Throughout history, Turkish has borrowed numerous words from other languages, particularly Arabic, Persian, French, and English. These borrowed words have enriched the Turkish vocabulary and reflect the cultural exchanges that have taken place over time.

Similarly, Turkish has also lent its words to other languages, creating a reciprocal borrowing process.

Here are some examples of Turkish words that have made their way into the English language:


The word turquoise dates to the 17th century and is derived from the Old French turquois meaning “Turkish” because the mineral was first brought to Europe through the Ottoman Empire.


The word “yoghurt” is widely used in English to refer to the fermented dairy product. It originates from the Turkish word “yoğurt.”

Shish kebab

The term “shish kebab” refers to a dish consisting of skewered and grilled cubes of meat. It comes from the Turkish words “şiş” (skewer) and “kebap” (roasted meat).


The word “pasha” was originally an Ottoman title of high rank, given to military and administrative officials. It is derived from the Turkish word “paşa” and is sometimes used in English to refer to a person of high status or authority.


The term “bazaar” is used to describe a marketplace or a commercial area with shops and stalls. It originated from the Persian word “bāzār” and was adopted into Turkish as “pazar” before entering the English language.


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