Huda Tabrez reports in the Gulf News that Shawarma (hear it pronounced), the Arabic fast food, has entered, along with 100 other words, into the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary but Gulf News readers are making a case for the inclusion of these Arabic words:
Khalass: Done; over; enough; finished.
Yalla: Let’s go!
Falafel: A fried ball or patty [thanks D].
Bukra: Tomorrow (a little like the Spanish mañana)
Fil mish-mish: ‘When the apricots bloom.’ Check link to see how this is used.
Mafee shai jaded: Nothing is new [Thanks Zahid].
Yakhi: Literally ‘my brother’ but colloquially, ‘bro’, ‘dude’, ‘guy’.
Shoo Hadha: Means ‘What is this?’
Zain: Fine; beautiful; wonderful.
Habibi: A term of endearment meaning Beloved; dear friend.
Mafi Mushkil: No problem.
Khalli Walli: Dismissed; Leave this.
Tamam: OK; good; fine; healthy; generous.
Check out the full article and offer your suggested words to be added to the English dictionaries at:
Huda Tabrez, 'Now, Say Shawarma in English', Gulf News, 17 July 2009.
Please leave a comment below if my definitions are not correct.
Learn Arabic in the UAE to Combat Alzheimer’s, ETE.
Learning Arabic in the UAE and the Gulf, ETE, 8 November 2007.
Why We Should Learn Arabic, ETE, 17 June 2008.
Spoken Arabic Step-by-Step by John Kirkbridge, Reviewing Books and Movies, 8 November 2007.
Teach Yourself Gulf Arabic, RBAM, 22 November 2008.
Goodword English Arabic Dictionary, RBAM, 9 November 2008.
Don’t they Know it’s Friday, RBAM, 6 June 2008. (Great book on customs in the UAE and Gulf region).
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
Image: Delicious Chicken Shawarma.
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