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Uzbek Glossary for Travelers

Note: the stress in the words falls on the last syllable. The letter ‘x‘ is similar to English ‘h’ when pronounced. chopon: a long cotton quilted coat, good for protecting from cold and wind (men’s differs from women’s in colors; women’s is brighter, often with flower patterns).
beshik: a wooden cradle for a newborn and older babies to the age of 1.5 – 2 (usually a gift given to a woman after her bearing a child by her mother on beshik-to’yi, a ritual celebration held in honor of a newborn child when he or she is placed in the cradle for the first time; painted in all the colors of the rainbow; complete with a colorful blanket and a cover; meant to give the baby the first sign of the wonderful world he or she has come to).

karnay: a gigantic long straight brass trumpet (played during wedding parties and important celebrations, meant to inform and invite people).

surnay: a loud, nasal, clarion?like instrument (played to inform people of a wedding party or another celebration).

dutor: a two?stringed musical instrument with a long neck.

qurut:balls made of dried curds.

somsa:a kind of a pasty normally baked in a tandir oven (made by folding a layer of dough around a filling of mutton, in most cases, and onions, with a small piece of sheep’s broadtail fat, which gives the somsa its distinctive taste).

tandir: aclay oven for baking flat round loaves of bread and somsa pies (set on special stands in Tashkent and on the ground in other areas; raw flat round loaves of bread and somsa are stuck on the inside wall to bake; the traditionally fuel is wood but now it is often heated with natural gas).

choyxona: a teahouse with low tables and qo’rpacha quilts around them to sit on (usually set up in every mahalla neighborhood for men to gather, drink tea and discuss the news; also at bazaars, where meals are served to visitors from different provinces, and where they exchange the news).

ko'rpacha: a quilt used for sitting on at xontaxta tables or for bedding.

xontaxta: alow table used for eating off of (while sitting at it on k’orpacha quilts).

so'zana: a type of decorative wall hanging embroidered with flower patterns (hung in the rooms of the just-married; in former times unmarried girls made them themselves as part of their dowries).

tumor: a triangular amulet containing a written charm or verse from the Quran (believed to protect from evil; worn hung from the neck over the cloths or sewn to the back of a dress or a shirt; as a metal openwork piece of jewelry is a part of the national women’s dress, hung from the neck over the breast or over the right side of it).

joynamoz: (literally ‘a place for namoz praying’) a prayer rug made of soft material (used by Muslims  for praying; has an embroidered or painted head-side sign, which must be set in Mecca direction during praying).

dasturxon: a tablecloth (spread over a table or upon the floor; a collective noun for meal, spread, "table" of food).

lo’la-bolish: a cylindrical cushion, a bolster (to help one nestle on a ko’rpacha quilt).

palov: the chief dish of Uzbek cuisine (sautéed meat, carrots, and onions mixed with rice and spices, with adding some water that is evaporated during cooking; each Uzbekistan province has its own type of the dish, with distinctive flavor and color).

zirvak: meat, onions, and carrots browned for use in the palov; the first stage in making the palov.

devzira:a type of rice grown in Ferghana Valley (has long and pinkish seeds).

lagan: a platter, a large ceramic or china dish (for palov and somsa; china ~s are usually used for fruit).

qazi: breast and belly meat of a horse; a smoked and boiled sausage made of raw horse meat and fat.

ko’k choy: green tea (drunk in many provinces of the country as an only type of tea; very good for quenching one’s thirst).

novvot: rock sugar

mahalla: a neighborhood with 6-7 streets.

doston: epic, epic poem; story, adventure.

maqom:  tune, melody; harmony; name of a genre of traditional music.

shashmaqom: a musical piece incorporating one of the six classic maqoms (Buzruk, Navo, Dugoh, Segoh, Rost, and Iroq).

Humo: amythical bird, which bestows good fortune to the person upon whose head it alights.

kulol: a potter.

oftoba: a large long-necked container with a long spout, usually copper, for water to wash with (in former times it was carried by oftobachi water-bearers around dasturxon tables in khans’ palaces before feasts, for washing hands).

qumg’on: a teakettle in the form of a jug, usually copper (in former times it was put in embers).

choydish: a metal container for boiling water and brewing tea.

panjara: a metal or wooden grating or grille (in former times put in windows of rich people’s houses, palaces, madrasa Islamic schools and mausoleums; some had special pieces of glass set inside).

qolip: form, last; mold, die; model, pattern (for making shoes, bricks, etc.)

