Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Turkish Proverbs


"If you speak the truth, have one foot in the stirrup."

"Your neighbor’s right is God’s right."

"A bachelor feels like a sultan. (Used by bachelors when asked to explain why they are still single.)"

"A bird will not fly with one wing."

"A boxwood comb for a bald head. (Used to make a point when a person indulges beyond his financial means.)"

"A broke merchant counted his small change."

"A building without foundation is soon demolished."

"A barking dog doesn't bite. (Meaning: Someone who lets out his fury by shouting will not do any physical harm. Display of aggression is usually bluff.)"

"A chicken won't be grudged to a place a goose will come from."

"A camel for a dime, a camel for a thousand dimes. ( Used to show the irony when a person could not afford something even when it is very cheap, but can later afford it when it is thousand times more expensive.)"

"A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship. (Used to remind that friendships should not be taken lightly and that one should have a long term commitment.)"

"A defeated wrestler never tires of wrestling again. (Meaning: A defeated person always asks for second chances.)"

"A full pistol scares one person, an empty one scares forty people."

"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."

"A dog that intends to bite does not bare its teeth."

"A friend is one soul in two bodies."

"A guest will not eat what he hopes for but what he finds."

"A fish only comes to its senses after it is caught in the net."

"A heart in love with beauty never grows old."

"A gold sword opens an iron door."

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

"A hungry bear won't dance."

"A hungry hen sees herself in a wheat silo."

"A knife-wound heals, but a tongue wound festers. (Used to make a point that one should be careful before using hurtful language.)"

"A hungry stomach has no ears."

"A lake forms drop by drop."

"A horse knows his rider by his spurs."

"A hungry bear won't play around."

"A hungry dog will bring a lion down."

"A hungry man thinks he won't be satiated, a thirsty man thinks he won't be quenched."

"A knife wound heals; a wound caused by words does not"

"A liar's house is on fire and no one believes him."

"A liar's candle will burn until bed-time."

"A man does not seek his luck, luck seeks its man."

"A man is as wise as his head, not his years. (Used to make a point that even an old person may not have all the wisdom.)"

"A man is judged by his work."

"A madman drops a stone in a well, but forty wise men cannot take it out."

"A man will sacrifice his head to conquer a heart."

"A man who seeks a perfect friend, will remain friendless."

"A pear will fall to its root. (Children take after their parents.)"

"A person does not seek luck; luck seeks the person"

"A man without grief is not a man."

"A red apple invites stones."

"A rich man will get his carriage over the mountains, a poor man will lose his way on a level plain."

"A prudent man will read the letter from back to front."

"A satiated man doesn't know what's hunger, a healthy man doesn't know what's disease."

"A sheik's miracles are of his own telling."

"A ship with two captains sinks."

"A single advantage is worth a thousand sorceries."

"A single bad experience is worth a thousand threats."