Iraqi Arabic: يخوط بصف الاستكان

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Tilmeedh

Senior Member
English (Canada)
Hi all--someone has asked about the expression (يخوط بصف الاستكان) in Iraqi Arabic, but unfortunately hasn't provided a context. I'd like to know how it's used and what it might be in English.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Ectab

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Iraq
    It means "he is stirring far from (literally beside) the cup" (as opposite to inside the cup), referring to someone who speaks of a subject that is irrelevant to the original topic of discussion.
     

    Ectab

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Iraq
    Not exactly. As I understand "he has gone off on a tangent", it means one who changes the subject, (perhaps unintentionally due to habit), I think:

    "The students complained about the professor, because he always goes off on a tangent and starts talking about unrelated things"

    يخوط بصف الاستكان means one who doesn't actually understand or misheard the main subject, so they discuss a different irrelevant subject they think is related, sometimes intentionally (by acting they haven't understood or heard): (I never use it, so I will quote what I once heard)

    المتظاهرين يريدون إصلاحات وتعيينات وكهرباء وانتخابات مبكره وريس الوزراء يخوط بصف الاستكان يريد يطلع الامريكان
    The (Iraqi) protesters demand repairs, jobs, electricity and early elections, but the prime minister is stirring far from the cup as he tries to take out American (troops from Iraq).
     

    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    Thanks for clarifying. I can't think of an equivalent idiom, only a set phrase:

    'but the prime minister is seeking to divert popular attention from these issues'

    Hopefully, other posters will have more luck.
     
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