Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mış Muş

Gossip is pretty much ubiquitous. Every place on earth there's more than 2 people, people enjoy talking about people who aren't there. Also people are bad so they sometimes say bad things about the people who aren't there.

In Turkey, people take gossip to another level, in fact, they have entire tense for it. For example:

If want to say "This morning Mehmet went to school." I would say:

"Bu sabah Mehmet okula gitti."

But if I didn't see it with my own eyes (i.e. I'm assuming he went to school) I say:

"Bu sabah Mehmet okula gitmiş."

The mış/muş case ending let's everyone know it's not firsthand information.

But the use of mış/muş (pronounce mish/moosh) doesn't stop there. For instance, nobody remembers being born, so technically your birthday is second hand information.

"Ben 1987 yılında doğmuşum"

Even crazier, if you were drunk enough to not remember what happened, you should use mış/muş.

Dün akşam sarhoş olmuşum.

Definitely gives a new meaning to "heard it through the grapevine."


julie said...

My favorite is when girls say something is pretty, a lot of times they use the mış - like, "apparently you look pretty today" ... thanks?

michael said...

Well maybe they mean it in the sense, "I heard that you look pretty today." In that case everyone is talking about how pretty you are, which would be a compliment.

On the other hand Mehmet Bey told me mış can denote surprise, so it could be they didn't expect you to look pretty.


hilary said...

wow, that's funny! apparently we haven't gotten far enough in language to know that yet :)