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07:04:50 PM Thursday Aug 23, 2007

AL BALGHA : It comes from the verb BALAGHA ( = to reach).
The origin of the word is classical arabic. It means all what you need (food, water, money,etc...) to travel from one place to another. Moroccans use the word only for a kind of shoes (also needed for travelling).

AL KHORRAG : it comes from classical arabic word AL KHOR9 (= ignorance).In Darija it is used to describe a stupid guy with bad behavior (used a lot in foot-ball).
NB : often Moroccan use to change "9" in "G".

AL KHORDA : (persian origin)
It means trivial things (without value).In Darija the word is used to describe useless things ( cloths, shoes, old cars,etc...) that we find plenty in souks (Jouteya) imported from europe by Moroccan migrants.

If you do have other words, don't hesitate ...just smash !

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10:40 am    March 7, 2008

Salem message
Sorry Zakaria. I wanted to say "I DON'T know more than Google can tell you...."



12:11 pm    February 17, 2008

Salem message
Thank you Zakaria for your nice compliment.
With regard to Spoken Moroccan Arabic research you're undertaking, I am sorry to inform you that I know more than Google can tell you. Just google Darija and see if you can find something interesting.

Good luck and best regards


6:37 pm    February 10, 2008
Frst and foremost, I would like to felicitate you for having learned all these languages. It is my pleasure and the pleasure of all moroccans to have such people who are voracious to be non-stop learning. Just continue on the way you have chosen for yourself. Writing is not a majic formula but rather a cluster of principles, imagination, and creativity that are put under a form of a literary text. Anyways, I am currently preparing for my paper research about the syntax of the Spoken Moroccan Arabic, and I would like to inquire whether you know where I can get the information from. If possible, please send me the information on one of my emails, which are the following:
Please, accept my kindest regard
Z. Dalil

1:06 am    December 27, 2007
Samir K
Are there any other letters for Darija than 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 ? like in:

7a9i9a = Truth
3om9 = Depth
8ua = He
Shu2un = Affairs


11:31 pm    December 17, 2007

Salem message
"Wakha" is one of the most used words in Morocco:

Ittafa9na! in Arabic
OK! in english
d'accord! in french,
de accuerdo! en spanish,


11:24 pm    December 17, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
No idea what "wakha" means.. what's your take?

2:37 pm    December 17, 2007

Salem message
I know that "Bezzaf" is also algerian, but "Wakha" is really specific to Morocco.

Anybody knows where the word "WAKHA" comes from?


2:44 pm    December 4, 2007

Salem message
I just like languages for they constitute an amazing communicative ability, unfortunately restricted to humans. I actually speak fluently five of them. Some other five languages I know are dormant. That makes 10 of them at least. I learned all these languages in Morocco, including english. The only time I ever have been in an english speaking country (USA) was for one short week!. I love dictionaries because I love words. I'm always surrounded by dictionaries. Learning many languages gave me the opportunity to be kind of universal, cosmopolite, and for me, dealing with words and expressions is just an infinite pleasure. I would have been a writer if I had not spent many years in my life studying mathematics, physics and technology. But who knows maybe I'll be one in my lifetime. By the way, Raioo is helping me a lot enjoying the pleasure of "writing". Here are some illustrations I'd like to share about knowing languages:

- Kul Lsan Insan (arabic): Every single language is a new person.
- Une langue nouvelle est une âme nouvelle (french): a new language is a new saoul.
- Una lingua nueva es une ventana abierta (spanish), translates to : a new language is an open window (over a new world, a new culture....). I love this expression.



11:32 am    December 4, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
Baba Salem ~ impressive explanation! thanks. What do you? are you involved in linguistics by any chance?

1:58 am    December 4, 2007




12:39 am    December 4, 2007

Salem message
SHWA means Roast. The meaning here is "Burn by dry heat like on a spit, or uncovered like in an oven", so SHWINI means: Burn me! or "May I be burned!” by heat, which is probably more painful..

FEEK means "in you" or "with you". The meaning here is “because of you" or even "for me".

The meaningful literal translation would be:

"May I be burned, by you getting in big trouble!".

It is a very feminine expression (you never hear men use it unless they are obviously very "feminine" themselves). It's a very subtle expression loaded with love and frustration or sometimes hatred. It could be used to mean either of the following meanings:

- After deep frustration and sorrow caused by a lover or beloved one's behaviour, an angry female would yell to him/her: SHWINIFEEK! meaning exactly: “I wish you get in serious trouble for all the harm you did to me, and because I love you, I won't care getting "BURNT" if you’re in serious trouble or loss.

- The second use of the expression is just a light love expression. A seduction tactic in the communication process. Something like "Come on baby, I'm better than that!. Don't be silly! You deceive me (with a smile and a touch or even a hug)...


6:14 am    November 29, 2007




6:04 pm    September 6, 2007

Salem message
You said it. Lam3ammech or Lam3amcha is not blind although he or she can'tsee well. Alla8umma La3mach oulla La3ma. "Le borgne est roi dans le royaume des aveugles".

11:20 am    September 6, 2007

hudhud message
what about "me3macha" blind, or can't see well, or dark. like "lamba me3macha" a dim light.
any clues?

4:46 am    August 31, 2007

Salem message
What about "Tazar" or "Dezzara"?

