Updated: 3 April 2018
I came across a short Iranian movie on YouTube recently where the father was talking to his daughter and called her jigar talâ (gold liver). What would you think if your parent called you “gold liver”? Or if your Iranian lover said they wanted to eat your liver. Hannibal Lecter probably comes to mind, right? But no need to panic. Liver is more than a delicate cut of meat you’ll find skewered and grilled at local dives called jigaraki. As one of the body’s vital organs, it’s the ultimate sign of affection.
And so much so that when I first published this post a few years ago, Marie Claire Italy mentioned it in an article about whether it’s the heart or liver that is a sign of love. Well, we know for certain which one it is in Iran. Check out some of the most common phrases.
Jigar talâ (gold liver)
This is an expression of endearment used to show just how wonderful, amazing, and kind-hearted you think the person is. Instead of a heart of gold, you have a liver of gold.
Kheyli jigari! (You are really a liver!)
This means: You’re such a dear!/You’re so lovely!
Jigareto bokhoram! (I’ll eat your liver!)
You love the person so much that you could just eat them up!
Jigareto beram or jigaret besham (I’ll be your liver)
Say this when you absolutely love a person to pieces and would die for them. Parents use this expression a lot with their children or grandchildren. In fact, I can just hear my mom saying it now to my nephew! (These phrases are often accompanied by elâhi as in elâhi jigaret besham man! (My God, may I be your liver!)
دندان رو جگر بگذار
Dandoon roo jigar bezâr (put your teeth on the liver)
Ok, so this last idiom involving liver is not exactly a term of affection. This one is basically the equivalent of “bite the bullet”.
So remember, as long as an Iranian calls you their liver, it’s a good thing!
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