Patates yatsın


Senior Member
Spanish (lunfardo)
Hello, Everyone,

How do they call the “hot potato” game in Turkish? Could it be “patates yatsın”?

Many years after the death of my parents, I found one of my father’s old manuscripts that says they used to play an indoor game, that seems to be “patates yatsın,” but I have not found any reference to a game like that in any dictionary I looked into or in the Internet. Does anyone know this game or something similar? I don’t even know when it was written, but it may have been in the 1920s or 1930s.

I am sorry, I apologize that I don't know Turkish, so I would appreciate if the answers are in English. Thanks in advance.
  • I'm not familiar with that game.

    Patates yatsın literally means let the potato lie down.

    Did you read this word in the manuscript? Perhaps it was yansın, which would be let the potato get burnt. It still doesn't ring any bells to me, but at least it's closer to "hot potato", which by the way would be sıcak patates.

    Can you give any more hints?
    Thank you, Rallino and Spiraxo, for trying to help me. I greatly appreciate your effort.

    The way he describes it is that in the evenings they would sit together in group, either on the beach or in a living room, and play various party games, one of which was this one. This happened in Salonica, Greece, in the 1920s or 1930s.

    It is part of an unfinished humorous poem written in Armenian, with Turkish and Greek words and expressions sprinkled here and there. I could figure out all the other Turkish and Greek words with the help of dictionaries and Google, except for this one. It may have been something vernacular, some game they had locally in Salonica, or even something he invented.

    If anyone can come up with something, I will welcome it, but if you cannot figure it out, don’t worry; it is not the end of the world. It is mostly for sentimental reasons that I wanted to know, mainly to tell my children and my grandchildren, but I am not publishing it or doing anything dramatic with it.

    Thank you greatly,