Levantine dialect: grandmother, grandfather

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by jmt356, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. jmt356 Senior Member

    Why do Levantine Arabs call their grandfathers جدّه and grandmothers سته? Doesn’t جدّه mean his grandfather and سته mean his six?

    Shouldn’t it be جدّي and جدّتي?
  2. zBuilder New Member

    In some dialect it is: جدي (for grandfather) and جدتي (for grandmother).
    In others it is: جده and سِتُّه (sitto NOT sitteh as six).
    Others say: سيده / ستّه. It comes from (Master سَيّد: Sayyid /Madam سَيِّدة: Sayyidah). But yes, it is inaccurate because it literary means His Master/His madam.
    But Even: سيدي and ستي (Sidy: My master and Sitti: My Madam) are used.
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    It is not easy to represent spoken Arabic in Arabic script. In Damascus (for example) “grandfather” is zhaddo, that is: classical jadd plus the diminutive/affective suffix –o. This is what my grandson calls me. You can write it as جده but this does look like classical jadduhu “his grandfather”. I personally would write it as جدو, but don’t forget: there is no standard spelling for colloquial Arabic.
  4. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
  5. tounsi51 Senior Member

    it is like my oncle, my aunt, in levant and egypt they call uncle mohamed for example, 3ammo mohamed
  6. jmt356 Senior Member

    What is the difference between the diminutive/affective suffix –o and the possessive suffix ه? I understand the latter means “his.” What does the former mean?

    If سِتّ (madam) were used for grandmother, سِتُّه would mean “his madam,” which does not make sense to me as I would have expected ستِّي (my madam) for “my grandmother.”

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