The Arabic verb: “to behave like Adolf Hitler”

Have you ever had a look at the root ه–ت–ل–ر in Hans Wehr’s dictionary? You will be surprised to find the following information: تَهَتْلَرَ “tahatlara” to behave like Adolf Hitler. To imitate Adolf Hitler. In the present tense, it is: يَتَهَتْلَرُ‏‎ (“yatahatlaru”). To be honest, I never came across this[…]

Pasha, Mister, and Baksheesh – etymology of words in Arabic (part 3)

Let’s continue our journey into the etymology of Arabic words. The word بَقْشِيش This word is very famous in Egypt. It means gratuity, tip or simply baksheesh. It is mainly used to bribe or tip a person to speed up services. It may be derived from Turkish bahşiş, from Persian بخشیش ‎(bakhšīš, “an honorary or[…]

Prison, ice cream, and shoes – etymology of words in Arabic (part 2)

Let’s continue with our journey into the etymology of Arabic words.   The word: لِيمان  (Līmān) or لُومان (Lūmān) This term is used in Egypt for prison. The word is found in Turkish as well but means something very different: harbor (مِيناء). The origin is perhaps from Byzantine Greek liménion (λιμένιον), from Ancient Greek limḗn (λιμήν). Some[…]