20 Funniest Azerbaijani Expressions and Their Meanings

baku graffiti wallYou are sitting in a café in Azerbaijan. Although your Azerbaijani is not that fluent, you are still trying to sort out what people are conversing around you. Perhaps, your local friend is helping you with the translation. According to him, the person on a green chair is saying something about drinking water from his eyes. Someone else is speaking about changing one’s blood color. That girl drinking coffee with her friend is walking through the skies. You scratch your head and wonder: “What are these talks all about?”
Congratulations and welcome to Azerbaijani daily life! This your first acquaintance with Azerbaijani idioms!

In Azerbaijani there are tons humorous phrases and expressions, and sometimes they should be taken literally. Some idioms, even though sounding too funny, are the best to describe concrete situations and circumstances.
Our list of 20 incredibly weird and amusing idioms will help you to come to grips with the depth of common Azerbaijani conversations. Moreover, we will pick up English idioms corresponding to the actual meaning of these local idioms.

1. Gözüm su içmir [ GYO-ZYUM SOO EACH-MEER ]
Literal translation: “My eye does not drink water”
Meaning: Disliking smth/smb; to be suspicious; feel that something is wrong
English equivalent: Smell a rat; something fishy going on.

Bu sürücüdən heç gözüm su içmir, gəl başqa taksi sifariş edək.
I don’t trust this driver, let’s take another taxi. 

2. Kül başına! [ KYUL BAH-SHI-NAH ]
Literal translation: “Ashes on your head!”
Meaning: A statement of dissatisfaction with someone.
English equivalent: Shame on you!

Kül başına! Bir dənə özünə yaxşı iş tapa bilmədin.
Shame on you! You couldn’t even get a proper job.

3. Nə var, nə yox? [ NAH VAR NA YOKH ]
Literal translation: “What you have, what you don’t?”
Meaning: What’s up?
English equivalent: How is it going? What’s up?

Nə var nə yox? İşlər nətərdi?
What’s up? How are you doing?

4. Ağır olmaq [ A-GHIR OL-MAKH ]
Literal translation: “To be heavy”
Meaning: Behaving seriously; being serious.
English equivalent: Stop horsing around.


Zarafatına nə deyim! Biraz ağır ol da!
Stupid joke, mate! Stop horsing around!

5. Göylə getmək [ GHO-I-LA GET-MAH ]
Literal translation: “Walk on the sky level”
Meaning: To go around/show off, enjoying yourself in a way that annoys other people or makes them jealous.
English equivalent: Show off; blow your own horn.

Bilirəm yaxşı futbol oynayırsan, amma bu qədər göylə getmə.
I know you play football very well, but stop blowing your own horn.

6. Basıb-bağlamaq [ BA-SIB BAGH-LA-MAKH ]
Literal translation: “Push and hold”
Meaning: To talk boastfully without intending on acting on your words; to talk without any evidence of the truth.
English equivalent: Be all mouth; talk through one’s hat.

Dünənki iclasda təzə müdir elə hey basıb bağladı. Nə maaşlar artacaq, nə də ki, yeni iş prosedurlarını həyata keçirəcək.
That new director was just all mouth at yesterday’s meeting – don’t expect any salary increase or him implementing new work procedures.

7. Qanı qaralmaq [ GA-NI GA-RAL-MAKH ]
Literal translation: “Blood turning black”
Meaning: Feeling upset, dissapointed, worried
English equivalent: Feel blue; to have the blues.

Qanım qaralıb səhərdən. Dünən qız yazmışdı ki, sabah mesaj atacaq, hələ də yazmayıb mənə.
I have been feeling blue since morning. She wrote me yesterday that she’ll text me today, but still no news.

Fun Fact: According to scientific research, when a person is in a state of deep anxiety or stress, the amount of hemoglobin, which gives blood a red color, is significantly reduced, and the color of the blood actually becomes darker.

8. Özünü dartmaq [ O-ZOO-NOO DART-MAKH ]
Literal translation: “To pull yourself”
Meaning: To be bragged, to be arrogant to praise your own abilities and achievements
English equivalent: Toot your own horn

Özünü dartmaq kimi çıxmasın, amma dünən şahmatda səni babat uddum ha!
I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but at yesterday’s chess game I played you well.

9. Tüpürdüyünü yalamaq [ TYU-PURE-DO-YOU-NOO  YA-LA-MAKH ]
Literal translation: “Lick your own spit” (we know how disgusting it sounds)
Meaning: To take back something you have said; admit something is not true.
English equivalent: Eat your words.

