Adana stands out the most for its unique vocabulary. Here are some commonly used words with explanations for anyone planning a trip to this exceptional city…
Anarya: Reverse gear or going backwards. It is the also the pronounciation of the French saying ‘En arrière’. The word made its way into Adana’s lexicon during French occupation of the city.
Araya gitmek (To go in between): To go waste, underappreciated, to go lost.
Avel: Avel means gullible. It is a variation of the Turkish saying “aval aval”.
Baldırcan/Balcan: Eggplant. It is a variation of “patlıcan” which means eggplant in Turkish.
Bayaktan: Just now
Bici bici: It is the most made-up and the most delicious dessert in the world. It is made of ice, cooked starch and confectioner’s sugar. It is topped with a red syrup. Bici bici sellers can be found in almost every corner of Adana, especially in summer. It is sometimes called “bici” only.
Bıcı bıcı: This phrase should never ever be confused with “bici bici”, they are separate phrases. Bıcı bıcı is a childish way of saying ‘to bathe’. If you try to show off to a friend from Adana by saying “Let’s go have bıcı bıcı together.”, her/his eyebrows will arch so high as to touch the sky.
Belik: Double braids.
Bocit: Jug. It is possible that it derived from the Turkish phrase “boca etmek” which means ‘to spill’.
Cardın: A large rat. It somehow resembles the French word for garden, “Jardin”, but it is probably not related…
Cılk: A rotten egg
Cındırık: Nervous tissue found in beef. If you need to buy meat in Adana, you should inform the butcher that you want it ‘cındırıksız’.
Cıncık: Window or glass items.
Cibiliyet: Past. “Cibiliyetsiz (without a past)” means someone is corrupted, they have no lineage and no dignity.
Cücük: The smallest part of a fruit, vegetable or anything related to food. For example, onions have a cücük in the center. In Adana, these onion cücüks are collected, fried and served with sweet and sour pomegranate syrup as a delicious meal.
Cülük: Young, winged animals. A chick for example. You can refer to your cousin as “my uncle’s cülük”.
Çimmek: To swim
Daraba: Pulldown shutter.
Devrisi gün: A variation of “ertesi gün” which means the day after tomorrow.
Dinelmek: To stand. You can scold someone by saying you’ve been standing (dinelling) under the sun for hours.
Döş: Chest. “Cover your döş” means cover your chest with something warm so you won’t catch a cold.
Eftik: Snack. “Eftiklenmek” means snacking.
Eke: A strong man, arrogant, know-it-all.
Elikmek: To shy away from. You can say “dont elik, dont elik” to your guests to encourage your guests into accepting a treat.
Enik: A puppy.
Eşkere: To twattle.
Gadasını aldığım: ‘Gada’ refers to sins or problems a person may have. When you say ‘gadasını aldığım’, it means that you love the person so much that you would undertake all of their ‘gada’.
Galan: Hurry up, come on. If you say “Galan let’s get going already”, it means you are out of patience to wait.
Ganeri: A tardy man, a slaughter house.
Gellebicin: It refers to the largest freshwater fish. It is mostly used to describe the authetnic, goldfish alike fish type that lives in Seyhan Reservoir.
Gıllicik: Even smaller. It can mean “poor thing” or “skinny, bony” depending on the sentence. For example, “Did you see Necati’s son? Breaking up with his fiancee made him so gıllıcik.”
Gottik: Small. You probably wonder if it is related to gothic artitecture or gothic movement where you put on black make up and be sad all day, it is not.
Hoşşik: Spoiled, flippant.
Kelle (literally ‘head’): Person.
Kertiş: A small, yellow lizard.
Kındırık: A gap. It may refer to the doorway or a half closed window.
Laylon: Trailer that is attached to a tractor. Also, how ‘trailer’ became ‘laylon’ over time is the biggest unsolved case in history.
Mavra: Fun and games. It may also refer to a water mill.
Malamat: To be ashamed.
Manık: A kitten.
Mırra: A very bitter type of Turkish coffee. It is probably bitterer than ultra mega shot Italian espresso. That’s how bitter it is.
Mitil: Mattress. If you put your mitil somewhere, it means that you live there now.
Peşkir: Towel, tea cloth.
Şalgam: A beverage made with turnip and spices. It sometimes causes some exsistential debates such as “You make orange into a beverage and do you call it orange? No. You call it orange JUICE. So you should call it Şalgam (Turnip) JUICE.”
Şırdan: Sheep stomach filled with seasoned rice. Probably someone from Adana thought “We eat many parts of the sheep, why not stomach?” and invented this dish.
Sırıncıtmak: To force someone/something. For example the employer forces the employee to do something.
Sokum: Wrap. It also resembles a variety of Turkish profanities but let’s not go there.
Teker (wheel) / Velespit: Bicycle. It is used in imperative, especially on Sunday mornings in the form of “Get on the wheels and buy 6 eggs from the market.”
Tıskıyit: “No way!” And sometimes “Oh my God!”
Zaar: Maybe. “My daughter has a crush on that boy zaar.” is a proper use.
Zibil: Trash as small as crumbs. The word originates from Armenian.
Zorsunmak: To be too lazy to