Levantine Arabic: مهضوم

souffle

New Member
USA
Canada English
Hello! I am new to Arabic and I have a question about the word: مهضوم
Is there a noun version of this adjective? I am learning Modern Standard Arabic, so we didn't learn much about it in class as it is used only in spoken Arabic. Are there certain contexts when you would use this word? I am new to spoken Arabic.
Thank you,
souffle
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Welcome to the forums. :)

    This word literally means "digested" (past participle) but is used in colloquial Arabic to mean "likable, fun" (usually referring to a person). It is not used much in Palestinian Arabic, but it is used a lot in Lebanese Arabic. I'm not sure about other dialects.

    The noun form هضم is only used to refer to literal digestion, as far as I know.
     

    souffle

    New Member
    USA
    Canada English
    Thank you! I thought it was cute that people could be described as "digestable" but I guess it makes sense that you wouldn't want to call somebody a "digested thing." :)
     

    Crystal MaX

    New Member
    Middle East(Arabic,English,alittle Russian)
    Hello,
    That word means Cute and funny
    but it is a slangish word..
     

    toolmanUF

    Member
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA (English)
    Ahlan w Sahlan,

    I have a question about a word that I encountered in a Nancy Ajram song: "مهضوم " as it appears in the context : ياي شو مهضومي كلماتو

    According to a translation, the word was translated as "sweet" as in "how sweet his words are." However, when I looked up the root of this verb I learned that it means "to digest" and that مهضوم usually means "digestible" or "digested."

    Is it common in Arabic to use this word to mean "sweet" or is this unique to the Levantine dialect?
     

    feeskaa

    Senior Member
    Morocco العربية
    Hello,
    This word is not used in classical Arabic. Generally, Lebanese and Syrians are the ones to use it, and it means very sweet and very light to the point that it can be easily digested!! :) Funny no?!!
     
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    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    I have always thought this word مهضوم meant "cute" (not in the sense of pretty or handsome, but in the sense of "cuteness" which I guess is similar to "sweetness" or "gentleness" in people).

    The regular word for sweet (as in a sweet pastry, say) حلو can also be used to describe people (women, say) as being pretty. It can also be used to describe a place (such as a restaurant) as been "good" or "nice."

    I guess sweet for مهضوم makes sense in the context of the Nancy song I think you may be referencing ("ياي سحر عيونه"), in which there is the line: شو مهضومة كلماته, "Oh, how sweet (are) his words!"

    I wonder - can you use it in the sense of cute as: أطفال مهضومين "cute children"?

    Edit: My comments above are based on my preconceptions of Syrian/Lebanese dialects. They may be inaccurate of course.
     

    ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    Within this context , I see it , for one, it means as Clevermizo has suggested :
    How sweet(agile) his words are !
    ----------------
    In Saudi urban dialect , we say :
    * Ali :" Have you met Salih , Fahad?"
    *Fahad:"Yes, ( I have not felt comfortable towards him : ما هضمته).Tha is , I have not accepted him.
     

    Cristina Moreno

    Senior Member
    Lebanon-Arabic
    Hello everyone!
    I would like to point out that here in Lebanon we use مهضوم to mean various things:
    1- Digestible (which is the litteral meaning but we rarely use it in that sense!)
    2- Cute (as clevermizo already mentionned, not cute as in handsome or pretty, but "cuteness") and yes, you can use it for babies (actually مهضوم is used VERY frequently for kids and babies over here)
    3- Funny
    And nowadays, this word is being used to mean a combination of all three (funny and sweet and cute), so it's a compliment being called that! (it's mainly used to describe people: "أنت كتير مهضوم")
    In the song, Nancy is saying that his words are so sweet and funny (as in he makes her laugh=he makes her happy)
    Cristina.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It is said since my comment left by someone unanswered ;)
    You have frequently argued using this sort of flawed logic.

    There are numerous possible explanations for the fact that nobody commented on your usage until I did. It could be that nobody noticed, or that none of those who read your post realized that your sentence was odd, or that for a variety of reasons no one felt compelled to comment on it. I find it surprising that you take silence as automatic approval of your suggestions (on a linguistic basis or otherwise).

    Furthermore, I have to wonder why you feel that the "silent approval" you imagine bears more weight than my post. Why are the unexpressed opinions that you only assume support your position somehow more credible than mine? Why does my post not count as one that "broke the silence"?

    At any rate, you are welcome to disregard my comment and continue using sentences like "How agile your words are." But if you'd like further opinions (since apparently my opinion is not worthy enough to warrant credibility), please feel free to open a thread in the English Only forum asking what other English speakers think of your sentence.

    (By the way, the sentence of yours that I quote in this post is ungrammatical, lest you take the fact that I didn't correct it as indicative of correctness.)
     

    toolmanUF

    Member
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA (English)
    Thank you all for your replys!

    I find it very interesting how a word whose root means "to digest" has developed a colloquial meaning of "sweet, cute."

    I can kind of see the metaphorical connection. I guess that in English we can also use the words "digest/ digestable" in a metaphorical way, albeit in a rather obscure way.

    If somebody said to me "I simply can't digest this work load" it makes sense, and I guess something like "this complex paper simply isn't digestable" would too.

    So, my question is: in MSA is it possible to use the verb and its derivations in this context? Could something that can be processed or taken to mind be considered مهضوم?
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    It is said since my comment left by someone unanswered ;)
    For what it's worth, I second elroy's point that in English we don't use "agile" for "words." I didn't say anything before probably because I forgot about it or didn't think to as it's not really relevant to sweetness/cuteness. Also, I probably didn't say anything because the modus operandi of this forum is Arabic, not correcting English, and I think I knew what you meant and you knew what I meant.:D
     

    ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    elroy :You have frequently argued using this sort of flawed logic...I find it surprising that you take silence as automatic approval of your suggestions
    I don't think so..


    Furthermore, I have to wonder why you feel that the "silent approval" you imagine bears more weight than my post.
    Your imagination not mine.

    Why are the unexpressed opinions that you only assume support your position somehow more credible than mine?
    Who says so?I do not like judgement by default

    (By the way, the sentence of yours that I quote in this post is ungrammatical)
    I insist that it is so as long as left by someone uncorrected.:)

    * Elroy, when I said "left by somenone", it connotes :
    " Elroy correct my sentence":D

    Clevermizo , I did not mean you .
     

    toolmanUF

    Member
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA (English)
    We are getting off topic, but I think that what needs to be reiterated is that sometimes people don't correct every single mistake that people make. If they understand the meaning, then often they would prefer to just get on with the conversation, even if there are some errors.

    I will also add though that "agile" is a word that is not associated with words. (Unless somebody tried to use it in a VERY metaphorical sense, but I've never encountered that.)
     

    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    The noun form هضم is only used to refer to literal digestion, as far as I know.
    In Urdu too we use the noun هضم to mean digestion! (We also use it to mean misappropriation of property, money etc. with more or less the same meaning of gobbling up and ‘digesting’ something that doesn’t belong to you.)

    In fus7a apart from ‘digestion’, هضم also means ‘patience, violence, injury, a wrong’. There is also, I think, a more rare use: هضم (plural اَهضام ) = aroma.
     
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