Yadındadı, o gün deyirdi otelimizə gələn olmayacaq bugün. Bax gör indi nə qədər adam gəlib. Yaladı da tüpürdüyünü!
Remember how he was saying that no one will stay at our hotel today? Look how many people arrived! Now he will eat his words.

yellow lada

10. Quş buraxmaq [ GOOSH  BOO-RAKH-MAKH ]
Literal translation: “To miss a bird”
Meaning: To talk about something that is supposed to be a secret; to say something very inappropriate.
English equivalent: Let the cat out of the bag

İstəyirdim ona ad gününə sürpriz edim, Eldar bayaq gəldi quşladı. Bütün planlarımı açdı tökdü ortaya.
I wanted to make it a surprise, but Eldar let the cat out of the bag. He revealed all my plans.

11. Boynuvu yerə soxum [ BOI-NOO-WOO  YEAH-RAH SO-KHUM ]
Literal translation: “I wanna push your neck to the ground”
Meaning: A statement of dissatisfaction with someone.
English equivalent: Shame on you!

Boyuvu yerə soxum! Demişdim axı ondan yaxşı heçnə çıxmaz!
Shame on you! I told you not to trust him anymore!

12. Açarini itirmək [ A-CHA-RI-NIH  E-TEER-MAH ]
Literal translation: “To lose a key”
Meaning: To lose control.
English equivalent: To lose one’s head.

Açarını itirmisən hə deyəsən. Bu qədər içmə.
I see you are losing your head now. Don’t drink so much.

13. Bozarmaq [ BO-ZAR-MAKH ]
Literal translation: “To become grey”
Meaning: (informal) To become very angry at someone.
English equivalent: Jump down sb’s throat

Dünən Kamrana qarşı yaman çox bozardım. Gərək gələn dəfə daha nəzakətli olum, yoxsa inciyər.
I jumped down Kamran’s throat yesterday. I have to be more polite towards him next time. Otherwise, he’ll get offended.

14. Cin atına mindirmək [ JEEN AH-TEE-NAH MEEN-DEER-MAC ]
Literal translation: “To put one on a devil’s horse”
Meaning: To irritate, frustrate, or make someone upset and angry
English equivalent: Drive one up the wall; drive one mad.

Özünü camaat içində adam kimi apar! Cin atına mindirmə məni.
Behave yourself in front of other people! Don’t drive me mad.

15. Pul səndə, bir də ingilisdə [ POOL SAN-DAH, BEER DAH EEN-GEE-LEES-DAH ]
Literal translation: “Only you and Englishman have money”
Meaning: To mark someone as rich.
English equivalent: Rich as Croesus.

– Gələndə mənə dönər al
– Məndə pul var?
– Niyə yoxdu? Pul səndə, bir də ingilisdə!

– Please buy doner for me
– I don’t have money, bro
– How? You are as rich as Croesus

16. Mıxa keçmək [ MI-KHA  KETCH-MAC ]
Literal translation: “Get on a tack”
Meaning: Get into trouble.
English equivalent: Back to the wall; ball and chain.

Mıxa keçdik də. İndi də deyirlər sənədlər tam deyil, bank hesabına əlavə pul qoymaq lazımdır.
Here we are back to the wall again. Now they say that documents are not complete and we have to add more funds into our bank account.

17. Halvadı [ HAL-VA-DUH ]
Literal translation: “It is a halvah (a Middle eastern confection)”
Meaning: The thing is really easy to do/make
English equivalent: a piece of cake

Riyaziyyat imtahanını verə biləcəksən?
Əlbəttə, mənim üçün halvadı.

Will you be able you pass the math exam?
Sure, for me it’s just a piece of cake.

18. Sən öl! [ SAN–OL ]
Literal translation: “You die!”
Meaning: A statement used to make someone believe in your words.
English equivalent: Swear blind.

Sən öl deyirəm, mənim sənə qarşı heç bir pis fikrim yoxdu.
I swear blind that I have nothing against you.

19. Ətim töküldü [ AH-TEAM THO-COOL DOO ]
Literal translation: “My skin came off”
Meaning: Feeling disgust; feeling annoyed from something.
English equivalent: Turn someone off.

Dünənki qonaqlıqda o qədər şit zarafatlar elədi ki, lap ətim töküldü.
She made so many dull jokes yesterday, that she turned me off completely.

20. Ürəyi ağzına gəlmək [ U-RAY-EE AGH-ZEE-NA GAL-MAC ]
Literal translation: “Heart going up to the mouth”
Meaning: To be afraid of or shocked by something.
English equivalent: Heart in one’s mouth

Təyyarə o qədər sürətli qalxdı ki, lap ürəyim ağzıma gəldi.
The plane took off so fast that my heart got into my mouth.

If you are seriously inclined to learn Azerbaijani well and to adapt in the Azerbaijani-speaking environment, surely find time for studying the idioms to facilitate a task for yourself. Remember to use idioms in your conversations – thus you will make your talks more saturated, emotional, rich and bright!

 

Cover Image Credit: Divar Street