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Ways of addressing people in Turkish

Turkish Language Blogs - Addressing People In Turkish

How to address people in Turkish? What are the ways of addressing people in Turkish? What are the Turkish words for titles in Turkish? You will probably hear these words below, most common words that people address each other on the streets etc.

  • Abi means big brother, short form of agabey e.g. Ali Abi, Murat Abi. It is also used to address senior males, either someone you know or a stranger, customer, anyone on the street, to show respect just as to a big brother e.g. Bakar misin Abi? Abi bu kaç para? Buyur Abi? N’aber Abi? Tamam Abi. Yok Abi. Var Abi. Sağ ol Abi… It is also used for “bro” between male friends (and even between girls).
  • Abla means big sister. It is also used to address girls or women, showing love and respect just as to a big sister. Abla, like abi, is heard quite often in the street: Bakar misin Abla? Abla bu kaç para? Buyur Abla? Tamam Abla. Yok Abla. Var Abla. Sağ ol Abla…

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  • Amca means uncle, father’s brother. It is a form of address used for older men to show respect. Just like abi, abla, teyze, amca is an expression of respect you can hear on the streets, in shops and many other places that is said to older men: Buyurun Amca? Tamam Amca. Affedersin Amca. Bakar misin Amca? Var Amca. Yok Amca. Tabi Amca…
  • Aslanim literally means my lion and used for “buddy, man, mate”.
  • Askım Ask means love. Askim means my love e.g. Nasislin Askım? Tamam Askım. Askım, kahve ister misin?
  • Baba means father. It is also used to address a person who is wise and kind e.g. baba adam, Nasilsin Baba? Tamam Baba.
  • Bay means Mister. It is used before full name. e.g. Bay Ali Akpınar. It is a formal title and used on documents.
  • Bayan means Ms, Mss, Msr used before full names e.g. Bayan Ayşe Özkan. It is a formal title and used on documents.
  • Beyefendi means Mister, gentleman, sir e.g. Buyurun Beyefendi. Beyefendi, bakar misiniz?
  • Canim Can means soul, life, lifeblood, vitality, spirit, esprit; a male name. Can is another very common word used by Istanbullu as Canim meaning my life, my soul, my one and only, my dear.
  • Dostum Dost means friend, acquintance. It is usually used as dostum meaning friend, buddy, mate e.g. N’aber dostum? Tamam dostum.
  • Efendi Efendi is one of the most common words you hear on the streets, everwhere as Efendim. Efendi comes from “authens” (absolute dominant, master) in old Greek. It was later used as “aftendis” in Rumca (Anatolian Greek) and changed into efendi, efendim in Turkish. During the Ottoman period the word was used for well-educated people, bureaucrats, academicians, pasa and so on. Today the word Efendim is used as 1) sir, madam e.g. Evet, Efendim. Tabi Efendim. 2) Pardon? What? (When you don’t hear or understand 3) Hello on the phone 4) as a title used with either the names or the positions of men whose socioeconomic status is relatively humble, like doormen, grocers, domestic servants, gardeners e.g. Ali Efendi, Hasan Efendi, Bakkal Efendi etc.
  • Hanim means Mss, Mrs, Ms. It is used with the first name both formally and informally e.g. Ayşe Hanım.
  • Hanimefendi means Ms, Mrs e.g. Bakar misiniz Hanımefendi? Buyurun Hanımefendi?
  • Hayatim means my life. It is one of the words used for love and affection.
  • Hocam means my hodja, teacher and used to call teachers in contemporary Turkish. Hoca means hodja, khoja or khojah, a devout Muslim man who is respected for his knowledge of Islam and who may perform a specific duty with in an Islamic community. This title was given to instructors who taught religious subjects but it is also used to address teachers in modern Turkey as an old habit.
  • Pasam Pasa is a title used for statesmen and commanders during the Ottoman Empire e.g. Mustafa Kemal Pasa, Ali Paşa. Today the word is used for generals unofficialy. It is also used for (warm) tea for children e.g. pasa çayı and as a friendly way to address males like Abi, Dostum.
  • Sevgilim Sevgi means love, sevgili means darling, lover. Sevgilim means my love, darling. It is also used in the letters meaning dear, beloved.
  • Sekerim Seker means sugar, candy. Sekerim is sweetie, sweetheart, honey.

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