Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • choureen goujuh choureen jahmpan guh gohduhree

    In the line of duty, there is always the chance of a mishap that is either due to fate or negligence.
    One is never completely in control. There are times when the best of man made plans are thwarted by unpredictable events such as human error, etc.

    This proverb conveys the sense that the worst outcome is always a possibility and one must not assume that such a thing cannot happen.

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  • ahreenkuht 10 pahrah charzehr

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  • dahnguhr douhnguhr guh zuhrutzeh

    According to the dialect of Western Armenian it can also be said: dahng douhng guh zuhroutzeh

    In more formal Armenian the same thing can be said as: sahren tzorhen, ahneemahshd guh zuhroutzeh.
    sahren tzorhen literally means from the mountains to the valleys, or, in other words rambling. ahneemahshd means
    literally without meaning or incoherent.

    However, it is very amusing and colorful to say dahnguhr douhnguhr. I remember my mother using this phrase to convey the meaning of rambling, incoherent, and stupid when referring to a person’s nonsense conversation.

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  • khohskeen metchuh mudhav, kahmkak uhrahv

    kahmkak is used in Western Armenian dialects. It means to dirty or disturb. It conveys the meaning of passing stool.
    The above proverb literally means, “he entered into the discussion and passed stool (so as to defile or dirty the whole discussion).

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  • kahr khadzahv gehtzahv

    This is a very descriptive way to indicate that a person is very stubborn and obstinate.

    If someone bites on a stone they are suddenly stunned and seem frozen for a short second. A stubborn person is similarly immovable in their determination to not budge from their position or point.

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  • kordz cheh, yergateh leblebi eh

    yergateh leblebi (literally, ironhard roasted chickpeas) was a phrase that conveyed the meaning that something is very difficult or impossible.
    Just like eating chickpeas that are as hard as iron balls would be impossible, so any task compared to eating iron chickpeas means that it is impossible.

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  • hahzar sourpeh khuntlerlou degh mehg Asdoutzmeh khuhntreh

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  • hahrtznehlov Baghdad gehrtass

    For people living in Armenia, Baghdad was a synonym for the most distant place or literally the end of the world. Even a difficult task like traveling to the most distant place is accomplished by one who asks advise and pertinent questions.

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  • hahrtzoghuh guhlah keedtzoghuh

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  • buhdoukuh kuhldohrvetzahv, khoup kuhdhav

    This saying conveys the meaning that two people have found each other (as in a compatible union).

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  • bouhzeen (sahroueetz) vrah kuhrrheh

    This saying is used when one wants to impress on another to forget or give up something. Obviously, if you write on ice, it will eventually melt and be forgotten. “Bouhz” is the Turkish word for ice. The Armenian word is sahroueetz.

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  • bahrdohk keenee khuhmoghuh yerhgou ahnkahm guh keenohvnah. mehg ankam khuhmadz, mehg ankam ahl tuhrahmuh vuhjarhadz jahmahnag

    There is an English proverb that says, “Don’t feast on borrowed money.” The Armenian proverb adds a dimension to the English one by noting the intoxication of wastefully spending money.

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  • bahrahb muhnalou dehgh, bahrahbee ahskhahdeh

    This saying emphasizes that laziness is never good for a person. There is a play on the word bahrahb which means literally empty.
    The proverb translates, “In place of remaining empty (meaning not doing anything or being lazy), work for nothing (barhahbee means for emptiness or nothing).

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  • bahheh vor tourshe (tuhtvadz) tuhnehs

    This saying was used for parents who didn’t want to give their daughter to a suitable candidate or for a businessman who refused to sell his goods at a fair price. The Turkish word for pickle was tourshe. The correct Armenian word is tuhtvadz.

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  • chouruh dehsneh tzoug guhlah, dzaguh dehsneh moug

    This proverb describes a very shrewd, opportunist person who adapts his behavior according to the situation.

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