Uncommon Arabic Words for Clouds

بَرْد root: ب-ر-د / noun / definition: cold I spent last week roaming around Granada, charmed by its old streets of whitewashed houses, the views of majestic snow-capped mountains, and the stunningly detailed architecture of Alhambra (الحَمراء)—not to mention the Moroccan-style souqs and the flamenco dancers in the square whose stamping feet became the beatContinue reading “Uncommon Arabic Words for Clouds”

Quinquiliteral Arabic Roots

خُماسيّ root: خ-م-س / adjective / definition: consisting of five consonants I have just a matter of hours before I’m due to catch a flight, and an unexpected nap earlier means that I’m now two to-dos behind on my to-do list, with writing this post being in prime position. Anyhow, you’ve read about my obsessionContinue reading “Quinquiliteral Arabic Roots”

Dictionary Finds: جِفتلِك

نَفَس root: ن-ف-س / noun / plural: أَنْفاس / definition: breath For the first time in a while, I feel like I can take a breath. And I can feel my creativity, whose absence I’ve been mourning for the past few weeks, rushing back as though floodgates have suddenly been lifted. What a relief!

Form I Defective Verbs: ا or و or ي or ى?

ناقِص root: ن-ق-ص / active participle of form I / definition: defective, incomplete Defective verbs are those with either ي or و as their final root letter. For defective verbs, this final root letter appears as one of four letters when conjugated: ا or و or ي or ى. So, how can we tell whatContinue reading “Form I Defective Verbs: ا or و or ي or ى?”

Solidarity and Coming Together: Seven Verbal Nouns in Arabic

كارِثة root: ك-ر-ث / noun / plural: كَوارِث / definition: catastrophe We’ve all no doubt heard about the earthquakes that struck this week, affecting parts of Türkiye and Syria. And perhaps most of us have seen photos and videos of the catastrophic consequences. Alongside the horrors, we’ve also seen people coming together and joining forcesContinue reading “Solidarity and Coming Together: Seven Verbal Nouns in Arabic”

Uncommon Arabic Words for Colours

لَوْن root: ل-و-ن / noun / plural: أَلْوان / definition: colour I opened my laptop intending to write a different type of post today, but when I saw a certain note in my phone, I decided that this Tuesday would be the start of a whole new series of posts: Uncommon Arabic Words for…

Seven Arabic Phrases Meaning “and so on”

مَهارة root: م-ه-ر / noun / plural: مَهارات / definition: skill A great way to hint at your remarkable ability to provide countless examples in a list (thereby convincing whoever’s reading your essay of your expert knowledge of the topic), is to end your lists with a phrase like “and so on”. So, what areContinue reading “Seven Arabic Phrases Meaning “and so on””

Arabic Headline Analysis #8

مِقْرَعَة root: ق-ر-ع / noun / plural: مَقارِع / definition: door knocker In the photo above is the newspaper page, dated 1991, that was used to wrap up the ornate brass door knocker I bought from an artisan workshop on my last day in Agadir. The newspaper page is now folded up and nestled betweenContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #8”

Dictionary Finds: ماخِرة

عام root: ع-و-م / noun / plural: أَعْوام / definition: year We’re some days into 2023 now, around the time where resolutions begin to break down and the glossy new year starts to feel like any other. Except, of course, for those who didn’t bother with resolutions, determined to avoid failure at all costs. ButContinue reading “Dictionary Finds: ماخِرة”