Keywords: Classical Turkish poem,the word neheng,ocean,crocodile,whale


The word "neheng" in the Classical Turkish literature has been defined as "crocodile" in nearly all common dictionaries and in the works of annotation and interpretation in Classical Turkish poetry. However, the word "neheng", in some texts of the Classical Literature, is used together with the words of "bahr, derya" even "muhît, kulzüm, lücce and umman", some of which only mean "ocean.

In addition to its possible meaning of "crocodile" when used together with the words such as hair and tear, the word "neheng" is also used together with the words such as hunt, pearl, diving, sensitivity to sound,majesty, arrogance, ship competitions, drinking water as if one would drink the whole water of an ocean. It is clearly impossible to interpret the word "neheng" as "crocodile" in such couplets. The present study aims at analysing the uncommon meanings of the word "neheng" in the light of the Classical Turkish literature texts. To this end, 122 samples -most of them being poetic samples- were obtained by searching the 14th -19th century literature. In this study, the sememic stratum of the word "neheng" is interpreted in the context of both dictionaries and texts and by taking into consideration the resemblance relationships.