The Bta3 Post

I’m going to posit that بتاع – ‘thingy, thingamajig, whatever’ – is one of the most important words in Egyptian Arabic. It has several flexible grammatical uses and is thrown around constantly; the word is especially important for Arabic learners because you can expand your vocabulary tenfold by just replacing words you don’t know with this convenient linguistic evasion. Yes, it is a cop out, but whatthefuckever! Egyptians use it copiously anyways and you’ll fit right in. Anyways. How it works:


The word بتاع can be used both as a noun, and as a particle.

As a noun, بتاع replaces the name of an object you’re too lazy to remember the name of; hence, ‘thingy.’

[pointing to something]: هات البتاع دا – Give me the thingamajig.

هاخلص البتاع واجيلك – I’m going to finish the thing and come to you.

جربت بتاع التكيلا مبارح؟ – Did you try the tequila thingy yesterday?

انا هنجوفر فشخ عشان البتاع دا – I’m super fucking hungover because of that thing. (note: if anyone knows a word for hangover in colloquial Arabic other than the English, get at me. I am so curious.)


As a particle, بتاع \ بتاعة expresses ownership. The gender of بتاع matches the gender of the object being described, and you stick the pronoun indicating who the object belongs to onto the end of the word, much as you would with عند.

الموبايل دا بتاع ابو شنب دا ولا بتاع مين؟ – Does this phone belong to that guy with the moustache, or who?

.الشنطة دي بتاعتي, شكرا – This bag is mine, thank you.


In a more abstract sense, you can use بتاع to express a person’s inclinations or something they do often. For example:

الراجل بتاع النظافة- The cleaning guy


It can also be used as a filler word meaning something close to ‘whatever/and so on’:

قالتلي انا مش عايزة اضيقك وبتاع – She said, ‘I don’t want to upset you,’ and whatever…

A synonym for this would be مش عارف ايه, which is often combined with بتاع in a series like so:

قالي النهارده لازم تنظف الاوضة وتلم الزبالة ومش عارف ايه وبتاع – He told me today, you need to clean the room, pick up the trash, yada yada yada…


Finally, بتاع can also be a euphemism for a penis (just like ‘thingy’ in English – epiphany ooooooh ahhhhh!) and thus طلّع البتاع = to whip it out.

And please, dear reader, don’t ever say the above out loud in real life – it’s just kind of an FYI thing. Although I genuinely hope you’re never in a situation where there is surprise whipping out involved and this expression comes up.