EA: *khawal* *!*

Timmy123

Senior Member
NYC
English
Please be aware this post includes insulting terms, I have attached a :warn: where necessary and no offence is intended.

Hello,

My question is regarding the word khawal :warn:

To what extent does this word actually mean a homosexual (albeit an insulting word e.g. faggot:warn: ) and how much does it just mean a stinker/son of a bitch:warn:/asshole:warn: etc)

To be more precise, if someone uses this word to insult me, and has done so on many many occasions, does this imply that he is calling me a homosexual or is he just trying to insult me? This is being used by a male who is about 60 years of age (in case cultural context helps as I know different generations use different words differently).

It is really important that I know, as this individual has falsely accused me of homosexuality in the past and spread false rumors, and I am trying to work out if this time round he is using the word literally, or just calling me an asshole:warn:. I do ask for your honest opinions as I am on the verge of filing a complaint at work.

Thanks.
 
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  • Arabus

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Aleppo
    Since this is a Bedouinic word (as far as I know), then you must take it seriously because Bedouins don't joke when they use sexual swearwords. Same is true for Egyptians. In Syria, on the other hand, sexual swearwords are not as nearly offensive as they are in other Arab countries.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Since this is a Bedouinic word (as far as I know), then you must take it seriously because Bedouins don't joke when they use sexual swearwords. Same is true for Egyptians. In Syria, on the other hand, sexual swearwords are not as nearly offensive as they are in other Arab countries.
    It's actually of Egyptian origin, not bedouin. Someone recently explained in another thread that it originally referred to the male performer in a belly-dancing group. The only dialect in Saudi Arabia that uses this word natively is Urban Hejazi, which is closely related to/influenced by Egyptian. Incidentally, people from Jeddah and Mecca have a reputation for having a much more relaxed attitude to swear words than the rest of the country.

    Timmy,

    The word is not always meant literally (it can just be used like the English "a**hole"). In fact, I think most of the time it is not meant literally. From how you describe the situation, it is very likely he meant it literally, but you'll have to determine this yourself based on the context in which the word was used.
     
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    Arabus

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Aleppo
    This is the ultimate etymology:

    وخَوَلُ الرجلِ: حَشَمُه، الواحد خائل، وقد يكوْن الخَوَل واحداً وهو
    اسم يقع على العبد والأَمة؛ قال الفراء: هو جمع خائل وهو الراعي، وقال
    غيره: هو مأْخوذ من التخويل وهو التمليك؛ قال ابن سيده: والخَوَل ما أَعطى
    اللهُ سبحانه وتعالى الإِنسانَ من النِّعَم. والخَوَل: العبيد والإِماءُ وغيرهم من الحاشية.

    It means a "concubine," and this is where the other meanings developed from.

    والله أعلم،
     

    Arabus

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Aleppo
    خ ي ل means in Akkadian an army, a woman in labour, etc. All are meanings related to the Arabic meaning of حاشية. The ultimate meaning of the root in Arabic can be simply reduced to "master" and "power" ... Which is also the ultimate meaning of the related roots هول, حول, etc.
     

    Timmy123

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English
    Timmy,

    The word is not always meant literally (it can just be used like the English "a**hole"). In fact, I think most of the time it is not meant literally. From how you describe the situation, it is very likely he meant it literally, but you'll have to determine this yourself based on the context in which the word was used.
    Yes, you see I am trying to give the benefit of the doubt. But just checking as I did read that this word can just be a generally abusive word as opposed to the literal meaning.

    Timmy,
    what is the speaker's nationality?
    MarcB, he is Egyptian.
     

    إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    In general Egyptian usage it is simply an insult like those you mentioned. No Bedouin connotations nor restriction to 'pervert'/'homosexual'. Highly unusual for a 60 year old to use it though.
     

    rayloom

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    Thanks for the replies.



    Why so? Is it a new word?

    خول is originally a collective word for slaves, servants, prisoners of war.
    As in the hadiith:
    "إنّ إخوانكم خولكم جعلهم الله تحت أيديكم، فمن كان أخوه تحت يده فليطعمه ممّا يأكل وليلبسه ممّا يلبس، ولا تكلفوهم ما يغلبهم فإن كلفتموهم ما يغلبهم فأعينوهم"

    Not sure when it exactly acquired the "homosexual" implication to it though, could've been something new.
     

    xpert

    New Member
    Arabic
    The word kh**al* has the same meaning as shemale. However, it is also widespread said to anyone makes you angry, but that's actually shows the person's bad behavior
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Why so? Is it a new word?
    No, it's not new, it's just that one would not expect an older person to use such derogatory language. Even in American culture, I wouldn't expect to hear an older person call someone a :warn:faggot. It probably has to do with our thinking of older people as having more respect, decency, modesty, حشمة, etc.

    خول is originally a collective word for slaves, servants, prisoners of war.
    As in the hadiith:
    "إنّ إخوانكم خولكم جعلهم الله تحت أيديكم، فمن كان أخوه تحت يده فليطعمه ممّا يأكل وليلبسه ممّا يلبس، ولا تكلفوهم ما يغلبهم فإن كلفتموهم ما يغلبهم فأعينوهم"

    Not sure when it exactly acquired the "homosexual" implication to it though, could've been something new.
    See my post here for a theory on how the word acquired its current meaning. Going off of Clevermizo's post (#17) in the thread I linked to above, it seems the word may have acquired its current derogatory meaning only within the last hundred years or so.
     
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    Arabus

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Aleppo
    No, it's not new, it's just that one would not expect an older person to use such derogatory language. Even in American culture, I wouldn't expect to hear an older person call someone a :warn:faggot. It probably has to do with our thinking of older people as having more respect, decency, modesty, حشمة, etc.
    I don't think this applies to many societies. People in Syria tend to get nastier as they get older. This also applies to other non-Arab societies that I am familiar with. I think the explanation for Egypt is another one, but I am not saying it because I am not sure.
     
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