay olmadIgInI anla!

This job isn't so easy. You try it too, and see how you measure up, then you'll know.

boyun egmek

to bend neck

  • to submit (to someone)
  • to humiliate oneself (before someone)

Kimseye boyun egmedi.

He didn't bow down to anyone.

KaldIk ki açIk denizler yIllanmIs gemicilere bile boyun egdirir.

We stayed like that (in the open sea) for a long time, open seas make even the most experienced sailors bow down.

bozguna ugramak

to visit defeat

  • to be routed (in a battle)
  • to be defeated

Tunus askerleri bozguna ugradI bir çil yavrusu gibi dagIldI.

The Tunisian soldiers were routed and were scattered like a covey of birds.

bozuk düzen

broken order

  • in a disorderly state, out of order
  • disorganized, uncoordinated, muddled, confused
  • wrong laws applied in the society, that make it disorderly
Note: This is a popular phrase on the news programs these days...
(Summer 1999)

Bu bozuk düzeni demokratik yolla düzeltmek gerekir, diyorum.

"It's necessary to fix the muddled social order in a democratic way," I say.

börtü böcek
Note: This is the only instance in which the word 'börtü' is used in Turkish.

  • bugs and insects
  • vermin

YazIn ev bos kalInca börtü böcek dolmus.

When the house is empty in summer, it fills up with bugs and insects.

bundan iyisi can saglIgI

(available on CD)

better than this is good health

  • this is the best
  • nothing (except good health) can surpass this
  • this is the next best thing to good health

En iyi arabayI aldIk; bundan iyisi can saglIgI.

We bought the greatest car; nothing can surpass it.

bundan iyisi Sam'da kayIsI

better than this is an apricot in Damascus

  • It doesn't get any better than this...
  • nothing (except eating an apricot in Damascus) can surpass this
  • this is the next best thing to eating a great apricot in Damacus (where they have really great apricots!)

burnu bile kanamamak

for the nose not to even bleed

to survive a calamity without a scratch...

AgIr bir kaza geçirdi; burnu bile kanamadI.

He was in a very serious accident and he survived without a scratch.

burnu büyümek

for the nose to grow

to become conceited...

Son günlerde burnu büyüdü; kimseye selam bile vermiyor.

He's become very conceited in these last days; he doesn't even say hello to anyone.

burnu düsmek

for the nose to fall

  • to be overpowered by a bad odor
  • to be humbled after being too proud
Sokaga dökülen çöplerin kokusundan burnumuz düstü.

We were suffocating from the smell of the garbage that was left in the street.

burnu havada (olmak)
[equivalent to burnu büyümek]

for the nose to be in the air

to be conceited

Burnu havada, kimseye yüz vermiyor.

He's conceited, he doesn't pay attention to anyone.

burnu Kaf dagInda (olmak)

for the nose to be on Kaf Mountain.

Note: The mythical Kaf Mountain lay just beyond the horizon, at all points on the compass -- thereby surrounding the world. And, it was a cheerless, desolate and inhospitable place.

to look down on everyone, to be excessively proud

Burnu Kaf dagInda, çalImIndan yanIna varIlmIyor.

His nose is on Kaf Mountain, he's unapproachable due to his affected dignity.

burnundan (fitil fitil) gelmek

(for wicks or fuzes) to come from the nose.

  • to suffer so terribly after making a big gain, that you wish you'd never had the gain in the first place.
  • to have something go terribly wrong -- something which should have been very pleasant.
KazandIgImIz burnumuzdan geldi.

We suffered greatly because of our [previous] gains.
(Our [previous] gains came from our noses.)

burundan kIl aldIrmamak

to not let hair be removed from the nose.

  • to not be open to criticism
  • to meet criticism with anger
  • to be very conceited and unapproachable
Hem bu türden olumsuz isler yapIyor, hem de burnundan kIl aldIrmIyor.

He does these kinds of negative things and at the same time he's not open to criticism.
(...he rejects having hair removed from his nose.)

burnunda tütmek

for smoke to rise in the nose.

  • to have intense longing
  • to miss a lot
Dogdugum yerleri çok özledim; burnumda tütüyor.

