My Top 10 Armenian Phrases I Wish Americans Had

Cucumber, Armenian phrases


When I started learning English at the age of 8, I realized that it had a lot of common with  Armenian- my mother language. Both of the languages have definite and indefinite articles, present/past/future perfect tenses, and they even have a few of the same words, such as tea!  This similarity helped me a lot to succeed in learning English that became my every-day communication language at work and home.

Right now, after living in the U.S. for a while, I am very comfortable about speaking English. The only times when I wish people in America understood Armenian is when I can’t find English phrases or words to express the way I feel. In such moments, the only phrases that come to mind are in Armenian. Unfortunately,  there are no English equivalents and when you translate them into English, they sound very funny.

So,  here are top 10 ones.

Mernem djanid – Մեռնեմ ջանիդ

Translation and meaning: Let me die on your body! You say this phrase to people you love very very much. Most of the time, this phrase is addressed to the people who are younger than you. For example, Armenian parents often tell this phrase to their kids.

Boyid mernem – Բոյիդ մեռնեմ

Translation and meaning: Let me die on your height. This is another version of the phrase ‘mernem janid.’  ‘Boyid mernem’ is often used by older folks, such as grandparents. They love to say this phrase to their grandkids.

Tsavd tanem – Ցավդ տանեմ

Translation and meaning: Let me take away your pain. This is another phrase you tell people you love very much. You love them to the extent that you are ready to take away whatever pain they have. 

Djigyar – Ջիգյար

Translation and meaning: Liver. You call ‘liver’ people you love! I know, very romantic, isn’t it? Don’t ask me why!

Papayis/mamayis arev  – Պապայիս/մամայիս արև

Translation and meaning:  The sun of my father/mother. This phrase is really hard to explain. You use it when you give an oath. For example, you can promise to do something by saying this phrase. The closest English equivalent is ‘I swear on my father/mother.”

 Khiyar- Խիյար

Translation and meaning: Cucumber (literally)!  It means  a dumb/useless person.

Glookhs mee harduki – Գլուխս մի հարդուկի 

Translation and meaning: Don’t iron my head. When someone tells you some nonsense you don’t believe, you tell them this phrase.

Qti maz  – Քթի մազ 

Translation and meaning: Nose hair. You call someone ‘qti maz’ when they are very picky about everything.

Hogis durs evav – Հոգիս դուրս եկավ

Translation and meaning: My soul came out. You say this phrase when you’ve done some work that made you so tired and exhausted that even your ‘soul came out.’

Yeres arats – Երես առած

Translation and meaning: Someone who bought their face.  If you tell someone is”yeres arats,” it is the same as if you say in English ‘you are naughty.’ 

Also, check out my My top 10 Russian phrases that confuse my American husband.

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