The word Allah –God in Turkish – is embedded in so many words and concepts that even those of us who do not consider themselves particularly religious or conservative utter it many times a day. Here are a couple of examples of what you may find yourself hearing over and over again.
İnşallah: This is most easily translated as “hopefully”.
Bismillah: Said when beginning something- it literally means “with God’s name”.
Allah Allah: Said when surprised. (Usually followed by an exclamation mark but may also be directed as a question. For instance: “-It’s getting late and she’s still not here. -Allah Allah? What could have happened?”)
Vallahi billahi: Said when you’re promising or giving your word to someone.
Evelallah: Shows self-confidence (Evel means prior in Turkish, suggesting that God’s will comes first. “Evelallah, I can do it”)
Eyvallah: Shows acceptance (may also stand for “Thanks”)
İllallah: Shows distress or annoyance. If something makes you say illallah, you want that thing to go away, pronto.
Maşallah: Said hoping that God will protect someone or something from harm, sort of like a verbal evil eye, if you will. Upon birth of a baby or your grandson’s graduation, you may say “Maşallah, that’s such a beautiful baby boy!” or “Maşallah, he’s so smart!”
Hay Allah: Said when something doesn’t go as planned, you fail, you realize you’ve forgotten your keys at home. Bummer.