How to say ‘That’s what she said’ in Jordanian Arabic: “Without rhyme”

بلا قافية

bila gafiya


This is an extremely useful and wonderful little phrase brought to my attention by a friend in Jordan. The way he explained it, you use it when someone says something that could be misinterpreted, much like how English speakers use ‘That’s what she said.’ The example he gave was someone saying لانه صغير (‘li’anoo sa3’eer’ – because he/it is small) with the appropriate douchey response being بلا قافية.

[A note–in Jordanian Arabic, the ق often changes to a ‘g’ sound, and the gender politics of this letter change are really interesting–many Jordanian women change the ق to a hamza or an ‘ah’ sound instead of the ‘g’ because its perceived to be masculine. In rural areas, you’ll hear it used a lot more, and many Egyptians that grew up in Upper Egypt or the Sinai adopt this letter change, pronounce ج as a ‘j,’ unlike the typical Cairo/Alex accent.]

Use wisely.

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