The Way We Express Ourselves

post 185/365


Today is a special post as I celebrate reaching half way through my blog. If someone had told me 8 months ago that I would start a blog and would have the discipline to sit down everyday for a couple of hours to research and write, I would have laughed and said ‘yeah right.” This blog has taught me so much and I have to admit, awakened something in me that I thought was long gone. Back when I was at AUB, I took a course in creative writing, my professor had told me to keep writing since I seem to love it so much, but in all honesty I never had the confidence, thinking that no one would want to read me. It’s really incredible how things happen in ones life and change you in ways you never thought possible.

I wake up every day now at 5 am regardless of what time I slept the night before. The first thing I do when I wake up is walk to our dining room and open my computer. Yes I sit in our dining room now instead of my office, as it is the room that is the most lit  and the one that has natural light. Somehow I find myself having more energy through out the day and I am more organized as a designer. I don’t have time anymore to loiter around, thinking “oh I’ll do that tomorrow.” This blog has brought back passion to my life. I wake up and sleep to the thought of writing. At first I found it to be a daunting task and somehow throughout the months it kind of became a second skin to me. When we go on trips with my family and visit new places, I find myself lost in my thoughts trying to formulate sentences and trying to figure out how to express myself.


Having said that, first and most importantly, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read my blog, somehow and unintentionally for welcoming me into your lives. We might live miles apart, we might be on different continents, some might be reading me in bed, or while having their coffee, in the bathroom, or when stuck in traffic, but there is one thing we all share and that is the love of Lebanon. No matter where and how, frequently or infrequently, I want to thank you for giving me a voice, because at the end of the day, it’s nice to write but with no one reading you then it’s a personal journal, and that definitely was not the point of this blog. This blog was meant for me to share my love of Lebanon, of its beauty, and everything that makes us want to be involved as citizens. I started this blog, writing it on My Notes app on my phone, yes believe it or not, and then posting them on my wall on Facebook. I was probably being read by around 80 people who happen to be my good friends and now I am at 31,000 visitors and 66,000 views! So thank you, thank you a million times for reading me and giving me faith in my writing…

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Sorry for this long introduction and now with no further ado; today’s post I’ve been thinking of for a while now and it’s to celebrate this Lebanese “je ne sais quoi.”

In Lebanon we joke, we make fun of ourselves and each other.  We take life with a grain of salt, but most importantly we love to laugh. Nothing is more proof of our dark, sometimes ridiculous, groundbreaking humor then our expressions that we use on daily basis. Here are the ones that I love and I have translated.

belli testrak sater: may you be shrouded in disaster disastrously. Needless to explain it’s a curse but of a friendly manner 

ta2 albé: my heart cracked : I was so bored

Akho l’ chlite: kind of like son of a gun: this guys is one hell of a guy whether in a positive or negative connotation.

bit 3a2id: it drives you to be complicated : it’s so good that it will drive you nuts

tannaket ma3e: it got canned with me, which means I was so angry I froze

Angaret ma3eh: angaret from the word angry in English meaning I got angry

raytak todrab: I hope you will be hit, used when someone is saying oh you are being silly, or I can’t believe you just said that.

Salbe: fun

fi baynetna khibiz wo meleh: there is bread and salt between us, meaning we are like family

bishamiss khiriytoh: he sundries his shit. lol!!! Sorry about that, meaning he is so stingy he will even preserve his own shit

il khara bi baleish tayeb: free shit is good, meaning anything for free is good (still in the theme of shit… sorry but they are too funny not to share)

3ishiya. Living it. Meaning you are getting too involved in it

mda2ra ma3on: it’s a touchy subject with them

yehre2 7arichak: kind of like raytak todrab, meaning may your self be burned!

Rakkablo 2roun: he put horns on his head, meaning he lied to him or was deceitful

Farratné dehek: he made me crumble with laughter

Fa2a3né dehek: he made me explode with laughter

Ma ajlatak! Ajlat comes from the word jalta meaning heart attack, meaning you are so annoying you could give me a heart attack

ido tawile: he has a long had, which means he steals

Malla labsa! Ma byetkannas: he is so sticky, you can’t sweep him off

Min tiz el soboh: from the morning’s ass. Meaning it was too early in the morning 

mtarpé: from the word tripping, which means i am tripping over it. usually used in a negative sense

FARJINEH 3ARD KTEFAK; show me the width of your shoulders, meaning get lost

ZAHIT MIN HON: slide from here: get lost!

rou7 ballet el baher: go and tile the sea (my favorite) meaning go away!

fek 3an sama rabbi: leave the sky of my God alone. Meaning leave me alone!

ta2 7anak: break the jaw, meaning his laughing and wasting his time

to2borni nshallah: Burry me god willing

shou mahdoum: mahdoum comes from the word hadama meaning digest, so this means how digestive he is, meaning how funny he is

de2 l’mayy bi dalla mayy: Beat the water and it stays water. He will never change

3aynak bayda: your eye is white, meaning you look at the opposite sex in a sexual manner

shou fi ma fi: (another of my favorites) what is there? What isn’t? Meaning what’s happening with you at the moment?

