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OMG Turkish and Arabic are like twin

    Recently, I decided to increase my turkish vocabs circle. I found something strange, It is that Turkish and Arabic especially the Egyptian dialect have lots of words in common. i tried to find out a reason for that and i found that the Ottoman Empire had administrative control over most of the Middle East and North Africa, from Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Hijaz, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. Even after the Ottomans gave up control for the colonial powers of Europe in the 19th century, the cultural influence remained. Like most societies under colonial or imperial rule, Arabs looked up to Turkey and everything Turkish. Many things were borrowed, adopted, integrated, and imitated.

Here some common words that we use till now in Egypt:

كوبري Kobru
Brigde. The original Arabic words is جسر (Jessr) or قنطرة (Qantara). The latter was borrowed into Spansih.

كات Kat ِ
A story in a building. This word is used in the old part of Alexandria, and is almost unique in Egypt. The correct Arabic term is طابق (Tabiq).

أوضة Oda
Room. This is used in Egypt. The original Arabic is غرفة (Ghorfa)

أفندم Afandem
Affirmative answer. Used when replying to a superior, specially in the military.

أيوة Aywa
Affirmative answer. In everyday use.

تمام Tamam
Equivalent to "OK"

خلاص Khalas
"Finished", "over", "done"

وابور Vapur
The Turkish word seem to be derived from a European word (Vapour), and refers to steam engines. Nowadays it is used for ferry boats. In Arab countries, it is used for the steam engine of a train.

دولاب Dolap

بوظة Boza
Ice cream

كازوزة Gazuz
Any carbonated drink

ياميش Yamish
Nuts and dried fruits. Commonly consumed in the fasting month of Ramadan. In Arabic it is known as نقل (Noqol)

دوغري Doghru ٍ

دولمة Dolma
Vegetables stuffed with rice and minced meat, and cooked in oil.

طرشي Torsu

بسطرمة Bastirma
Dried meat encased in a mixture of garlic and fenugreek seed and spices. Came to Egypt from Turkey

قطايف Kadaeyf
The same word is used for different desserts in Turkey and Egypt. In Turkey it is the thin vermicelli like thing baked in the oven, and smothered with thick syrup, and stuffed with nuts, raisin, or saltless cheese. In Egypt, it is a sort of small pancakes that are rolled with nuts and raisins stuffing, then deep fried, and then dipped in syrup. The name is definitiely of Arabic origin, from the root قطف which means "picking of fruit from their trees".

مكوجي Makwaji
Clothes ironer.

سفرجي Sofraji

شوربجي Shorbaji
Soup maker


قهوجي Qahwaji
Coffee shop waiter

بلتاجي Beltaji ?

قبطان Koboudan
Captain (pilot at sea)

Actually i found that there are lots of traditions that we borrowed too.
something like Qahwa that people set there and have çay شاي or tea it wasn't existed in Egypt befor the Ottoman control. but it is existed till now full of unemployed poeple :D
I am really glad to have these things in common. and if some one knows any other words in common please write it down.

Thank you





Well Done! Good deal Hasan! in Egypt Hassen and in Turkish Hasan :)

we use same words cause we member same religon i share some common words

حدث hadise in english event

غرب garp 

طبيعة tabiat in english nature

كتاب kitap in english book

حلالا helal 



oh that's very interessting !

Thank u for these informations .

@monalisa Teşekkürler!
@Miss Moustafa  welcome

Hello Hassan

You are indeed right that Turkish, the Modern Turkish spoken in Turkey does have alot of Arabic words and vice versa


During the Ottaman Empire, the Ottoman Language was mostly used by the inhibitants as the language to communicate. Many of the people studying literature or science would know both Farsi and Arabic, so using these languages were a sign of education so people, even speaking in the street used alot of arabic words. This of course was inevitable due to strong impact of religion, Islam.


Turkish and Arabic are 2 very different languages, just like Arabic and Farsi/Persian that share alot vocabulary. Arabic is a semitic language that is alot based on mostly 3 lettered rooted words without showing the vowels. On the contrary, Turkish is extremely rich in terms of vowels and works with adding suffixes to the words.


Besides the religious word, we share alot of culturel words for which we sometimes really need to dig in, to see how much we share.




Köprü - Bridge
Efendim - Literally, it means "my Lord" - Efendi + m - It is also used colloquially alot to mean, "pardon me?" or affirmative answer as you have said
Ayva - We use ayva as the fruit quince in Turkish. It does not mean affirmative answer as in arabic, it is just a coincidence
Tamam - I suppose this is arabic in origin, but we do use it in TUrkish
Khalas - Never heard it being used in TUrkish
Boza - I suppose it might be derived from the turkish word "buz" (ice), as I believe you pronounce it like boouza in arabic. Boza in Turkish is another drink and I guess it is not related
Doghru - It means Straight or Right (Correct)

the words ending with -ci are all TUrkish as ci is a TUrkish suffix to express the "maker" of an action

yardım - help
yardımcı - the helper

süt - milk
sütçü - the milk maker or seller

makwaji and sofraji I've never heard. For the waiter in Modern Turkish we use Garson, derivered from the french garçon

Koboudan - In turkish we use Kaptan derivered from Kaptan.(Eng Captain)

some very different words I would say we use in colloquial speech that come from arabic are as below

Yömiye- Ar: Yowm / The daily wage
Mesai - Ar: Mesa / The evening or the extra shift
Asgari Maaş : Ar: Sagiir / The smallest wage
Kadim - Ar: Qadim / Old or dear - Very much used saying Kadim Arkadaşım - My dear friend or my friend for a long time
Müşteri / Client: Ar: Shtiri (To Buy)
(People believe almost all of the words that start with m in Turkish are arabic)

Hope that helps


Aw, thanks @Sırrı Burak that was very useful contribution :) .

:D it is good but khales and aywa are not use in turkey

Nice to know these additonal words! By the way, most of the Turks will understand you perfectly if you say: kitap(book), mektep(school), mektup(letter), katip(writer), kütüphane(library)... They are derived from the the same root and we, Turks, are using them without knowing that:)

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