صديق

Tavshan

Member
English - England
Hi everyone. This is a cultural as well as linguistic question (ideally addressed to those who are natives both of the language and of the culture).
I am trying to understand how special, how selective, how deep is the title of صديق (in the non-romantic sense, not meaning a boyfriend or lover).

In Arabic, how many people in your life do you normally describe as a صديق ?



Thank you.
 
  • Schem

    Senior Member
    Najdi Arabic
    In my dialect, ṣadiiq صديق in its MSA form is relegated to a specific, somewhat formal, usage where the core ideas of friendship are being reemphasized whereas the native cognate ṣediig is rarely used in my experience. Other words like رفيق refiidz and خويّ khawiyy are traditionally used while words like صاحب ṣaaḥeb are gaining traction under Riyadhi influence. However, this speaks to my own experience which is affected by both gender and age group. I've noticed, for example, the word صديقة ṣediigeh is used more commonly in intrafemale friendships whereas the words I listed are more prevalent in male relationships.

    Sidenote: صديق (pronounced sadiig) is a common way of addressing an unknown person in Gulf pidgin similar to other words used for the same purpose (the generic محمد or the loanword bhai) or how amigo could be used in a similar setting in the US.
     

    Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    In Morocco, صديق sounds pretty formal, صاحب is the usual word and there is another which became considered really colloquial although it wasn't basically, it is عشير. Using it may make you being labelled as a low class person (I may be wrong but this is how I felt it to be, this is not my point of view). Also, a very common word used is خويا/خاي (brother).
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Interesting!
    In Palestinian Arabic صديق might be used, but صاحب is much more common. In Jordan, some might use رفيق, but it's mostly an influence of Syrian Arabic.

    In Iraqi Arabic, صديق is pretty much the only word for friend - صاحب is less intimate, more like "the person I sometimes hang out with" or "more than an acquaintance and less than a friend".

    As for how selective the users of the words are (whether it's صديق أو صاحب أو رفيق), I would say it depends on the person.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I gave some uses of صديق here. I can’t think of any others; can you?
    No, I really can't think of any. I agree that in more than 90% of the time it's صاحب rather than صديق. My point was that the latter is not strange or unusual in Palestinian Arabic - I mean, it doesn't sound like a borrowing to me, just not common. The reason is basically because of the proverb, it's not a new invention and it implies that the word may have been more common in the past, or it may have been used because it rhymes but in any case it was not unheard of. Well, at least this is how I justified it when I wrote my answer.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I wasn’t disagreeing with you. ;) If anything I was reinforcing your point.

    I remembered another proverb that uses صديق:

    الصديق وقت الضيق
     
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