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Body Parts as Units of Measurement in Turkish Language

In Turkish slang, it is very common to use body parts as units of measurement.

Some of them are accurate and make sense.

  • Finger: Indicates smallness in physical size; used typically to indicate that children deserve compassion because they are powerless. “You can’t do that to a child as small as a finger” means that the child is small in size & age; and should be treated gently.
  • Palm: Indicates smallness for intangible things. “Palmful happiness” means that someone experienced a small happiness, but is satisfied with it.
  • Eye: Indicates smallness for residences. “An apartment with one eye” means that the apartment has a single small room.

However; some of them don’t make sense at all. For instance; head is used for largeness, while butt is used for smallness.

  • Head: Indicates largeness for objects supposedly small in diameter. “An apple like my head” means that the apple is unnaturally large.
  • Butt: Indicates smallness for spaces; such as residences and chairs. “A room like a butt” means that the room is tiny.

Another example is; arm is used for largeness, while leg is used for smallness.

  • Arm: Indicates largeness for objects supposedly small in length. “A poo like my arm” means that the poo is unnaturally long – and possibly thick too.
  • Leg: Indicates smallness in physical length; used typically to overlook children. “You are a child as small as a leg” means that the child is supposed to know his/her place because he/she is still young.

The most difficult term to understand may be “penis”, though. There are different synonyms for penis; some of which indicate smallness while others indicate largeness.

  • Fuck: Indicates smallness in general. “The fuck sized town has four theaters” means that the town is very small, but has too many theaters despite.
  • Dick: Indicates largeness in general. “The exam was as difficult as a dick” means that the exam questions were very difficult.

Talking about genitalia; female organs are used as well.

  • Midwife: Typically used to describe distance. “He resides at the vagina of his midwife” means that the person in question lives in a very remote place.
  • Infidel: Typically used to describe heat. “The weather is like an infidels vagina” means that it is a very hot day.

Consult your Turkish instructor for more details.

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