Have you ever listened to the Arabic language? I mean actually listened and paid attention to some of the words and phrases that we use? It’s actually pretty funny if you think about it, and I’m sure all of you that live “in the tooth of the elephant” (Sin el Fil) will have some idea of what I’m talking about.

Aside from using words that sound absolutely ridiculous, we exchange phrases that once literally translated to English, make no sense whatsoever. Here are a few of the many for your entertainment.

Ya5rib Baytak (May your house be destroyed)
A little harsh don’t you think? This is usually used when you’re upset with someone, but why you’d want his house destroyed over anything else, beats me.

Min Ayoune (From my eyes)
This phrase basically means I’d be happy to help, but its literal translation sounds like “here, have my eyeballs (cornea, pupil, and all). When would you like me to help you pack?”

3a Rase (On my head)
I’ll do anything for you. By anything, were you referring to carrying the world for someone one your head?

Tekram 3aynak (Your eye is welcome)
This is another way to say you’re welcome. Don’t ask why we must bring eyes into almost every conversation. What’s wrong with saying, "you’re welcome" the old fashioned way?

Min Tahet la Tahet (From under to under)
This one describes an action that’s sneaky but makes absolutely no sense when it’s translated literally.

Bi Aya 3en 3am Te7ke Ma3e? (In which eye are you talking to me?)
Enough with the eyes already! What does this have anything to do with the tone someone is using to speak with you?

Damak T2eel (Your blood is heavy)
Now why would you tell anyone their blood is heavy when they crack a lame joke?

Mahdoumeh (You’re digestible)
To literally translate this on a first date would probably be a mistake. While a girl may like being called cute, you probably wouldn’t want her feeling some type of way when she finds out you’d like to…. “digest” her?

Ta'aburnee (Bury me)
I couldn’t end this list without mentioning my absolute favorite. Telling someone to bury you is the strangest form of affection. Because telling your SO you love them is just too mainstream right?


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