Saudi Arabic: الله يسمم عدوك

reno33

Senior Member
English - USA
I've picked up the term /sam/سم/ to answer when someone addresses me instead of using the more common /نعم /
I also frequently get a further "answer" to my سم that goes like this: الله يسمم عدوك

My question is: I know what الله يسمم عدوك means but I don't quite understand if this is supposed to be funny or sarcastic or what it's supposed to convey if anything. Any comments? Below is a typical short chat that shows these terms in actions:

A- يا مهنٌد
B- سم
A- الله يسمم عدوك
----repartee continues normally----
 
  • ahmedcrow

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    You wish the evil to hit the enemy of the person you're talking to, it's my first time to hear it, there's a word like it but you say it in a funny situation, but for this one I need a situation and I can tell you.
     

    malmerri

    Member
    USA
    Khaleeji (Gulf) Arabic
    Hi,

    In Saudi, specifically spoken by Bedouins, when someone call your name your reply would be سمْ which means name your request, it is used to show respect.
    Now if a person answers your call with سم the appropriate answer would be سم الله عدوك which would mean may God poison your enemies. That just away of meaning, may god keep your enemies away!

    I hope this helps.
     

    Schem

    Senior Member
    Najdi Arabic
    Samm سمّ is the imperative form of سمّى so it literally means "name (it)" and is indeed considered a polite reply when addressed by another. It's widespread in Saudi Arabia and isn't specific to Bedouins or any regional group.

    As explained by others, سمّ الله عدوك is a common answer to سمّ probably emanating from the fact that سمّ (to poison) and سمّ (to name) are homonyms. Taslam تسلم is another common answer to سمّ and it's the one I personally use.
     
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