worn-out shoe (offence)

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Annie_Hall, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Annie_Hall Senior Member

    Hello, apparently it is highly offensive to be called worn-out shoe in Arabic. I just saw a video from a TV show, where two men were arguing calling themselves all sorts of names, yet the discussion turned into a real fight when the worn-out shoe offence (as the subtitles suggested) was brought up. Could you tell me how is this expression spelled in Arabic and if possible why is it so offensive? Thanks
  2. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    جزمة قديمة
    It sounds like something an Egyptian would say but in my opinion any insult is very offensive in Arabic.
    I don't know if it has any special back story though, sorry :)
  3. Tracer

    Tracer Senior Member

    Wadi Jinn
    American English
    "SHOE" has already been discussed at least once here. Check out: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1272771

    I would think that the reason why "Shoe" can be used offensively in Arabic is pretty clear. A shoe is something that steps on dirt, grime and garbage and calling someone a
    worn-out shoe is equating him with this garbage. Note that taking off one's shoes when entering a home and especially places of worship is widespread not only in Arab lands but in many Oriental countries as well.

    It has to be said too that Arabic, compared with, for example, American English, is a very polite language. I won't go into details here, but I think it is generally true at many levels, so that calling someone a dirty ol' shoe would be viewed by an American as a "joke" and have no effect at all, while an Arab (or Japanese, for that matter), would be highly insulted. The protocols of what is acceptable in general speech (and behavior in general) are much more constrained and limited in an Arabic environment than in an English one, I would say.
  4. Annie_Hall Senior Member

    Thanks a lot!

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