Alexander Returns…with Yogurt!

Last Updated on May 1, 2019

Beautifully-designed sign for a restaurant, but no budget to pay for a translator:


Turkish döner kebap is one of my all-time favorite dishes, and İskender Kebapdöner with browned butter and savory tomato sauce, is my all-time favorite. Here’s the full story…

Döner (infinitive: dönmek) in Turkish means “It turns,” or “It returns,” hence the wonderful mistaken translation.

The real problem, of course, is that there is no equivalent in English for döner kebap. Some Anglophones use the Greek gyro, but that’s just a translation from Turkish into Greek, not English.

And even many Greeks use ΝΤΟΝΕΡ (ntoner—Greek has no ‘d’ so ‘nt’ will have to do), which is just dönerpronounced by a Greek.

I say döner kebap myself. We Anglophones can borrow the term from Turkish, yes? And I say with yoğurt, because that’s the way I like my İskender Kebap.

And thus it is a happy circumstance that when Alexander Returns, he Returns with Yogurton top of Rice, yet.

Now we’re all set. Afiyet olsun!

(Thanks to Serhat Demir for the photo.)

Next: I Never Wrote This
(But I Do Like the Döner)
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