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A POCKETFUL OF TURKISH PROVERBS

 

Compiled by the  Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative

Texas Tech University

 

Published by the Friends of the University Library/

Southwest Collection

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX  1971

 

 

A carefree head is to be found only on a scarecrow.

 

 

A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.

 

 

A fool dreams of wealth; a wise man, of happiness.

 

 

A full purse is one’s best companion.

 

 

A good companion shortens the longest road.

 

 

A heart in love with beauty never grows old.

 

 

A hungry stomach has no ears.

 

 

A kind word warms a man throughout three winters.

 

 

A knife-wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.

 

 

A man is as wise as his head, not his years.

 

 

A man is judged by his work.

 

 

A neighbor’s hen looks as big as a goose, and his wife as young as a girl.

 

 

A pound is sixteen ounces wherever you go.

 

 

A red apple invites stones.

 

 

A small key opens big doors.

 

 

A thousand friends are too few; one enemy is one too many.

 

 

A tribulation is better than a hundred warnings.

 

 

A visitor comes with ten blessings, eats one, and leaves nine.

 

 

A wise man does his own work.

 

 

A wise man remembers his friends at all times; a fool, only when he has need of them.

 

 

Ability has no school.

 

 

Activity breeds prosperity.

 

 

An illness comes by the pound and goes away by the ounce.

 

 

An open door invites callers.

 

 

At table keep a short hand; in company keep a short tongue.

 

 

Beauty Passes, wisdom remains.

 

 

Better a calf of one’s own than a jointly owned cow.

 

 

Better a wise foe than a foolish friend.

 

 

Better to die on a full stomach than to live on an empty one.

 

 

Both the hunted and the hunter rely on God.

 

 

Do not roll up your trousers before reaching the stream.

 

 

Do what your teacher says but not what he does.

 

 

Dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.

 

 

Eat and drink with your friends but do not trade with them.

 

 

Empty words will not fill an empty stomach.

 

 

Even the highest tree has an axe waiting at its foot.

 

 

Every “bad” has its “worse.”

 

 

Every sheep is hung by his own leg.

 

 

Fear an ignorant man more than a lion.

 

 

Fear him who fears not God.

 

 

For every wise man there is one still wiser.

 

 

Give nine, save ten.

 

 

God finds a low branch for the bird that cannot fly.

 

 

God has created us brothers but has given us separate purses.

 

 

Guests bring good luck with them.

 

 

Habit is worse than rabies.

 

 

He beats his breast who does not beat his child.

 

 

He bites his tongue who speaks in haste.

 

 

He gives twice who gives quickly.

 

 

If a dog’s prayers were answered, bones would rain from the sky.

 

 

If God closes one door, He opens a thousand others.

 

 

If skill could be gained by watching, every dog would become a butcher.

 

 

If you are an anvil, be patient; if you are a hammer, be strong.

 

 

If you give him cloth, he’ll ask for the lining.

 

 

If you wish to do a good deed, consult no one.

 

 

In a flat country a hillock thinks itself a mountain.

 

 

It is easier to make a camel jump a ditch than to make a fool listen to reason.

 

 

It is easy to catch a serpent with someone else’s hand.

 

 

It is easy to say “Come,” difficult to say “Go.”

 

 

It is more difficult to contend with oneself than with the world.

 

 

Kind words will unlock an iron door.

 

 

Listen a hundred times; ponder a thousand times; speak once.

 

 

Many will show you the way once your cart has overturned.

 

 

No matter where you go, your destiny follows you.

 

 

Of everything else the newest; of friends, the oldest.

 

 

Once a friend, always a friend.

 

 

One can never repay one’s debt to one’s mother.

 

 

One does not burn a blanket to get rid of a flea.

 

 

One is equally indebted to one’s teacher and to God.

 

 

Open your eyes, not your mouth.

 

 

Part with your head, but not with your secret.

 

 

Patience is bitter, but it bears sweet fruit.

 

 

Roses grow where a teacher hits.

 

 

See with your mind; hear with your heart.

 

 

Stairs are climbed step by step.

 

 

Stretch your feet according to your blanket.

 

 

Study from new books but from old teachers.

 

 

The devil takes a hand in what is done in haste.

 

 

The granary is at the point of the plowshare.

 

 

The miser and the open-handed spend the same in the long run.

 

 

The rich man’s wealth tires the poor man's jaw.

 

 

The sage speaks of what he sees; the fool, of what he hears.

 

 

Thorns and roses grow on the same tree.

 

 

Those who know do not talk; those who talk do not know.

 

 

To speak is to sow; to listen is to reap.

 

 

What is loaned goes away smiling but returns weeping.

 

 

What the heart thinks, the mouth speaks.

 

 

What the vineyard needs is hard work, not prayers.

 

 

What you give away you keep.

 

 

When a cat wants to eat her kittens, she says they look like mice.

 

 

Who buys cheap buys dear.

 

 

Whoever digs a pit for his neighbor should dig it his own size.

 

 

Whoever is fond of cream should take the cow around with him.

 

 

Whoever speaks evil to you of others will speak evil of you to others.

 

 

Wish well, be well.

 

 

With patience, mulberry leaves become satin.

 

 

Work as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow.

 

 

 


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Uysal Walker Türk Öykürleri Sandığı'na Geri Dönüş

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Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas