Arabic Endearments

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Mani, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Mani New Member

    English, Canada
    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion for a website that had transliterated Arabic endearments. What are the kinds of phrases used at home?

    I know everyone mentions, 'habibi' as a common expression.

    Thanks so much for posting all those links to websites in your main post elroy! I found them very useful.

    Kind regards,

    Mani
     
  2. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Welcome to the forums, Mani. :)

    I don't know of any websites, but I can share some common expressions of endearment that I know (bearing in mind that I speak Palestinian Arabic):

    Habiibii (to a guy)
    Habiibtii (to a girl)
    Habaaybi (to a group)

    Rohi (to a guy or a girl)

    'eni (to a guy or a girl)

    nuur 'eni/nuur il-'en/nuur 'inayyi (to a guy, girl, or group)

    'umri (to a guy or a girl)

    I'm glad you liked the resources sticky. The credit's not mine, however: links are submitted by members of our forum and all I do is post them. ;)
     
  3. Mani New Member

    English, Canada
    Hi elroy,

    Thanks a lot for the endearments. I have a couple of questions.

    I think I've heard that people sometimes use Habiibii when they're addressing a girl too, is that wrong? Can Habiibii and Habiibtii be used interchangeably?

    Also, what do the following endearments mean?
    Rohi (to a guy or a girl)

    'eni (to a guy or a girl)

    nuur 'eni/nuur il-'en/nuur 'inayyi (to a guy, girl, or group)

    'umri (to a guy or a girl)


    Thanks a lot for your help! Sorry for bugging you!

    Cheers,

    Mani
     
  4. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi Mani,


    I think I've heard that people sometimes use Habiibii when they're addressing a girl too, is that wrong? Can Habiibii and Habiibtii be used interchangeably?
    Yes, in colloquial Arabic (at least here in Egypt) we can use masculine form to address feminine as an endearment. Also most of the love song of male singers adress the beloved as habiibii not habiibtii (but this doesn't mean any homo inclination, it's just the way we use the expression)

    Also, what do the following endearments mean?
    Rohi (to a guy or a girl)
    Rohi = my soul (this doesn't have a feminine/masculine forms, for the word roh is masculine itself), but we use it with both

    'eni (to a guy or a girl)
    Same usage of roohi, and it means: my eye(s) (but 'ein is a feminine word)

    nuur 'eni/nuur il-'en/nuur 'inayyi (to a guy, girl, or group)
    Same again :) nuur = light (masculine word), 'ein = eye, 'inayyi ('inayya in Egypt) eyes; so it means : light of my eyes.

    'umri (to a guy or a girl)
    my life (masculine word used for both guys and girls)

    Thanks a lot for your help! Sorry for bugging you!
    You're welcome, no bugging at all :)
     
  5. alahay

    alahay Senior Member

    US
    Phoenicia
    I always wondered why? any ideas? thanks!
     
  6. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    We do the same in Palestinian Arabic. I really don't know why we do that! It's interesting to note that it doesn't work the other way around: you cannot address a guy using the feminine form.

    " 'Umr" literally means "age" but I agree that "life" would be a better translation here. "My life" would literally be "hayaati," which, by the way, is used as a term of endearment as well.
     
  7. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    I don't know if it is used in other dialects, but from Egyptian Arabic you could use:

    ya Danaaya -- which loosely translates to my dear. It is generally used in regards to children.

    my lover; my sweetheart:
    3ashii'ii ( عشيق ) -- to a man
    3ashi'tii -- to a woman
    3ushshaa'ii -- to more than one

    It is probably better to use Habiibi as the three I just listed can have the connotation of being a paramour. But you could use the verb that this noun comes from. It is a stronger word than the usual verb for love, yiHibb (whence come Habiibi).
    Whereas (ana) aHibbak/aHibbik/aHibbuku means I love you (to a man/woman/plural respectively), (ana) a3sha2ak/a3sha2ik/a3sha2ku means I love you intensely or passionately.

    Note: The number (3) is used to represent a letter not found in English. Try "swallowing" the letter 'a' and you will have it.
    The number (2) is used to represent a glottal stop, in which you cut off your airflow for a split second -- like the Cockney pronunciation of 'bottle' -- say it without pronouncing the 't' sound (bo'le).
     
  8. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Josh, you should come back to Egypt as soon as possible, you're using archaic colloquial :) (just kidding) but the word danaaya is only used by a mother adressing her kid, and it's used mainly by lower class women. It's even a matter of a joke between us nowadays to call someone "ya dinaaya" (the da became di as a deformation due to a sort of funny way of pronounciation which I can't explain by writing).
    Any way, do not use danaaya.