I've missed my birth place a lot; I'm longing to see it again.

burnunu kIrmak

to break the nose of someone.

to humiliate

Onun burnunu kIrdIm; artIk yüksekten atamaz.

I humiliated him, he won't talk so big any more.

burnunun dibinde

at the bottom of the nose.

nearby, very close by, very near

Burnunun dibindeki evi görmemis; bucak bucak dolasIp kiralIk apartman arIyor.

He didn't notice the (nice, available) house nearby; (instead) he's looking in every nook and cranny for a rental apartment.

burnunun diregi sIzlamak

for the pole of the nose to ache.

  • to have sad, painful memories of something or a person.
  • to be painfully sorry for something.
KazanIn olusunu anImsayInca burnunun diregi sIzlamIs.

When he (even faintly) remembers how the accident happened, he is racked with sorrow.

burnunun ucunu görememek

not to be able to see the end of the nose.

  • to be blind with pride
  • something that is very nearby/closeby
  • to be dead drunk or extremely weary
Ne ileri görmesi? Adam burnunun ucunu bile göremiyor.

Who knows what's ahead? The man is so blind with pride that can't even see the end of his nose.

Çok yorgunsun; burnunun ucunu görecek durumda degilsin.

You are really tired; you're in no condition to even see the end of your nose.

Öyle sarhos ki burnunun ucunu bile göremiyor.

He's so drunk he can't even see the end of his nose.

burnunu sIksan canI çIkar

if you squeeze the nose, the life goes out.

to be greatly distressed

Çok üzünütülü görünüyor; burnunu sIksan canI çIkacak.

She seems very upset; if you squeeze her nose her life will go out.

burnunu sokmak

to stick or poke the nose.

to involve oneself in another's affairs

Her ise burnunu sokan insanlarI hiç sevmem.

I don't like people who stick their noses into other folks' business, at all.

burnu sürtülmek

to rub the nose hard.

to learn a lesson through humiliation

Bu acI olaydan sonra burnu sürtüldü.

After this event happened, he learned his lesson...

burun buruna gelmek

to come nose to nose.

to come face to face (with someone)

KapI da nöbetçi ile burun buruna geldik.

We came face to face with the guard at the gate.

burun kIvIrmak

to curl the nose.

  • to smirk at something or person.
  • to turn one's nose up, to sniff at.
Bizim basarImIza burun kIvIrdI.

She turned her nose up at our success.

buz üstüne yazI yazmak

to write on ice

  • to exert useless effort
  • to make statements that are ineffective
  • to do work whose effect is just temporary
KalIcI bir çözüm bulamadIk, buz üstüne yazI yazIyoruz.

We didn't find a permanent solution, we are writing on ice.

büyük sözüme tövbevow 'never again' to my big wordssame...Büyük sözüme tövbe, islerimiz iyi gidiyor.

I vow never to say this again, but our business is going very well.

bülbül kesilmek
  • for the nightingale to be cut
  • to become like the nightingale
  • to give in under pressure (and to reveal one's secrets or feelings)
  • to talk rather grandly, but with weak resolve
Üzüntüye dayanamaz duruma gelince bülbül kesilmisti.

When it came to the point that he couldn't stand the sadness, he gave into his emotions (and told me everything).
(...the nightingale was cut...)

Deminden beri susan adam, isin ucunda para oldugunu ögrenince bülbül kesildi.

See that man who has kept quiet until now? He sure got interested -- when he learned that money was the object of the 'game'.
(he became like the nightingale...)

büyümüs de küçülmüs grown and small to be mature in speech and behaviour -- despite being young. Bu çocuk çok akIllI, bilgili; büyümüs de küçülmüs sanki.

This child is very intelligent -- knowledgeable even; it's as if she were an adult while at the same time being a child.

Idioms beginning with 'A'
Idioms beginning with 'G'
Idioms beginning with 'Z'
'House favorite' idioms...

We wish to extend thanks to
Emin Özdemir, Osman Çizmeciler, Ömer AsIm Aksoy, and Ali Uslu
for their Turkish source material -- on which this page is based.
And, to our friends Hande Artam and Ülkü Öner
-- for there help, understanding, and patience --
we extend our heartfelt thanks...

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