Lebanese Arabic: Hlof احلف/ حلوف

rajulbat

Senior Member
English - United States (Houston)
I came across a Lebanese word (it may even be specific to AUB) , "hlof," that apparently means something like "swear" as in "swear to God."

1. How do you spell it in Arabic letters? حلوف؟
2. Do you know its etymology or Fusha cognate?

Examples:
1. “Bro hlof el grad ba3d jom3a, completely nsit! Bess enta akid in aftergrad eh?" (Beirut.com - Hidden Gems, Guides, Blogs, Restaurants, & Things To Do in Lebanon)
2. Hlof :| ana kmn 3m btla3 cz 3m n3amer bet tene 7ad michel sleiman so 3m btl3 :p khale georgy yaaml l grp wtsp ba2a :").
3. hlof! khatibto la clooney hon? (11 annoying things AUB students do that are way too real and accurate)
 
  • ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    I saw that, but it appeared to be more N. African and does not seem to have anything to do with the Lebanese/college usage shown in the examples provided above.
    Well, it could mean "to swear" in imperative form
    Ihlif :"asking someone else to say "I swear by so and so"
     

    rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    Well, it could mean "to swear" in imperative form
    Ihlif :"asking someone else to say "I swear by so and so"
    I think you're right!
    Here's another example, wherein the customs officer asks the entrant to swear that they do not have Corona[virus]:

    So in Arabic it would be حلوف and the Fusha cognate is something like حِلْفُ which Lisan al-Arab defines as:
    العَهْدُ بَيْنَ القَوْمِ، والصَّداقَةُ، والصَّديقُ يَحْلِفُ لِصاحِبِهِ أنْ لا يَغْدِرَ به، ج: أحْلافٌ.


    Thanks for your help!
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    So in Arabic it would be حلوف and the Fusha cognate is something like حِلْفُ which Lisan al-Arab defines as:
    I don’t think so.

    Based on the posted dialogue, I would say that it’s actually احلف (verb in the imperative) but it was written in the way a Lebanese might pronounce it.

    In Palestinian Arabic it would be: أُحْلُف, but in Lebanese Arabic they tend not to pronounce the همزة and to “elongate” the ضمّة. Similar verbs that I’ve personally heard are اكتُب pronounced كتوب and اعمل pronounced عمول.
     

    rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    I don’t think so.

    Based on the posted dialogue, I would say that it’s actually احلف (verb in the imperative) but it was written in the way a Lebanese might pronounce it.

    In Palestinian Arabic it would be: أُحْلُف, but in Lebanese Arabic they tend not to pronounce the همزة and to “elongate” the ضمّة. Similar verbs that I’ve personally heard are اكتُب pronounced كتوب and اعمل pronounced عمول.

    Got it. I found this corroboration in an older post:

    My friends use "احلف؟" interchangeably with والله؟ when they are asking if you're telling the truth or not. Ahlif still denotes swearing to God though, but I feel like it can be used more freely. Maybe a native speaker can comment on that last part.
     

    WadiH

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    حلوف is the imperative form in some Syrian and Lebanese dialects and its fuSHa cognate is احلف.
     

    raamez

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Syria)
    It is in fact pretty much the most common way to make an imoerative in all northern Levantive dialects for this matter. Note that the Damascene dialect usually tends to retain the middle vowel more often than other Syrian dialects as is حليف vs حلوف both of course from احلِف.
     
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