Levantine Arabic: third time's the charm


Senior Member
What is the Levantine Arabic equivalent to the English expression:
Third time's the charm
--- Jamais deux sans trois

I guess the MSA equivalent is:
ثالثة الأثافي

The expression suggests that a third attempt at something will be successful, after two previous attempts that may have failed. It implies that after experiencing two unsuccessful tries, the third time will be the one that brings success or good fortune.

This phrase is often used to express optimism in situations where there have been previous failures or setbacks. It can also be used to encourage someone to try again and not give up hope, despite previous disappointments. Essentially, it means that you shouldn't give up after two failures, because the third time might be the one where you succeed.
  • We use التالتة فَلّاتة, which has always bugged me a little bit because it's so so close to rhyming :rolleyes: I like ثابتة better now. A third variant in English is "third time lucky".

    I wonder how this idea came to be shared between languages. Do you think this and other examples like عصفورين بحجر are coincidences? Or else how might they have spread? (Do a lot of the languages spoken between the Middle East and Western Europe also have an expression like "third time's the charm"?)
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    I think a lot of these expressions and ideas belong to what I call a 'common Mediterranean cultural stock' (and I include the Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia in this). There are just too many of these for it to be a coincidence, and not just in the realm of proverbs. Another striking example is how both the ancient Romans and the desert Arabians practiced augury (hence Arabic words such as تطيّر that we still use today).