Turkish Slang -- it's all language folks!
Our Off Color Turkish Dictionary got started when our Turkish nephew, Yankı, suggested (back in 1996) that we prepare a page of the most commonly heard Turkish language swear words. If we left them out, he advised, our coverage of 'Practical Turkish' would be incomplete. How could Turkish language learners cope, he cajoled, without a basic knowledge of everyday Turkish swear words and slang?
In fact, he reasoned further, Turkish learners have probably already heard many Turkish curse words and slang phrases, just from walking around the streets of Istanbul. An online Off Color Dictionary, he pressed, would actually provide them a service in helping them avoid ticklish situations... enabling them to fully understand and properly evaluate what they'd heard.
And so he persuaded us that you can never get a comprehensive feel for a language unless you are familiar with its off color slang. (This is especially true of a language like Turkish, in which off-color words may be intermingled with 'polite' everyday speech, without the blinking of an eye. The word boktan springs firstly to mind, for example.)
Consider the English language, for example... Can you imagine the gullibility of an English-language-learner who doesn't understand the meaning of the F-word in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the United States? The female learner who didn't understand it could find herself in dire straits -- out of sheer ignorance...
And how can English language-learners understand key points of popular novels and movies without an understanding of off-color English words? Additionally, without some knowledge of English slang, language-learners would miss out on much of the English-speaking countries' humor.
But also, it's not (just) dirty-word 'thrill seekers' who visit our 'Off Color Dictionary' page. Recently, for example, a serious American Novelist who needed some 'Turkish crowd-scene' language for his new novel -- was doing research on that page... He was looking for ways that the crowd might express general disgust and anger at a crooked politician, who was making a speech packed with lies. And the American author went away with several key off-color phrases, suiting his needs to a tee -- thanking us thoughtfully in the process.
Nonetheless, we confess that when we first put the Dictionary online, we had a few visitors who claimed to be shocked by what they found. So we added that warning that you'll see at the top of the Dictionary's first page -- just for people who might be offended. And, since then (for more than 15 years now), we haven't received a single complaint.
Still... for those who may yet raise an eyebrow at finding an Off Color Dictionary at its new location on our website, we refer you to the Redhouse Turkish-English-Turkish Dictionaries, hardback and CD ROM editions among the most respected of the bilingual references -- where many of the words and phrases in our dictionary are also found.
If off-color Turkish is good enough for the
dignified Editorial Staff of the Redhouse Dictionary then
it's certainly good enough for us.