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Opa!

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Paciente, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. Paciente

    Paciente Senior Member

    Toulouse
    Français/Grec moderne
    hello everybody,

    I am writing to ask if the word Opa exists in arabic lenguage, and if there are differences between countries. In Greece, we use it to mark the rythm in the music. We also use it as an exclamation of surprise, admiration, irony, or just to draw someone's attention.

    It is believed that it comes from the turkish word : hop, which means "jump, go".

    My question is:
    - Do you use "opa" and in what meaning?
    - Are there any differences between countries?
    - Does a verb like "hop" exist and what does it mean?

    Thank you,
    chukren!
     
  2. HKK

    HKK Senior Member

    3010 Leuven, Be.
    Dutch/Belgium
    "Opa" cannot exist in Arabic since it has no p :) Variations like "ofa" or "oba" sound much less percussive to my ears. A verb like "hop" doesn't sound very likely either, since in Arabic, not just any word can be used as a verb.

    I'd say etymology has little to do with this kind of words, which are quite onomatopoeic and could be "invented" time and again in each language/culture.
     
  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    "Opa" does exist in Palestinian Arabic, which has no qualms about borrowing words with a "p." :D We pronounce it "oppa," and it's said by a person who picks up a toddler off the floor or ground (I'm pretty sure it's used that way in Greek as well). At the moment, I can't think of any other uses, but I'll post them if I do. :)

    As for "hop," I don't think we have a similar verb.
     
  4. Paciente

    Paciente Senior Member

    Toulouse
    Français/Grec moderne
    Thank you both for your answers! I didn't know that there is no "p" in Arab...
    HKK, I understand there's little point in searching the etymology for that kind of word, and all we can do is speculate. But in this case, it's attested by the dictionnaries. (Another word very interesting is "yela" that has exacty the same meaning in greek (come), and it's used the same in music).
    elroy, I don't think we use it the same way... Interesting!
    Are there any other opinions?
    See you
     
  5. HKK

    HKK Senior Member

    3010 Leuven, Be.
    Dutch/Belgium
    Oh, I didn't know:eek: I should be more cautious about saying things I don't know for sure. The Egyptians at "Pizza Pyramide" in Leuven have a very hard time pronouncing the name of their business so I thought...:D Would you spell "oppa" with a Persian p ﺍﭙﺍ?
     
  6. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    It's used the same way where I come from, but HKK is right when he says: "I'd say etymology has little to do with this kind of words, which are quite onomatopoeic and could be "invented" time and again in each language/culture."
     
  7. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    It doesn't exist in standard Arabic, where it is replaced with a "b" in loan words, although it is usually acceptable to use the Persian character for "p" in such words.
    Hm, maybe it was the Armenians then? I'm pretty sure it's used that way in some other language. :)
    Probably, although a spelling with a ب would be fine if context made it clear what was meant. However, it would be spelled أوپا/أوبا.
    I think both possibilities are plausible. I wouldn't summarily rule out the possibility that this word was borrowed from another language.
     
  8. Hani_D Banned

    Arabic
    I think the word does exist in most dialects(including Egyptian and Syrian) and it is : Hobba

    It means : hop. This word can be used in colloquial Arabic in every occasion when a child (or may be others) is about to jump (or to "be jumped !" as in elroy's funny example).

    The pronunciation "obba" is just a variation; it's used in Syria as well.

    It's not surprising that it's a word of Turkish origion; there are dozens of such words in colloquial Arabic.
     
  9. anthodocheio

    anthodocheio Senior Member

    I believe we do use it, too, the same way.

    Is it that hard to think of other uses? I mean.. You don't use it that often..?
     
  10. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    You know, I never even knew it was a word, I thought that it is just a sound we make to express something without being a specific word (such as "eehh" to express disgust in English).

    Oh well, you learn something new everyday.
     
  11. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I guess not. :) I can't really think of anything besides my example and Hani's (when a child is about to jump, off a table for example, and you're going to catch him). But I'll let you know if I think of anything. :)
     
  12. xebonyx

    xebonyx Senior Member

    TR/AR/EN
    Sorry to bring wake this thread from the dead, but isn't it used in riyaadaat? I was just watching a soccer game, and the announcer shouted really excitedly what sounded like to me as "Opa! Opa!" and i think this was being said from an Egyptian broadcast.
     
  13. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Yes :) some of the Egyptian commentators مُعَـلِّقون use it a lot, when a player gives the ball a long and/or strong kick. In a way, it's not different from the "jumping" examples, it's just a horizontal action :)
     

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