MSA/All dialects: to hug/a hug vs. to cuddle/cuddles

Tilmeedh

Senior Member
English (Canada)
Hi all--how does one say (1) 'to hug/a hug' and (2) 'to cuddle/cuddles' in formal and colloquial Arabic?

For (1), WordReference suggests (عانق/يعانق), (ضمّ/يضمّ), and (حضن/يحضن) for the verb, and (عناق) and (حضن) for the noun. How do these terms differ from one another?

For (2), WR suggests one or more of the above translations. I should clarify that I generally hear and use 'to cuddle' in the sense of the second definition at Wiktionary[1]: 'To cradle in one's arms so as to give comfort, warmth,' e.g., 'She cuddled the infant before bedtime.' Is there a similar word or phrase in MSA?

What verbs and nouns are used in the various dialects? In Lebanese, I've learnt (عبط) and (غمر) for 'to hug' and (عبطة) for 'a hug', but nothing for 'to cuddle' and 'cuddles'.

Thanks in advance.

[1]

cuddle - Wiktionary
 
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  • Romeel

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    الحُضْن: في جسم الإنسان هو منطقة الصدر
    حضن (الفعل) هو تلامس الصدر لشخصين أو أكثر

    العناق، المعانقة: فيها احتضان مع ميل العنقين، فلابد للمعانق أن يحتضن أولا

    الضمّ: هو ضمّ أشياء مع بعضهما
    فإن قلت: ضمّه إلى صدره فأنت تعني الإحتضان لكن الضمّ "أقوى"
    وإن قلت ضمّ يدي بيده فأنت تقصد المصافحة

    هذه المعاني خاصة بالإنسان لكن لكل من هذه الكلامات معاني أخرى مادية ومعنوية

    والله أعلم
     

    raamez

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Syria)
    The ones I know in Syrian Arabic are ضمّ, حاش and عبط. For cuddling I'd use ضمّ and حاش.
    عبط is the least romantic one in my openion. عبط has also other meanings and therefore should be used carefully,
     
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    Tilmeedh

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    An Arabic teacher from Lebanon once told me that (ضمّ) sounds quite formal--a comment that makes me think it might be equivalent to the verb 'to embrace' in English. Is the situation different in Syria?

    I haven't heard (حاش) before. Almaany says it can mean 'to hinder/to stop' or 'to round up' in MSA. How did the term acquire the sense 'to cuddle'?

    In what other contexts might one use (عبط)? Almaany says it means 'to die prematurely' in MSA, which raises the question of etymology again.
     

    raamez

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Syria)
    An Arabic teacher from Lebanon once told me that (ضمّ) sounds quite formal--a comment that makes me think it might be equivalent to the verb 'to embrace' in English. Is the situation different in Syria?
    For me عانق is certainly formal. ضمّ is absolutely normal in Syrian Arabic and حضن is in-between.
    I haven't heard (حاش) before. Almaany says it can mean 'to hinder/to stop' or 'to round up' in MSA. How did the term acquire the sense 'to cuddle'?
    حاش يحوش حوشاً (H-w-sh) is about surrounding something in general. Not to be confused with حاشى يحاشي محاشاة from H-sh-y which means to avoid
    In what other contexts might one use (عبط)? Almaany says it means 'to die prematurely' in MSA, which raises the question of etymology again.
    عبط's core meaning is to stick to. This becomes more clear when you look at the derived verb عربط (فرعل) which means to clinge, to hang on
    عبط فلان means to burden someone, to make someone busy with something, to hasten
    معبوط ب totaly busy with but also to be so busy with something that you start to lose you ability to act prudently
     
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    emanko

    Senior Member
    Arabic- Egyptian
    Egyptian Arabic

    I don't think we have a specific word for "cuddle".

    Come and give mama a hug. تعالى ادي ماما حضن
    (that's generally brief and if you want it more intense just add the word كبير - حضن كبير but it would still be just a hug not a cuddle)
    If the mother wants to cuddle her child, I gues she can say
    تعالى في حضن ماما شوية
    او هو قاعد في حضن ماما مش راضي يسيبها (He's in his mother's arms and doesn't want to let go.)
     
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