Friday, November 8, 2013

Burundan? An idiomatic expression

I was discussing the English phrase "spitting image" with an Azerbaijani friend today and he mentioned an equivalent phrase in Azerbaijani. However, no one here is sure about the construction. The site Phrase Finder comments that other languages express the idea of an exact likeness in similar ways:

Other languages have their own versions of this phrase; for example, French - "C'est le portrait craché de son père" ("He's the spitting portrait of his father") and Norwegian - "som snytt ut av nesen paa" ("as blown out of the nose of"). 

I was surprised at the Norwegian expression, but apparently this is very close to the Azerbaijani. A search of the Internet "burundan düşüb" found just 1 result. (Something that is almost impossible to do in English.) So, this seems to be the expression:

"Mamasına necə oxşəyır elə bil ki, fit eləyib burunundan düşüb."

Thanks to the anonymous posting - yes, the proper word is "fırt eləyib". This expression is based on the sound of the - excuse me - snot being blown out of your nose (by the old farmer method - one finger blocking the other nostril). If you think about (and you may not want to but...) it is a really good onomatopoeic word for that sound. Works for me as an English sound.

This is another interesting side discussion, of what one language considers onomatopoeic versus another language. For example, in English a rooster says "cock-a-doodle-doo". In French they say "cocorico". In Azerbaijani apparently it is "quq-qulu-qu". Again, I would say that this is a very close imitation of the real sound.

To conclude this particular post, you can pair up any onomatopoeic word with "eləyib"to get an new expression meaning - make the ___ sound. Another example is "Tfu eləyib" which means "to make a spitting sound".

Anyone out there know any other "___ eləyib" expressions? Please post a comment if you do!


Anonymous said...

Quite interesting topic again.
Actually, it is not "fit eləyib burunundan düşüb" it is "fırt eləyib burnundan düşüb". Fırt etmək is rarely used and not so common (by the way, for some regions of Azerbaijan it is widely used ),its exact meaning is to clean your nose very clean at the same time blowing your breath from your nose. Unfortunately, I could not find it in dictionary. But it is root of word - "fırtıq" (which you can find it in dictionary) means snot.
From this, as you said it seams very similar to the Norwegian version.
P.S. It is not disgusting phrase and not my intention to be disgusting.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely all right.
Right now I have few in minds. They are some (with my explanation):
maç etmək (elləmək) - to kiss
miyov etmək (miyovldamak) - the sound of cat
mələmək - the sound of sheep
molamak - the sound of cow
Şappıldatmaq - the sound (or similar sounds) of when you hit inside of your hand on the table
Şıqqıldatmaq - the sound (or similar sounds) of balls in pack when we vibrate them
Tappıldatmaq - the sound (or similar sounds)of when you hitting the floor or ground with your foot
Tıqqıldatmaq - the sound (or similar sounds) of knocking door