    As for 3ashii2, this is sort of a catastrophe calling a woman "ya 3ashi2ti", this simply means you have extra-marital sex. And is not used for "lover" any more.
    As for the verb ba3sha2ak, it's true that it doesn't have the same negative connotation. There's even a song by a famous Syrian singer -who sings in Egyptian Arabic, by the way- Mayyada el-Hennawy ميادة الحناوى , the song is entitled ana ba3sha2ak, nice song.

    As for why we use the masculine for female beloved ones, I think it's due to an old Arabic tradition of chaste love الحب العُذرى were poets talked about their women as "he", maybe to hide their love ? Don't know, it has always confused me too, but it's so common that it's a bit hard to know why.
     
  9. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Actually, I knew that but of course wasn't thinking about it when I posted. I heard a lot of women in Egypt say it in reference to their children. That reminds me of a funny story. My Arabic professor was telling me one time about a male student who knew Arabic, but must have lived with an old woman or something when he was in Egypt, because when he spoke Arabic, he sounded like an old woman.

    I believe the process you are referring to is called elision. It's like in the word asaa3id (I help) when, for example, the long 'a' is shortened and the 'i' sound dissapears when you add the pronoun for you -- asa3dak. If you would like to discuss it further we could open a new thread.

    I believe this same process of elision is, in part, why the masculine is used for females sometimes. If you listen to Arabic music, like any music, there is a rhythm and using the feminine forms can disrupt this rhythm because they are longer and have more syllables. So in order to acheive a uniform metrical pattern that flows easy, they use the shortest form. It is easier and/or quicker to say Habiibi than it is Habibti. And maybe that carried over into general conversation. Who knows? That's my theory anyway.
     
  10. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I respect your theory Josh, but I'm not sure it's valid. We will need to check old references, maybe we can find explanations there. Arab poets (specially the very old one) were such "masters" that they wouldn't have found any trouble adapting their rythm to the longer feminine form.
    But yet who knows, we'll still need to check.

    As for the danaya/dinaya it sure has't got to do with elision, the un is made of a certain way of pronouncing the "d" by some lower class individuals, unfortunately I can't describe it by writing. we hear it in names such as "hamdy", "magdy" the letter d itself is pronounced in a strange manner.
     
  11. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    well, let me contribute to this topic.

    In Saudi Arabia, we say:
    --Ya Aynee "My eye"

    --Ya habbat Ayenee"O!My pupil of eye"
     
  12. Mani New Member

    English, Canada
    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to thank you guys (cherine, elroy and all) for all the help with endearments. :)

    Cheers,

    Manini
     
  13. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    I was going to add this but forgot to -- there is an Egyptian Arabic proverb using the verb yi3sha2:

    إن سرقت إسرق جمل وإن عشقت إعشق قمر
    2in sara2t 2isra2 gamal wi-2in 3ishi2t 2i3sha2 2amar
    if you steal, steal a camel, and if you fall in love, fall in love with a beautiful girl.

    This just means that if you are going to do something, you might as well do it all the way; commit yourself entirely. Mybe Cherine, or others, can add more clarification.
     
  14. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    Well, Josh.
    It means that if you going to do something , be it a homework or an assignment , then do it completely.That is, finish it .Let your goal be sublime .We sometimes say:
    idha akalt basal fa ishba' basal.
    If you eat onion , then eat to full
    إذا أكلت بصل فاشبع بصل
     
  15. bjoleniacz Senior Member

    Durham, NC, USA
    English, USA
    In English, pupil of my eye= "apple of my eye." :)
     
  16. RVB New Member

    English
    How is the word Umri different from Omri - or are they the same?

    I am trying to find a translation of the lyrics for the song by Guitara - ya omri ana.

    I have just began learning Arabic.
     
  17. bjoleniacz Senior Member

    Durham, NC, USA
    English, USA
    I assume they are the same. There is no letter "o" in Standard Arabic, only in dialects. The vowels are:

    Short:
    a "ha!"
    i between "bit" and "seat"
    u "put"

    long:
    a light - "Well, he has been there before."
    a dark- depending on your dialect "bought" or "father"
    ee/ii/iy long "eat"
    oo/uu/uw "who"

    The letter "o" sometimes shows up in transcriptions, and is an actual vowel in some slang dialects. It could be the pronunciation of the singer of "u" given his or her dialect, or a combination with "3ayin" or another consonant that makes "o" a better English equivalent.
     
  18. paieye Senior Member

    England
    English - British
    I thought that in Arabic حبيب was used to convey intimacy as well as endearment (perhaps like English 'darling), and that عزيزي was used to convey endearment without intimacy (perhaps like English 'dear').

    Is that not correct ?
     

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