shoe, shoes

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Abu Rashid, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    I am just wondering if anyone can clarify whether the different words for shoes have different meanings.


    Jazmah is the word commonly used in Egypt, and I've heard it actually refers to higher cuffed shoes, or boots, is this correct?


    Is this a foreign loan word? It's used in Turkish also

    Sakhr also lists: خُفّ , شِبْشِب , صِرْم , مَدَاس , مَشَّايَة

    Khuff refers to leather socks, which are half way between shoes and socks, from what I know in an Islamic context. And shibshib (which I thought was just slang) refers to slippers?

    Also حذاء seems to be the most commonly used in Fus7a (and on shop signs etc), yet نعل is the term used in the Qur'an, is there a reason for this that anyone is aware of?

    Also are there any other terms used in dialects, that aren't mentioned here? I'd be interested to know what different dialects use, even if the word is already mentioned here, just to get an idea of where those words are used.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  2. Xence Senior Member

    Algeria (Arabic - French)
    In the Maghreb, you would hear سبّاط or صبّاط which has obviously the same root of the French savate, the spanish zapata and the Italian ciavatta. But nobody seems to know exactly where this root stems from...
  3. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Syrians use سباط also.

    شبشب, mentioned above, is a kind of sandals or slippers.

    Older people where I'm from use كندرة (kindara), plural كنادر, but nowadays you're more likely to hear جزمة (jazmah), which is probably borrowed from Egypt. نعال is the word we use for sandals, but different types of sandals or slippers have other words. There's زبيرية which men wear, and there's زنّوبة which people wear in washrooms (not something you want to wear in public).
  4. Tilmeedh Senior Member

    English (Canada)
    I have it from a native Lebanese speaker that shoes worn by males are subbâT (sg.)/sababîT (pl.), and those by women are skerbiné (sg.)/skerbinét (plural). Her Palestinian husband uses the term kundera (sg.)/kenêdir (pl.). (Any
    errors in transcription are my own.)
  5. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    In Iraq the older word is qundara = قُنْدَرَة, but these days it's rarely used to refer to a shoe unless one is angry, sarcastic or trying to insult such as: شُمَر عليه القندرة. The more common word these days is حِذَاء.

    نَعَال is used for slippers; whether they are bathroom slippers or a nice leather pair of slippers worn with the traditional men's dress.

    جزمة is specifically for boots or shoes that cover the ankle, no one would use it for ordinary shoes. There is also بُسطَال, but that's specifically for big heavy boots, like those used in the millitary.

    قُبْقَاب is used for wooden slippers, like the one غَوَّار wears :))), but these have fallen out of use because no one really uses the old type of bathrooms any more. But the word can refer to any type of heavy slippers that make a loud noise when walking in them.

    بابوج is used for nice and neat ladies' slippers, the type worn when going out not the type worn at home or for the bathroom. They are usually leather.

    يَمَني is a type of traditional shoes that used to be made in Yaman; fallen out of use.

    In PA, I know of two: كُنْدَرَة for shoe and حَفَّايَة for slippers (bathroom slippers).

    This is what I remember from the top of my head.
  6. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    In Oman and UAE, na3al are specifically sandals and juti/ pl. juwaati (from Hindustani) are shoes that cover your feet.
  7. djara

    djara Senior Member

    Sousse, Tunisia
    Tunisia Arabic
    In Tunisian Arabic, the word most commonly used is صباط for both men and women. In MSA, we use حذاء exclusively.
    Traditional footwear includes: بلغة كنترة قبقاب شلاكة طماق
    We also use arabized French words: بنطوفل بوط صندال سبيدري
  8. TheArabicStudent

    TheArabicStudent Senior Member

    I know they say سكربينة (scarbini) in Lebanon for a woman's shoe. I think it's Italian though.
  9. signpen Junior Member

    ship-ship in Egypt for kinds of flip-flops.
    Does also anyone know it?
  10. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    ^ A few corrections to your transliteration. :)
    The latter is not just limited to bathroom slippers. Some examples of other shoes that fall under the same category are these and these. By the way, most people I know pronounce it حفاي (without the ة).

    Now, for a more detailed description of the words used in PA:

    كندرة (plural كنادر) is the "most generic" word for shoe, but it is not used to refer to just any shoe. A كندرة is always formal or at least "smart casual." Athletic shoes are not كنادر. The word is used for both men's and female's shoes.

    صرماي (plural صرامي) is in theory a synonym of كندرة, but it is less common in practice, except that it's used to express anger or derision, as described by Maha :)warn: هدا واحد صرماي, for example). كندرة is also possible in such contexts.

