It doesn’t sleep well in my mind.

  • Khelkis chi bargeerah

    My Uncle Kevork would sometimes use this diplomatic phrase to free himself from an impending obligation like loaning money. He was once invited to dinner by an Armenian family, whose business was expanding. They were also on the brink of bankruptcy because of not being able to supply their customers. They invited Uncle Kevork for an old fashion Armenian dinner and honored him in many ways so that he would consent to loan them money. Uncle Kevork had worked hard and gradually built up a savings. After dinner, the hopeful business family proposed their plan for developing their growing business and asked Uncle Kevork if he could loan them money. He deftly said “Khelkis chi bargeerah” which means literally (what you are telling me) does not sleep well in (the bed of) my mind or, I don’t quite understand what you are telling me. The business men tried over and over again to explain their proposal so that all aspects of the business venture were clear. Uncle Kevork’s only reply was khelkis chi bargeerah, which amounts to a polite, yet frustrating way of saying no. He did not want to say no directly, so he kept insisting that his mind could not comprehend their proposal. Uncle Kevork was never invited again by that family for an old fashion Armenian dinner.

    My mother once gave me her accumulated wisdom about how to deal with people who might approach me for borrowing money. She told me, if ever anyone asks you to borrow money, take out your handkerchief and begin to cry. Don’t stop crying until they go away. She asked, “Do you have a handkerchief?” I said no. “Immediately get one” she said. This was actually good advice.

    Published on

    November 14, 2005

    · Filed under: Shrewd, Shrewdness;


  • My name is Harry (Hampartzoum) Terhanian. What has prompted me to publish this collection of Armenian proverbs is to create a web gathering of Armenians and other interested persons. As the Armenians are spread all over the world, there is a need to gather in a forum to live, share, and evolve our culture. Culture is something that is handed from generation to generation. Due to the tragedy of massacres, modern living, intermarriage, isolation, etc. there has been an erosion of transmission of Armenian culture. I want to make a small step at reversing this trend by sharing with all interested parties what I have learned from my parents and my travels. I hope that interested readers make available their knowledge of Armenian proverbs, stories, and wisdom so that I can swell the treasure of these pages for the enrichment of all. I will gradually add more pages as we progress. I hope to have a section of Armenian folk music, cooking, health, spirituality, marriage advice, and literary comment. Imagine learning culture by proverbs, stories, cooking lessons, music, poetry, discussion, and downright good old time one on one exchanges. Please join in the fun, open your heart and mind to share and embrace this wonderful culture. If you are interested in submitting proverbs or stories, see possible errors that you want to correct, want to ask a question, or just want to send an email, please contact me at You can also call me at 425-246-8436.

    To help you navigate the site, please take note of the following suggestion. If you click on the right side entries by date such as November 2005, by scrolling down to the end of the entries you will see “Older Entries” on the lower left hand side. Click on “Older Entries,” a new page appears with many more proverbs. Again, if you scroll down to the end of the page, you will ee “Older Entries,” click on it for another page to appear with more proverbs. If you come to the end of the page and do not see “Older Entries,” then you have come to the end of the proverbs for that month.

    Have fun navigating the site.


    Published on

    November 10, 2005

    · Filed under: ;