Etymology of the Arabic شلباطو


English (US)
Any ideas as to what the origins of this word شلباطو shalbaaTo might be? It's a Levantine dish made with bulgur and fried vegetables.
  • wriight

    Senior Member
    English (US) / Arabic (Lebanon)
    I could swear the verb شلبط shalbaT meant "to mix up; to scramble" in Levantine, which could make شلباطو a derivative of it -- compare the general-Arab dish مخلوطة makhluuTa lit. "mixed up", from خلط "to mix".

    However, I can't find that meaning anywhere online. The only thing close (after searching for شلبط، تشلبط، متشلبط, all of them possible derivatives) was these two second-page Google results for مشلبط:
    على طول من نخعة في راسي وقعت مشلبط بالرديف فعال المجنون هههههههههه
    اوكي بس ما تظلمو عشان التجربه حتكون قاسيه حيكون وشو مشلبط زي ما انت شايف
    (I don't 100% get the first one, but the second is "Okay, but don't victimize him, because this try's going to be rough -- his face is going to get all [mshalbaT] as you can see"), given the dearth of confirmations, that doesn't seem plausible. Its common meaning instead seems to be "to be stuck on [a person/lover]", but I was also able to find (1) a page defining it as "to mutter" and (2) a Tweet defining تشلبط as "to climb"... I can't really see a link to food in any of those.

    Can anyone suss something out, or would شلبط just be a red herring?
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    سبب تسميتها لصعوبة تقشير الكرنب لأن القشرة قاسية بيقولو من صعوبة تقشير الكرنب انشل باطو
    انشل باطو : his armpit was paralyzed
    If this etymology is really correct then this would make it similar to حراق اصبعو the one who burned his finger


    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    In Dozy's Supplément aux dictionnaires arabes, شلبط is "bégayer, balbutier" to stutter, to stammer
    In Tunisian (regional), شلبط is to climb and شلباطة is vine