Continuing in the spirit of Chris’ last post, here is another joke — which is in pretty bad taste, I might add — about engagement/marriage from the Internet. It’s not as full of useful vocabulary as the last one, but it is certainly amusing:
انا جاي اطلب ايد بنتك يا حج
بس يابنى دى لسا بالمدرسة
خلاص اجى بالليل تكون جت
I’ve come to ask for your daughter’s hand, Hagg.
Son, she’s still in school!
Alright, I’ll come back at night when she’s here.
حج – Check here
for an explanation of this title.
جاي – Remember our dear friend ism fa3el
? This formation more literally means ‘I am a comer’ and is made feminine by adding a ta marbuta (أنا جاية).
دي – In reference to the daughter.
يابني – ya + ibny, but in terms of pronunciation, the phrase usually gets smushed together into something that sounds more like ‘yabny.’
لسا – We covered this useful little word here
a while back (scroll about halfway down).
خلاص – Can mean 8,000 different things, ranging from ‘That’s enough!’ to ‘Okay!’ to a very reluctant and angry ‘FINE!’. If you don’t know this word yet, or its accompanying hand motions, you’re doing it wrong.
تكون جت – More precisely she will have come back’ – despite the lack of a ه to indicate the future, given the context of the sentence, this is Egyptian colloquial’s version of the future perfect tense.
~Insert intellectual comment about the phenomenon of child marriage in Egypt here~
“el 3ameleya nashfa“
File under: Shabab Speak, an enigmatic subset of Cairene dialect.
الجو عامل ايه؟
“el gaw 3amel eh?“(accompanied by a wink, nudge, & grin)
I think it’s kind of great that ‘So, how’s the weather?’ is used in English as a kind of cultural signifier for not having anything better to talk about or feeling awkward, but in Egypt, it’s sometimes used to ask about someone’s significant other. Same phrase, COMPLETELY different meaning.
My guess for the reason there’s a euphemism for this that may be the fact that dating before getting engaged or married is widely considered a no-no / something you usually (not always) have to hide from your parents here, but correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve also never actually heard this one firsthand because it’s mainly used among guys (there’s a whole other world of speech out there that I’ve only been able to see glimpses of. I call it: Shabab Arabic) but one generous shab named Fady was kind enough to share this one with me. I will be poking around for more of this type of phrase in the future.
Is anyone aware of other euphemisms for dating in Arabic? I’m sure there are some great ones out there.