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لئيم

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Ghabi, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Cantonese (Hong Kong)
    Now that you mention it, "cunning" is actually the meaning my teacher once told me. But somehow I've got an impression that it means "a mean fellow". So I wonder what this word means in other dialects than Egyptian?:confused:
     
  2. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    This is the meaning in fuS7a. There's a famous poetical verse saying:
    إذا أنت أكرمت الكريم ملكته*** وإنْ أنتَ أَكْرَمْتَ اللئيمَ تَمَرَّدا
    If you treat a mean person well, he'll be rebellious against you. (bad translation, sorry :( ) And I may be mistaken with the إذا/أنت but the last three words are correct for sure.
     
  3. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    It's not part of any spoken dialect that I know of except as a borrowing from Classical Arabic. I understand it as "a mean fellow" as well; doesn't have to be "cunning."

    Here's what the old dictionaries have to say:
    اللُّؤْم: ضد العِتْقِ والكَرَمِ.
    واللَّئِيمُ الدَّنيءُ الأَصلِ الشحيحُ النفس
    http://www.baheth.info/all.jsp?term=لئيم

    So it is essentially the opposite of "noble" or "honorable," (honor being a trait that the Arabs have always viewed as inherited).
     
  4. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Excellent post, Wadi :thumbsup: :) I think I should add that their's a difference between the meaning in fuS7a and the meaning in Egyptian 3ammeyya.
     
  5. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    What is the difference?
     
  6. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    The difference is that in Egyptian we don't have the meaning of a "mean person". The more common -if not the only- meaning is that of a cunning person, like مكار (makkaar, which is taken from the fuS7a maakir ماكر ) or خبيث (which we pronounce as khabiis).

    When I say of a person that he's la2iim, it means that he's not sincere, or dishonest, or cunning.
    All bad meanings, but not as bad as the meaning in fuS7a.

    Also, in Egyptian, the opposite of la2iim is not kariim but Tayyeb طيب (kind, good hearted...).
     
  7. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    Well, طيب is essentially the colloquial version of كريم (note that كريم here does not simply mean "generous"). I still see some overlap between the Egyptian and Classical usages of the word, but who knows.
     
  8. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Cantonese (Hong Kong)
    So how do you call a "mean fellow" in Najdi?
     
  9. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    وصخ (reflex of وسخ)
    خسيس
    نذل
    رزيل <== I don't find this in any dictionaries, but it might be a reflex of رذيل, which leads me to believe it's a relatively recent borrowing from an urban dialect like Syrian or Egyptian.
    رديّ (from رديء)

    I'm sure there are others that I can't remember off the top of my head.
     
  10. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    لئيم

    Google Translate:

    Adjectives:

    1. mean
    2. base
    3. low
    4. evil
    5. depraved
    6. miscreant
     
  11. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    I think what cherine is trying to say is that in Egyptian it's "watered down" a little, so that it's not quite as offensive as it is in fus7a. This is my understanding of it, since I've often heard Egyptians use it in situations that they'd never use it, if it carried the full weight of it's meaning.

    There are plenty of words like this, that become "watered down" in common usage, so that they no longer carry a strong offensive meaning. I think شقي for instance would fit this category too. From my understanding, as it appears in Islamic texts, it's related to wretchedness and is a defining trait of the people of hellfire. Yet in everyday Egyptian (and others) usage it just means "naughty". (I may be wrong about this last example, it's just something I've suggested myself, rather than something I've verified, maybe it's not as harsh a word as I thought)
     
  12. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Apart from what others have mentioned above, some of which are also found in Wehr, Al-Mawrid etc., etc., we also have:

    ribald

    villain

    despised

    despicable

    This is quite a list for the meaning in English for لئيم and its synonyms in fus7a.


    All negative in fus7a -MSA but not so in Egyptian 3ammeyya, a point that we all shoud be convinced by now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  13. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Cantonese (Hong Kong)
    I think it's a very good example!:thumbsup: And a naughty child is 3afriit "demon", if I'm not mistaken (I wonder if the same usage exists in other dialects?:confused:)
     

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