All dialects: home, house


Senior Member
French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)

I would like to know how in other dialects, house or home is said. In Morocco, I know four words, although two may be used with this meaning only in the South (Sahara) and/or rural areas of the North:

دار (used everywhere)
حطّة (rural)
حوش (bedouin, also used in rural dialects but with another meaning)
خيمة (bedouin/rural?)

As for بيت, this word in Morocco means "room" and not "house".

Are there other ways used in other dialects?

Thank you.
  • normordm

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Sudanese
    In MSA دار and بيت mean house, خيمة means tent, and منزل means home.

    Also, in my dialect (Sudanese) and probably in the Egyptian dialect too دار is never used, and حوش means hall.

    But the safe one is بيت which means house in pretty much all dialects as well as the standard version.


    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    and منزل means home.
    I disagree, in MSA منزل means house, in Classical Arabic it didn't even mean house, it meant the location in which a nomadic people is currently residing. I don't believe that there is an Arabic translation of the English home, sometimes we translate it as وطن and sometimes as house depending on what is meant in the English phrase. In dialects, however, I'd think that the closest word, although not identical, is probably بيت as it can refer to a house, a mansion, a flat, a bedsit, a Bedouin tent, and even a family! However, it does not refer to وطن so this aspect of the word is still missing in translation.

    In PA, the only two I know is بيت and دار and they're pretty much interchangeable. There is also فيلا for a fully or semi-detached house. The latter is modern and usually refers to modern type houses. A traditional house is always either بيت or دار, sometimes دارة if it's large.
    بيت can also be used to refer to a flat. It's the 'generic' word for a place one lives in but I wouldn't say that it means 'home'.

    In IA, the most common one is بيت, you also have حوش that is a little outdated but still used relatively commonly especially in the countryside. They use neither فيلا nor دار.

    In both PA and IA, a bedouin tent is بيت شَعَر; I'm not sure about bedouin dialects but I think they just refer to it as بيت.

    In both PA and IA خيمة is a tent but it's not used to refer to a bedouin tent.

    As for بيت, this word in Morocco means "room" and not "house".
    The same in the Basrah area of Iraq, but not very common. The more common word for room is قبة = gubba.

    There might be other words I'm not aware of in both dialects; these are the ones I know.


    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Thanks both for your replies :). Other members' input is indeed welcomed

    فيلا is used to speak about modern big houses with several floors (usually 2) built pretty recently.

    Thanks @Mahaodeh for the old meaning of منزل, I ignored it.

    Edit: I forgot, there is also the traditional kind of urban home which is called رياض because it embeds a small garden and a fountain in its centre.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    To complete what @tounsi51 said in the previous post, in TA, we also use 7ouch حوش in certain regions to mean house. Manzal منزل is used in the island of Djerba for the traditional home. Ghorfa غرفة may mean either a single room on the roof or a vaulted store house in southern ksours (historical semi-fortified communal shelters built by nomadic tribes). Riad, in its Moroccan meaning, is never used in TA.


    Senior Member
    French, Tunisian Arabic
    I think Tunisia is the only Arab country having cities starting with منزل (menzel bourguiba, menzel temim, menzel bouzelfa etc)


    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    Thank you both (sorry for the delay). I didn't know (nor expected) منزل was used in Tunisia :eek:.
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