5 Arabic sayings that will blow your mind

-with how ridiculous sounding they are. Before we begin; I know ya’ll curious to know how my Twitter career is going so far. So, I feel I should let you know that my seven followers and I are very happy together Mashallah.

Moving on, when I say these are Arabic sayings, I mean specifically from the Yemen region; which is where I grew up so fellow Arabs, i.e. Egyptians and Lebanese people may not understand these sayings at all. Due to different dialects, we don’t always understand each others’ Arabic. I practically need to lip-read when speaking to Libyans, Algerians or Moroccans despite the fact that we ALL speak Arabic. Fascinating, no?

Let’s do this.

Saying numero Uno;

Go find a cow to lick you;

روح دور لك بقرة تلحسك

These poetic words are often uttered to individuals who are being unnecessarily contrary or even to those that are asking for favours we don’t want to honour for no valid reason. The English equivalent; do one, mate!

We told them it’s an Ox-they said milk it;

قلنا ثور قالو احلبوة

Think when someone asks you for something impossible to achieve, or when you have repeatedly explained something to someone but they just refuse to understand it. The English equivalent; not in this lifetime buddy, run along.

Go sell seeds;

روح بيع زعقة

This, dear reader, is not free career advice, nay! Rather it is dedicated to those with whom we have reached the end of our tether and no longer which to engage in give and take with. The English equivalent; bugger off.

He hit me and cried then raced me to complain!

ضربني و بكى سبقني و اشتكى

Ah, a personal favourite reserved to those who wrong you first but are quick to tell the world otherwise. The English equivalent;  YOU cheeky mare!

A blind woman applies Henna to a crazy woman whilst the deaf woman listens;

عمية تخضب مجنونة و الصنجة تسمع

No, it’s not a badly told joke. This (hilarious) saying is applied to hectic situations where nothing makes sense to anyone. Think; a very disorganised wedding where everything is going wrong. The premise of the saying is; how will a blind woman apply henna (mehndi) without vision? Why would someone not in their right mind want henna in the first place? And what exactly is this deaf woman listening to? The English equivalent; shit just hit the fan ya’ll…

Please let me know if you enjoyed this post, there is plenty more where that came from! Let me know if you have any funny sayings. For bite sized doses of hilarity follow me on twitter; @leetamo. I don’t know how to “link” it so you will have to do it the old fashioned way I’m afraid aaaaand enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

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41 comments

      1. Ohoo yes you did. 😮
        Did you edit your post?
        Because I opened your post hours ago but read it now.The text wasn’t there at that time. :/
        My eye sight shouldn’t be that weak. 😦 😛

  1. Wonderfully interesting. My MA was in linguistics but sadly I did not study much about about Arabic, just the bare minimum enough to understand that it is fascinating for morphological study… Here, you’ve added to my interest, thanks!

    1. Haha, I guess they involve a lot of British slang 😅 my bad! But I am pleased you liked the post. When I thought of it, it was a very eurika moment. Like; “I know what would make a good post” – ting 💡!

    1. Haha merci! I was waiting for your input 😉I hardly see any of ya’ll now that Sinan & Leyla is over 😔 God remember Sinan & Leyla; feels like a LIFE TIME ago 😂

      1. Aww man nah it’s just I don’t come over to WordPress these days a lot got so much stuff happening! Can’t believe you were waiting do it *bows*
        I know right! The handsome Sinan and confused yet strong Leyla – a story to remember 😉😂

      2. I know right. Where is everybody? I’m thinking of sending out search parties man. I think there’s around six who have gone MIA or something

  2. Just followed you on Twitter, hon 😉 Btw, of my 150 followers, 148 are spammers (I told you just so you know I’m not popular at all)

    As for the sayings, hahaha oh I just love Arabic. I’ve heard the Cow Lick one before but the rest of em were awesome as well 😀 Gotta add em to my daily dialogue!

    1. Yeah! What is with SPAM followers!! Argh 😡 but aw thanks! I haven’t recieved a notification yet but shall reciprocate when I do… what are you called on it? I’ll come find ya if I don’t see it. Hahaha! Can’t believe you knew the cow one I thought it was a national secret but I am glad its catching on 😂

      1. Hahaha my teacher told me that one in school during the Arabic + Quranic studies class 😛 No matter how weird these phrases may sound, we gotta give it em Arabs for such “creative thinking” 😀
        And yaay thanks for the follow back 😀 Finally another genuine followers, not just someone trying to sell me something -_-

  3. Hahaha enjoyed this a lot! I always love translating (the literal translation) of Arabic proverbs! They’re so weird to read on other languages!
    The one with the cows reminded me of a saying in Morroco that goes something like “I complain to him about my infertility, and he asks me about my kids”😂😂

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