Syrian Arabic: بربرة

bamia

Member
Dutch
Hi,

Where does the word barbara in Syrian Arabic come from? I think it's close to dardasha (chatter) in meaning but slightly more pejorative, right? What's the etymology of this word? Is it Greek?
 
  • wriight

    Senior Member
    English (US) / Arabic (Lebanon)
    Seems logical for it to be related to بربر "Berber" et al. If this is the case, then yup, it'd ultimately be from the Greek onomatopoeia βάρβαρος.
     
    Last edited:

    bamia

    Member
    Dutch
    Thanks for your responses

    Seems logical for it to be related to بربر "Berber" et al. If this is the case, then yup, it'd ultimately be from the Greek onomatopoeia βάρβαρος.
    That's what I was thinking. Fascinating, isn't it? And quite ironic that non-Greek speakers would use this word, given that it originates from the pejorative/xenophobic onomatopoeia ancient Greeks used to describe the way non-Greek languages sounded to them.
     
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