    A بوط (plural بواط) is used for athletic shoes. It obviously comes from the English word "boot."

    A جزمة (plural جزمات) is used for shoes that cover the ankles (examples here and here).

    A بابوج (plural بوابيج) or شحويطة (plural شحاويط) is a pair of slippers with no strap covering the heels (examples here, here, here, and here).

    A بنطوفلة (plural بنطوفلات), from the French word pantoufle, is a pair of winter slippers lined with fur (example here).

    A specific word for flip-flops is زنوبة (plural زنوبات).

    An قبقاب (plural قباقيب) is used to refer to a pair of clogs that has a wooden base and is generally loud (example here). As Maha said, they are not used much anymore.

    A صندل (plural صنادل) is a pair of sandals, but it always includes straps covering the heels, so these and these are صنادل but these and these are not (the latter can be called sandals in English).

    That's all I can think of right now!
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  11. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Does anybody know the origin of كندرة and جزمة? I have a feeling صرماي comes from Turkish.
  12. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    صرماية is Persian, جزمة is Turkish, from Al-Lisaan:

    الصَرَّام بيَّاع الصَرْم أي الجِلد. الصَرْم مصدرٌ والجلد معرَّب جرم بالفارسية. والصِرْم أيضًا الخفُّ المُنعَل والعامة تقول صِرْماية .

    والجَزْمَة أَيْضًا ضَرْبٌ مِنْ الأَحْذِيَةِ طَوِيل السَّاقِ يَبْلُغ إِلَى نَحْو الرُّكْبَةِ مُعرّب جزمه بِالتُّرْكِيَّةِ.

    والكُنْدُرة لضرب من الأحذية الإفرنجيَّة ليست من كلام العرب

    The last line implies that Kundara is maybe Latin or Greek, but then maybe it was borrowed into Latin at some point in time or maybe he just doesn't know the origin of the word and is talking about the type of shoe not the origin of the word.
  13. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    That's interesting, Maha. I never thought to look for those words in the Lisan. Thanks.
  14. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Yes, it's interesting how old some collequal/loan words are.
  15. zooz

    zooz Senior Member

    Arabic & Syrian Arabic
    Man, I've never realized that we have too many words for shoes :)

    From what mentioned above, نعل, حذاء & خُف are MSA words.

    In Syria, we use some of the above words that Elroy stated (كندرة، صرماي، بوط plus صباط) but not (جزمة، بابوج، بنطوفلة، صندل). Though I'm not quite sure about بابوج which might be used in some regions.

    قبقاب is the same as Elroy explained but mainly used in the bathroom/Arabic toilet. see here

    شحّاطة is a pair of flip-flops or slippers.

    شاروخ is just like flip-flops but with a special piece wraps the big toe. I couldn't find a proper picture of it. It's like this one but without the heels.

    I'm sure in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities they have different/more words (I'm from Homs/Hims).

    In Saudi Arabia in Al-Hijaz they use مداس as a general word for shoes.

    جزمة refers to كندرة in Elroy's post.

    شبشب & صندل refer to بابوج in Elroy's post.

    تليق refers to شاروخ in my post.

    Not sure about women's shoes though.
  16. batool67

    batool67 New Member

    Why is not good to say at peoples from arabic country , ,,you are a shoes''?. I knew in palestinian dialect, if say at one person kundara or sarma he will be anger.Is difficult for a non- native speaker to understand this.
  17. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Because it implies your dirty and other people can step on you. In Egypt saying إنت جزمة has the same connotations, though kids have that insult thrown at them all the time to imply they're hard-headed, probably for no logical reason!
  18. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    In the Egyptian dialect I hear the word كوتشي (or perhaps sometimes just spelled كتشي) pronounced kutshi (or sometimes جزمة كوتشي) every so often which seems to be applied to tennis/athletic shoes or perhaps sneakers in general. Perhaps a native speaker could explain more. I'd also be interested in knowing in what other dialects it occurs.

    If I had to take a guess on the etymology I'd say it is a nisba adjective created from the word كوتش (kutsh, also used in the Egyptian dialect) which comes from the English word "coach" -- as the term concerns to sports.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  19. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    True. kotshi/kotsh is a general word for sports shoes. But the etymology is simpler than what you guessed ya Josh: it was just the name of one of the first famous brands for this kind of shoes in Egypt. I don't even remember how it was written, it's not produced/sold any more. :)

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