rassom: an artist, painter.

do’ppi: a usually four?sided skullcap (normally black, green or dark-blue with a stylized white almond motif on each side for men, and brighter with flower patterns for women).

to’y: an important feast, celebration (especially a wedding, a birth celebration, a circumcision, the 63rd birthday of a Muslim – in honor of the age the Prophet Muhammad lived to, etc.).

non: bread (especially flat round bread cooked in a tandir oven; each Uzbekistan province has its own bread with a distinctive form, flavor and color).

parvarda: a sweet dish made from flour and sugar, served with tea.

hashar: voluntary gathering of people to help perform hard and serious work (for example, build a house).

chorsi:  literally ‘a square’; a cross-roads; a market complex with a square before it.

akajon: polite form of address to an older male or a male in higher position, as well as to any grown-up male irrespective of his age and position.

kosa: a bowl for first-course dishes.

patir: a large flat round loaf of tandir bread made from unleavened flower and with sheep’s fat.

sumalak: a delicacy prepared by boiling wheat sprouts and flour until reduced to an apple butter?like consistency and color (prepared as a part of the celebration of the advent of spring, Navro'z).

Ramazon hayit:  the main Muslim celebration held after the fasting month Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar; Muslims believe the Quran was given to people by God in this month).

Kurbon hayit: the Muslim Festival of the Sacrifice, held 70 days after Ramazon hayit.

oshxona: an eating-house, restaurant; cafeteria; kitchen.

ko’ylak: a shirt; a dress.

yaktak: a long unpadded rove for men.

ishton: underpants, underdrawers; trousers worn by women underneath their dresses.

zar chopon: a robe embroidered with gold or silver threads.

belbog’: a sash, belt, worn around a chopon.

qalampir: a hot green or red pepper.

lozim: women's pyjama?style underdrawers worn with a dress.

jiyak: an embroidered band used as a border on clothing, especially the hem of women's lozim underdrawers.

holvaytar: sweet pudding made from oil or fat mixed with flour, water, and sugar.

lag’mon: type of long noodle; a soupy dish made with these noodles and fried finely cut met and vegetables.

no’xat: a chickpea (added to palov; boiled chickpeas contain a lot of protein).

achchiq-chuchuk: asalad made of thinly sliced onions and tomatoes.

zira: cumin (added to many dishes).

manti: a kind of a pasty made of meat, onions and spices wrapped in dough and steamed in a special container.

jigar kabob: a liverkebab.

chuchvara: Uzbek wonton containing ground mutton and

hasip:  a dish made of sheep intestines stuffed with rice, finely chopped onions, greens and spices.

sohibqiron: literally ‘lord of the happy conjunction’; a title given to rulers in Oriental countries.

qovun sayli: a melon harvest festival; held in September – October.

maskaraboz: a wandering circus clown

darboz: a tight-rope walker

Common Uzbek Words for Travelers

ona:  mother
ota:  father
aka: elder brother
uka: younger brother
opa: elder sister
singil: younger sister
xola: maternal aunt
amaki: paternal uncle
bir: one
ikki: two
uch: three
to’rt: four
besh: five
olti: six
etti: seven
sakkiz: eight
to’kkiz: nine
o’n: ten
qimmat: expensive
arzon: cheap
tarozi: scales
non: bread, flat round bread
suv: water
olam: apple
uzum: grapes
nok: pear
olcha: cherry
gilos: sweet cherry
shaftoli: peach
o’rik: apricot
anor: pomegranate
anjir: peach-like fig
olxo’ri: plum
behi: quince
xurmo: persimmon
sabzi: carrot
qizil sabzi: red carrot
sariq sabzi: yellow carrot
piyoz: onion
tarvuz: water-melon
qovun: melon
makka, jo’xori: maize
pishirilgan jo’xori: boiled maize
chiroyli: beautiful
boy: rich
kambag’al: poor, needy
bozor: bazaar, market
ko’cha: street
shahar: city, town
mehmonxona: hotel
maydon: square (in a city, town)
bog’: garden; orchard
xiyobon: avenue, boulevard
sayil: outing, stroll, picnic, excursion; merrymaking, popular festivities; traveling, touring
sayilgoh: park, gardens

Common Uzbek Phrases for Travelers

Assalomu alaykum! Peace be upon you! (common greeting)
Vaalaykum assalom! (response to this greeting)
Xayr! Goodbye
Hush kelibsiz! Welcome!
Rahmat! Thank you!
Marhamat! Please! By my guest! Welcome!
Xo’p. Okay, fine.
Salomat bo’ling! Be healthy!
Kechirasiz. Excuse me. Pardon me.
Iltimos… Please! (request, favor)
Necha puldan? How much (does it cost)?
Bering: Give. (request)
Torting: Weigh. (request)
Tarozda tortiing: Weigh on the scales. (request)
Pulni oling: Take the money. (request)
Menga shahringiz yuoqdi. I liked your city.