Yi7ri2 deebak ma asmakak: may your self be burned, you are so annoying

ya rabbi el setra: may god keep me forsaken

betfouto bel 7et: you will hit the wall. Meaning you did something that you will pay the price for later on

Hayda feyi2 w reyi2: he woke up and in a calm mood, meaning he has nothing to do in his life and is too calm for god’s sake!

tanjra w le2it ghataha: like a pan that found its cover. They are so similar

houwwe ras bala mokh: he is a head with no brains (needless to explain)

toul balla ghaleh: he’s tall with no substance, literally he’s an idiot

shou fete7: he is so open. Meaning he is so smart

Ritak tenfezir: I hope you will be stuffed to the point of exploding

ati3a to2ta3ak: may you be cut into pieces

todrab nchallah: may you be hit god willing

ma at2al dammak: your blood is so heavy. You are annoying

3al sous w no2ta: on the insect and the dot, meaning he nitpicks at everything

galore a3l salvadore: gallop to the  Salvador. meaning get lost

batikh yi kasser ba3do: let the watermelon break each other. Meaning let them argue till forever I don’t care

Danna2et! I froze

Ghéché w méché. He is walking like an idiot

Byékhdak 3al ba7er w bireddak 3tshein. he takes you to sea and gets you back thirsty. He is so witty he will play you around

Zbélo: throw him in the garbage, meaning don’t give him attention

Echi3 eddik 7mar: can you see what a donkey you are!

La chaghlé wala 3amlé: he has nothing to do

3a Rassé: on my head, meaning  I will gladly do it

Tekram 3aynak. You eye is welcome. I am so happy to do it

Mech 3arif kou3o men bou3o: he doesn’t know his elbow from his mellow! Meaning he doen’t know anything

Mech 3arif allah weyn 7atto!he doesn’t know where god has put him. He is so confused

Mesh 3arif halak ma3 min 3am tihkeh: you don’t know who you’re talking to. usually it is used in a defiant or threatening manner

Titi titi mitel ma rehte mitel ma jite… as you went you came, meaning you haven’t done anything

bomor: from Point-mort or neutral in car meaning he is in that do nothing state of mind

men temmak la beib el sama from your mouth to the sky, meaning I hope someone will hear it and it will happen

min gheir charr: with no evil, meaning let’s not cast the evil eye

bala zoghra: not to belittle you

ma twekhzouneh bhal kelme: may you excuse that word, meaning you are just about to say a swear word or soemthignt hat is impolite.

bala 2atcheh 3an hadissak; I don’t want to cut your conversation but…

mich beyiss temma gheir emma: no one has kissed her lips other then her mother. Meaning she is pure!

tob el jarra 3ala tema btotla3 el benet la emma: if you drop the jar on its lips, the girl will end up like her mother, kind of like the apple doesn’t drop far away from the tree

yihri2 hareesho: may his self be burned… used on a funny guy/ a lier/ a witty person

htara2 sallafeh: my sideburns burned! I was so tired and exhausted

3anzeh wlaw taret: a goat even if it flew.

h’ot idek wo ijrek bi mayy berdeh: put your hands and feet in cold water, meaning stay calm , i am in control

Ana khartouch fardak: i am the bullets to your gun, which means I’ll do anything for you

Allah m3a dwelibak: god with your tires. meaning go away

rakeblo sabouneh: put on him a soap. Meaning let him leave you alone

chou jeb toz la marhaba: what brought the fart to good morning (I love that one) meaning what the hell are you talking about

chi tiktik chi ti3a: can’t explain it as I don’t think it has a meaning but used when you are saying that there were people that you don’t approve of

Chou jeib Tarazan la Texas: what brought tarzan to Texan? Meaning what the hell are you talking about?

bi7sob allah ma khala2ak: I will destroy the god that created you. No need to explain!

Shamassneh: he over exposed me with sunlight. Meaning I can’t date anyone because now everyone thinks we are together

Mitl al 2atrach bil zaffé, like a deaf guy in the festivities of a wedding. meaning he as no clue what’s happening

Toul bala ghallé: he is tall with no substance

Nkassar al Char: the evil got broken, said when someone breaks something

Khalis la allah: he is finished to the height of God. He is so stupid or careless

3mol mni7 w kib bil ba7ér: do good and throw in the sea, meaning do good and don’t’ ask for anything in return

Bala3na al mousse; we swallowed the blade, meaning I just shut up and said nothing

Toli3 7alib al nawar: the milk of the Gypsies got up! Meaning I’ve had enough and now I am going to be vulgar

hézzik mézzik: cant translate, meaning he keeps on coming and going

hayda nihna wo hayda jawna: this is who we are and this is our air

And the best of all: kiss me again, meaning I can’t believe it happened again! Or it’s a play on words as not to use the swear word in Arabic kiss ikhta… (meaning your sister’s female reproductive organ!!! Sorry can’t actually say it) And yes it is said in English as is

Ma bid do daf la yir2oss : he doesn’t need a tambourine to dance. meaning he is a party man

Il ammar hilo wo inta ahla: the moon is pretty and you are prettier

Shadiyyeh: a pull. Meaning I just hooked up with this hottie

Wijjo ma biydahak lal rghif el sokhon: His Face Will Not Smile Even For a Warm Loaf Of Bread.

In Ken habibak min A3ssal ma tilhasso killo: If Your Lover Was Made Of Honey, Don’t Lick Him All Up, meaning don’t use his/her kindness so much.

Darb el habib zbeeb: A Hit from A loved One Is Raisins

Rouh di2 rassak bil heit: go and hit your head on the wall, meaning I will not change what I said so go ahead and knock your head on the wall

Ma bishikh a3l ossba3 el majrouh: he doesn’t pee on a wounded finger, meaning he will never help no matter what

We are one crazy bunch of people and I can’t seem to find the joy of expressing myself in any other language. Lebanese expressions happen to have so much fun, sarcasm, humor, dark sense of humor, and wit that you will probably find an expression for every occasion.

To my Lebanon and its spirit…



4 thoughts on “The Way We Express Ourselves

  1. Am sahibna arata mawteh: They went into all the troubles of preparations and organizations and all the details for the event, and when the time came for implementation, he screwed things up (بعصهن) by dying.


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