A slightly late post in our Verbs I Might Have Known series. This one is about اخد 2akhad, a verb we certainly all know. Compared to previous verbs in this series, 2akhad has less core or auxiliary meanings, but it does appear in a lot of common and useful combined phrases which we’ll cover here.
اخد’s past form is the same everywhere, 2akhad. Its present forms, however, vary: in North Levantine they have a consistent long aa in the prefixes that absorbs the hamze (baakhod, btaakhod, byaakhod…) and in South Levantine they have a long oo except in the first person singular, where they have aa (baakhod, btookhod etc). The imperative forms in NL are khood, khədi, khədu, while SL has similar forms but (as expected) doesn’t have the shift of short u/i to ə, producing khood, khudi, khudu . Occasionally you might hear the shortened forms خو kho, خي khi and خو khu. The participle in NL is regular (2aakhed) but in SL is irregular, with m (ماخد maakhed).
Take, get, bring…
The most basic and literal meaning of 2akhad is of course ‘take’. This is probably so basic as to not require any examples – خود هي khood hayy ‘take this’, etc. But it is worth noting that often 2akhad is used in contexts where ‘get’ would be the idiomatic choice in English:
تعالي خدي ابنك
ta3aali khədi 2ibnek (S)
Come and get your son
جاي اخد التتذكرة
jaay 2aakhod ittazkara (P)
I’ve come to get the ticket
Take (someone somewhere)
Likewise, it can be used in the sense of taking somebody somewhere:
خدني معك وديني ع شارع الحمرا
khədni ma3ak, waddiini, 3a shaare3 əl7amra (L)
Take me with you, o take me to Hamra Street
In this sense you can use the participle as a future:
ween 2aakhdiinni? (S)
Where are you taking me?
‘Have’ (in orders, food etc)
وانا باخد الملوخية
w2ana baakhod limlukhiyye (P)
And I’ll have the mulukhiyye
Take it from me:
In the sense of ‘trust me’:
هادا قرار كله كله حكمة مش رح تلاقي حد يفهمك زيهم خدي مني
haada qaraar kullo 7ikme. mish ra7 itlaa2i 7ad yifhamek zayyhom khudi minni (J)
That’s a very sensible decision. You won’t find anyone who understands you like they do, trust me!
Take something to heart, take offence:
Literally ‘take onto one’s khaaTer‘: اخد على خاطرو, or اخد ع بالو ‘take onto one’s baal‘.
شكلو كان يحلم بشهادة رسمية منشان هيك آخد على خاطرو من الاستاذ
shəklo kaan yə7lam bshahaade rasmiyye mənshaan heek 2aakhed 3ala khaaTro mn əl2əstaaz (S)
It seems like he had dreams of getting an official licence, and that’s why he’s upset with/taken offence at the teacher
Take it in the spirit in which it was intended
Literally, ‘take it in a sporting spirit’:
بدك توخدها بروح رياضية ماشي؟
biddak tookhudha bruu7 riyaDiyye, maashi? (J)
You have to be a good sport about it, OK?
To take a (principled) stand, position:
اخد موقف 2akhad maw2ef (in Leb maw2af).
لازم نحنا الشمل نلم وناخد موقف بشرف
laazim nə7na shshaml ənləmm w naakhod maw2af bisharrif
We have to stand together and take an honourable position!
To decide you have an issue with, to take a dislike to, etc
اخد موفق من 2akhad maw2ef mən/min, literally ‘take a negative stand on’.
بس لا يكون اخد مني موقف؟
bass laa ykuun 2aakhed mənni maw2ef? (S)
I just hope he hasn’t [decided he’s] got a problem with me
Get accustomed to, get comfortable in
اخد على 2akhad 3ala.
في حد لسا مش ماخد ع الجو
fii 7ad lissa mish maakhed 3a jjaww? (J)
Is there anyone who still isn’t used to the vibe?
2akhad jadd or 2akhad bjiddiyye:
لما يكون الموضوع هبل كتير وواحد يجي ماخدو جد كتيير
… lamma ykuun ilmawDuu3 habl iktiir wwaa7ed yiji maakhdo jadd iktiir (P)
… when something’s really stupid and someone comes along who’s taking it very seriously
Dismissive خدلك, خود على
Used to be dismissive about something. For example this punchline to a joke in which a man out playing cards with his friends has been called home by his wife:
معلش شباب بس مرتي تعبانه شوي -خدلك هالحكي الفاضي كمل اللعبة وقوم . خلص مش ضايل اشي
ma3lish shabaab bass marti ta3baane shwayy / khudlak hal7aki lfaaDi kammel illa3be w2uum. khallaS mish Daayel 2ishi (P)
Sorry lads, my wife’s feeling a bit poorly. / Forget that nonsense, finish the game and then go! We’re almost done.
In Syrian خود على is more common: خود على هالحكي.
Do what you feel like (take your rest)
اخد راحتو 2akhad raa7to. Can be used on its own, including as a polite response to someone asking for a few moments (خود راحتك khood raa7tak ‘don’t worry about it’). But can also be used in contexts like the following:
خليه ياخد راحتو بالتفكير
khallii yaakhod raa7to bittafkiir (S)
Let him think about it at his leisure
Give him space to think [= take his rest in thinking]
بدي ياكي توخدي راحتك بالحكي
biddi_yyaaki tookhdi raa7tek bil7aki (P)
I want you to feel like you can say anything [= take your rest in talking]
اخدها خوش بوش 2akhadha khoosh boosh ‘to be familiar’
اخد احطياتات 2akhad i7Tiyaataat ‘take precautions’
اخد دوا 2akhad dawa ‘take medicine’
خود يمينك, شمالك, يسارك khood yamiinak, shmaalak, yasaarak ‘go right/left’ (take your right, your left)
خليك اخد يمينك khalliik 2aakhed yamiinak (S, L) ‘keep over to the right’