Uzbek Idioms and Proverbs

An idiom is a blossom, a proverb is a fruit.

Even a sparrow should go to for cutting to a butcher. (about professionalism).

A cheap thing always has a flaw, an expensive thing always has distinctiveness.

Foolishness has no degrees.

A fool is not who is fooled but who is fooling.

When you want to climb the branches, he climbs the leaves. (he is cleverer than you).

Learn good manners from the ill-mannered.

God do not favor offenders.

It is better to work for free than to stay without work.

It is better to have a kick without reproaches than pilaf with reproaches.

Those who are not hurrying to serve people round will not have their pilaf ready for a long time. (about procrastination with excuses)

Do not try bad things again.

Do not play with a ruler or you will always be beaten by him.

A home with children is like a bazaar, a home without them is like a cemetery.

If you feed a stallion, you will have a horse; if you pursue an enemy, you will checkmate him.

A good son builds the country; a bad son brings it to naught. A good son unites the nation; a bad son separates it.

Do not say there is no a wolf; it is under the hat. Do not say there is no enemy; it is hiding in the gully.

If you have missed your time, you have lost your happiness.

Even the loved ones would not like a word of the truth.

Talk to those who listen.

Verboseness is a load even for a donkey.

There is no rose without thorns.

Each flower has its own smell.

Bowels will never be meat; an enemy will never be a friend.

If you call yourself a human, do not consider those who do not care about people’s needs humans. (written by Alisher Navoiy, has become a popular proverb)
If Navoiy is bad, you try to be good. (written by Alisher Navoiy, become a popular proverb)

If a man is not wise at the age of 50, he will be ruined at the age of 60 (written by Alisher Navoiy, has become a popular proverb).

However hard you tame a puppy and colt, they will never become humans. (written by Alisher Navoiy, has become a popular proverb).

A cloud of dust in the wake of one rider will bring him fame.

You will never be wise unless you have traveled widely.

You will never get a beauty without sacrifice; you will never get the haws without climbing the mountain.

Counting (money, etc.) makes friendship ber.

Man without a friend is like pilaf without salt.

A friend says it with sorrow, an enemy with joy.

Plough in autumn once, and a hundred times in other seasons.

A tree always has a permanent place to grow.

What has been lost belongs to an orphan.

It is better to have a walking stick than a bad companion.

Do not do good for a bad man, and do not wait for good from him.

It is better to be the worst of the good than the best of the bad.

A good is whipped once to obey, a bad horse is whipped a hundred times and it still disobeys.

If a speaking person is fool, those who listen to him should be wise.

Ayran (water with milk and salt) is not food; a fool is not a leader.

A poor man is not lucky; if he is, he lacks determination.

Do not be just your father’s son; be a human.

Stretch you legs as long as you blanket covers them.

Apple, ripe and fall into my mouth! (about lazy people)

Scorpion venom is destroyed by a scorpion.

A lost knife seems to have had a golden handle.

A blessed man is healthy, a cursed man is ill.

Worry about the head, not a cap.  

Drive you horse with bread, not with a whip.

When he alights, he is still in the saddle. (about arrogant people)

Men are honored by their land and honor their land. (by their work on it)

Good and bad words come out of the same mouth.

A mean man recognizes a mean man even in the dark.

A walking man cannot equal a rider.

First stab with a knife yourself, and if you are not hurt, stab others.

Do not be so proud of your skills; someone else is more skillful.

Money can save you even from a stinging bumble-bee.

What you got with your mother’s milk will go with your soul.

A fool speaks of it, a wise man follows an example of it.  

Choose not a house but a neighbor.

Birds alight on trees with branches; praise alight on a man with goodness.

When everything you have at home is on the table, your guest will never say he has not seen anything.

With a guest happiness and goodness comes.

About a stingy man people say stingily.

While a cautious man is thinking, a risky man achieves the goal.

Pleasure is also a fruit of work.

Related Links: Uzbekistan Travel | List of  Uzbekistan Hotels | Tourism in Uzbekistan