Today, connotations followed one after another, first we were gossipping about a professor and suddenly he appreared on the cafeteria line behind us. In Turkish we have both positive and negative sayings for such a situation.
‘İti an çomağı hazırla’ = speak of the devil and in he walks, literally “speak of the dog, ready the stick”
or a positive one:
‘iyi insan lafın üstüne gelirmiş’ = a good person would appear after being mentioned
and then my Lebanese friend said, they also say something similar to us, but they use the word “little monster” instead...(ذكور الديب وهاي الأضيب)
Then I asked her what was dog in Arabic, she replied ‘kelb‘…Of course! I immediately remembered the famous satire in our literature by Nef-i:
Tahir efendi kelp demiş bana
iltifatı bu sözde zahirdir.
maliki mezhebim benim, zira
itikatımca kelp tahirdir.
Mr. Tahir* called me a ‘dog’ ,
I take this as a compliment because,
My sect is Maliki ( المالكية), therefore
According to my sect , dog* is clean.
*Tahir means clean in Arabic/Ottoman, and the other man is called Tahir as well, so he makes Tevriye ( double-entendre) calling the man dog while saying the dog is clean!
** According to the Maliki sect, dogs are clean animals. e.g: the water that dogs drink from a pot can be considered as clean