- الريحة ولا العدم (AKA 44)
The smell is better than nothing.
- طنجرة ولقت غطاها (AKA 53)
A pot that found its cover.
(Said of two people who are very similar, who understand each other, and who get along well).
– طنجرة = pot
– لَقَى = to find (note: in the present tesnse لاقَى، يلاقي is used)
– غَطا، ج غُطي = cover, lid
– غَطَّى، يْغَطّي = to cover (up)
- زاد الطين بَلُّه (AKA 58)
He made the mud muddier.
(Said about omeone who makes a problem more complex.)
– زاد، يزيد = to add; to be extra; to increase (intransitive)
– زيادة = surplus; extra, too much
– طين = clay
– بَلّ، يبِلّ = to moisten, to wet
– مبلول = wet, moist
– انبَلّ، ينبَلّ = to get wet
- إلي بدُق ع الباب بسمع الجواب (AKA 61)
The one who knocks on the door hears the answer.
(Meaning the one who starts something will receive the appropriate consequences.)
– إلي = Fuṣḥā الذي
– دَقّ، يْدُقّ = to knock, to bang; (Lebanese/Syrian: to ring, to call up)
– دَقْدَق = to knock (repeatedly), to hammer
– دَقيق = fine, delicate; precise
- بُوكُل من عَرَق جبينه (AKA 71)
He eats from the sweat of his forehead.
(He works hard and does not depend on others)
– أَكَل، ياكُل / يوكُل (akala, yākul / yōkul) = to eat
– عَرَق = to sweat
– عِرِق / يِعرَق = to sweat
– جبين = forehead
– جَبان = coward
– جُبُ = cowardice
– جِبنة = cheese
- برَقْبَته خَمِس أولاد (AKA 71)
He has five children around his neck.
(He supports and is responsible for a big family.)
– رَقَبات or رقبة ج رقاب = neck
– رقابة = supervision, censorship
– راقب، يراقِب = to observe, supervise
- هو بالع راديو (AKA 73)
He swallowed a radio.
(He is extremely talkative.)
– بَلَع، يِبلَع = to swallow
– بَلّوعَة = sewer
- بَصَلْته محروقه (AKA 73)
His onion is burnt.
(He is always in a hurry.)
– بَصَل = onion (collective noun)
– بَصَلِة = one/an onion
– محروق = burned
– حَرَق، يحْرُق = to burn
– حَريق = fire
– اْنحَرَق، يِنِحرِق = to get burned
- وَدّيه ع البَحَر بِنَشْفه (AKA 75)
Take him to the sea – he will dry it.
(He is clumsy or believed to be jinxed.)
– ودّى، يودّي = to bring, to take
– ع = Fuṣḥā على (meaning “to”, when in Fuṣḥā usually إلى would be used)
– نشّف، ينشّف = to dry (both transitive and intransitive), to dry up
– نِشِف، ينشَف = to become try
– نَاشِف = dry
– بِنَشْفه (binashfo) = Fuṣḥā ينشفه (yanashshifuhu) – note: 1. it is not “byinashfo” as you might expect (like in “byit‘allim”) because after the first consonant after the “b” there is a vowel. If that’s the case the “y” is omitted (in most dialects). 2. it is not “binashshifo” because the syllable structure is as follows: “bi-nash-shi-fo”. Since the i in -shi- is in an “open” syllable (meaning there is no consonant at the end) it is dropped so that you get “bi-nash(sh)fo”
- بخاف من خَياله (AKA 77)
He fears his own shadow.
– خَيال = shadow; fantasy, imagination
– خايل، يخَايِل = to be see-through
– تْخَيَّل، يِتخَيَّل = to imagine
- لِعِب الفار بِعِبّه (AKA 77)
The mouse played in his chest.
(He is making plans that he has not told anyone yet.)
– فار = Fuṣḥā فأر (most hamzas are elided in ‘āmmiyya)
– عِبّ = breast pocket, bosom
- عَظْمه ذَهَب (AKA 78)
His bones are gold.
(He is rich and lives a luxurious lifestyle.)
– عَضمِة / عضم، ج اِعضَام = bone
- يوم عسل ويوم بصل (AKA 93)
One day (life gives you) honey, one day onions.
– يوم = note the pronunciation “yōm” instead of Fuṣḥā “yawm”
- إلي بخاف من الله لا تخاف منه (AKA 94)
The one who fears God, don’t fear him.
- كثر الشد بيرخي (AKA 95)
Lots of tightening up makes it loose.
(Meaning if you are too strict or harsh, you invite rebellion and opposition)
– شَدّ، يْشِدّ = to tighten, fasten; to pull; to be strict, tough
– شَدّة = cards
– شِدّة = strength, force, severity
– شَديد = severe, strict, harsh
– شدّد، يشدّد = to be strict; to emphasize
– رَخَّى، يْرَخّي = to loosen, to relax
– رَخُو = soft, loose, runny
– ارتَخَى، يِرتِخي = to relax, become loose
– اْسْتَرَخَّى = to slacken
- ياريت طلبنا مليون دينار (AKA 99)
I wish we requested for a million dinar!
(Said when you mention someone and he appears.)
– ياريت = I wish (from Fuṣḥā يا ليت )
- إذا ما خرْبت ما بتعمر (AKA 99)
If not destroyed, it will not be rebuilt.
– خِرِب، يِخرَب = to be destroyed, ruined
– خَرَب، يِخرِب = to destroy
- يا طُخّه يا إكسر مُخّه
Either shoot him/it or crush his/its brain.
(There is no other way to deal with the issue)
– طَخّ، ج يطُخّ = to shoot
AKA = Ahmad Kamal Azban. Diwan Baladna – The Unprecedented Spoken Arabic Dictionary. 2010