Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Things he calls me (in order of decreasing frequency):

1) Ya basha: A Pasha is a Turkish/Albanian aristocratic title. Technically, both the monarchy and the nobility no longer exist in Egypt. These titles were abolished after Nasser's revolution in 1952. But the title is still used by many Egyptians to refer to VIP's I guess. I have no idea why he calls me ya basha but he always says it so affectionately. The contrast between his manner & tone & the meaning of the word as I know it always makes me laugh.
2) Ya 7abibi: It means "my love". But for a woman it should be "ya 7abibti". Again I don't know why he always says "7abibi" and not "7abibti" but he makes it sound good.
3) My name
4) Ya bit (girl)
5) Ya bit inti (you girl)
6) Ya 3asal (honey)
7) Ya 2mar (Moon. This one I'm familiar with. Arabs always liken a beautiful face to the moon which they view as the ultimate in beauty I guess.)
8) Ya gameel (beautiful)
9) Ya fandem (Another formal title of respect. Probably of Turkish origin. Used to refer to a VIP or the boss.)
10) Ya bashmohandesa (Engineer)
11) Ya magnona (Crazy woman)
12) Ya bint elmagnoona (Daughter of a crazy woman)
13) Ya habla (Silly woman)
14) Ya bint elhabla (Daughter of a silly woman)
15) Ya 3abeeta (Another word for "silly")
16) Ya 3am (It means "uncle". Again I don't know why he would call me his uncle but it cracks me up!)
17) Ya m3alem (That cracks me up too. Technically a teacher but Egyptians use it to mean other things I haven't quite figured out yet. )

When I call his name he says (in order of decreasing frequency):

1) Itfadali (Be my guest.)
2) Na3am (Yes)
3) 3iyoon K (It means "K's eyes". Term of endearment meaning he values me as much as his eyes.)
4) Roo7 Alb K (It means "Heart of K's soul". It means he values me as much as the heart of his soul - whatever that is!)
5) Omori (Tell me what you want me to do/Your wish is my command.)
6) Aho (Here)
7) 3inaya (My eyes. A variation on #3)
8) Ra2abti (My neck. Essentially it means he would sacrifice his neck i.e. die for me)
9) Fi eh? (What?)
10) 3ayza eh? (What do you want? Same as #5 but rude.)
11) Khair (I hope I will like whatever you're going to say but am expecting otherwise. He uses this one to be rude too.)
12) Sam3ik (I hear you.)

Things I call him (in no particular order):

1) His name
2) 7abibi

When he calls my name I say (in no particular order):

1) Yes/Na3am
2) 7abibi

He's so much more interesting & creative than me no? I say the same things all the time. I have to work on that.



Blogger Alina said...

Yeah, and I can be creative enough to pretend I understood every word said/written here :)

11/28/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger still breathing said...

this post is cute.

11/28/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Alluring said...

Excuse me Loulou, but calling you ya bent el magnoona and ya bent el habla are huge insults, not being creative.

11/28/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...


Once I said to him:"I tell you I love you all the time you ungrateful bastard!"

Now "you ungrateful bastard" is for sure an insult. But context is important no?

My husband never insults me seriously. When he's seriously mad at me he's especially polite & formal. After a few days of "ya fandem" & "awi awi" am often pleased to hear "ya bint elmagnoona" because it's usually said with a smile & it means he's beginning to thaw.


Translation is coming.:)

11/28/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger SaRaH said...

Well I know exactly how him calling you something can catagorize the entire conversation. I miss my nick name *sighs* but i am working on it.

11/28/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) very interesting, actually i started to like K's personality :) and also he seems to be very enthusiastic as much creative you think he is:)

we inty 3'ayawa tesaya7y 3ala nafsik bardo, targamet aih bas :P

11/28/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Alluring said...

The context is important, yes, but ya bent el magnoona or ya bent el habla, whatever context they are in, is still very insulting.

Maybe you don't find it so coz you're not familiar with its use, and/or you never experienced or heard it before. In egypt, cussing and cursing someone involving their parents, even if jokingly, is insulting no matter how or when its said or who says it.

Trust me, if you said it to an egyptian, they will get very offended, even if you were joking.

Thats how i feel about it anyway.

11/29/2006 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger roora said...

your post made me smile, i feel as i am watching a play:)

11/29/2006 02:43:00 AM  
Blogger aroundtheclock24_7 said...

Love your posts :) God bless you both :P

11/29/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...


"Trust me, if you said it to an egyptian, they will get very offended, even if you were joking."

I'll be sure not to say it to any Egyptians then.

11/29/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Nora said...

Cute post:)
I think "7abibi" is very meaningful and sweet...so no need for you to look for any more names to call him with:)

11/29/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger N said...

i don't think it's being creative as much as it is being Egyptian.. we're wierd with lingo and our sense of humour, it is endearing though.

Oh, and m3alem actually is like a big fat rich man who's like a butcher or an ahwa owner, it reflects an image of status in lower classes. its not an insult, its usually used as if the sabi is showing respect to the m3alem. hope that helped.

11/29/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Haroun El Poussah said...

Are you guys newly weds? Because eventually all this will translate into "naaa3aaamm"

11/29/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...


Thanks for the explanation. Yeah it does help. Especially since he never explains when I ask him to. He says these things can't be explained, that I have to get a feeling for them etc....


There's really no point in being blase about marriage with me. I won't believe you. My marriage is the most exciting thing that ever happened to me.

I mean, the simplest thing, just calling him up on the phone is interesting because I never know:

1) If he will pick up
2) Why he will or will not pick up
3) What he'll say if he does pick up

See? With him, a simple phone call is an adventure.:)

11/29/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Alina said...

Thanks for the translation Lou, now it's all clear :)

11/29/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Puppy said...

Interesting post with a lot of new arabic words learned. Thanks for translation:)

Very nice relations/marriage, God bless you two.

11/29/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger La Gitana said...

bent il habla or bent il magnoona is insulting to an Egyptian? What utter bull, he's using it just like any other Egyptian would when they're joking. I'm Egyptian, I call my friends that all the time, but there has to be a level of comfort and context matters.

11/30/2006 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Forsoothsayer said...

lol...ladies, all egyptian guys talk EXACTLY like this. sorry to disappoint, but unoriginal. all of these things are thing my male friends, not just boyfriends, have called me. i think you should come visit for a bit longer to soak urself in the linguistic mysteries.

alluring...chill. ya bent el habla and magnoona is often used affectionately. more often than not, i would say.

12/02/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger H.O.P.E said...

Typical Egyptian man, Loulou. Don't hurt ur head about ur lack of names.
It's hard to keep up with Egyptian men when it comes to names...they manage to make things up in an instant...so no matter how many names u come up with...I guarantee he will double if not triple that!!

Stick with simplicity..it's cuter ;)

Keep it up!

12/03/2006 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Me said...

I think you're both cute... each in your own special way :-)
Rabenna yedeem elma7abah beinkom 3ala tool..

12/08/2006 05:35:00 PM  

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