5:46 pm    August 28, 2007
3abir sabil
Z3aaf:(arabic oigin),we say "soummoun zou3af"( lethal poison). A disturbed snak get angry,attacks and injects its "sem zou3af"(does it make sens??).Anaway,we know that anger is a lethal poison.

9:50 am    August 28, 2007

hudhud message
yup, chnayef, you got it.

what about z3aaf? mza33af. angry. where'd that come from???


6:56 am    August 28, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
maybe 'mchennef' comes from 'chnafa' which is lip. people move their lips funny when they're grumpy. In Wujda they say "w 8ada malou y3ewej 3lyya chnayfou?"

2:05 pm    August 27, 2007
Sorry hudhud I don't never hear the word "technaff".

YZAMMAR is from ZZMAR, and ZZAMARA (there is an ALIF between M & R in order to prolonging sound of M), in classical arabic it means :

When someone is doing or telling a nasty thing, we disgust this, so we say with a hard ton : "ACH HAD ZZMAR !!! "


2:05 pm    August 27, 2007
3abir sabil
Rasta Gnawi:I'm waiting;I would like to take a bath in one of your "b7our" :)

Antr: I found your links intersting!!Here is a game in the same way of thoses clichés:
ANFA:(Amazigh orgin)
this is the original name for "Dar el beida"(casablanca),still used to name a district.The term refers to a "highland" or an "overlooking" location.Hence the expression "ut anfa" used in the Sous means "look","search for" and "feel",more specifically when looking for a person whose whereabouts are not known.
Could we conclud that casawi people are "bergaga"??(an other word to be defined and to look for its origin)
ECHAOUEN:(Amazigh origin),derived from the word "Eskkaouen"(horns).It refers to the two mountains surounding the Echaouen city.
Could we conclud that echaouni people have horns on their head (Bougarne)??
MLILIA:(amazigh origin)
It means white.Derived from the verb "mellul".The word is included in various forms in the names of different places in Morocco:"Ait mellul","Bni mellal","Tit mellil" etc...
The history book of these people is still white;no body describe a "cliché" for them !!

I apologize for people from Casa,Echaouen,Mlilia,etc... I'm just kiding :)


1:09 pm    August 27, 2007
ATTASSILA : Fos7a arabic origin : ATTA2SSILA, it's from ASSLE : This word means the parent's origin, it is used for insulting someone, so we say : ...YAN3AL ATTASSILA & ALMA3DAN DIAL ...

12:28 pm    August 27, 2007

hudhud message
cool i just didn't know the 8 one :)

Mbouchi, all - how about "technaff" ?? as in "mchenneff" grumpy. ychennef mchennef mchennfaa, ma tcheneffche 3liya. now where does that come from? =)

and yzammar? as in "yrouhou yzammrou 3la rouhhoum." (i.e. they can go to hell.. ;o))


12:03 pm    August 27, 2007
3abir sabil
Hudhud:about the hieroglyphics :)
you write in latin letters "Allah"(god) but you say in arabic "Alla8"
~ ~ ~ ~ "Haq" (Truth) ~ ~ ~ ~ "7a9"
~ ~ ~ ~ "Iraq" ~ ~ ~ ~ "3ira9"

if you learn these four letters(8,7,9,3) you become expert in darija-hieroglyphics. Take care :)


8:59 am    August 27, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
make that 3aroud instead of 3qroud. Every time I go to Morocco, I come back with a different memory of the keyboard.

6:33 am    August 27, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
Never been to Settat personally, but it sounds like a town I definitely want to visit.

I'm working on the 3qroud for salba salba.. for some reason in wujda the lyrics go like this: "Salma Salma, salbani ya bent mmi, khatbiha li..."


6:06 am    August 27, 2007
CHAKHDA : Classical arabic origin, from verb SAKHIDA (BISSAD).
We say SAKHIDA AL yawmo : It means a sunny day with too much heat ( like today in MEKNES).
"S'' in SAKHIDA is replaced by "CH" in Moroccan Darija for example : 1 - AL yawme CHAKHD ( skhoun bezzaf).
2 - AL bara7, fi SETTAT LLila kante CHAKHDA (Kan Nachatte 3la JJahd)

11:34 pm    August 26, 2007

hudhud message
maybe it comes from "oumlee/youmlee/youmlaa/imla'an" to write or dictate?? tough one.

5:25 pm    August 26, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
this one is Algeiran, but still counts as many in wujda communicate better in 'Algerian':

where yummala come from. Mmala wash ngoulek khoya.. ruhta hagda lesouq nshouf kash khoubz kash beed.. makan walou, la mizere rahi temma


4:03 pm    August 26, 2007

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
Of course, those are just "Cliches' :-), thats how the traditional Moroccan draws his map of the country.

En passant, I was reading through this Moroccan site, most of the quotes are hilarious, some are full of prejudice, while some would make Martin Lutter King spin in his grave...

Have fun !


10:26 am    August 26, 2007

hudhud message
that makes sense, delirious, or talking in his sleep.. but what letter did you use 8 to replace with? sorry i can only go so far with this modern arabic-numbers-hieroglyphics =)

9:29 am    August 26, 2007
3abir sabil
Yes Antr,you got it !!The name of Azemmour city is of amazigh origin.The term refers to an olive tree that does not bear fruit(plural of azemmour is azmran."Zemran"in the province of Kal3at Sraghna,"Khmis Zmamra" in Dukkala,"Gueltet Zemmour" in the Sahara,"Aït zemmour" tribes in the province of Khimisset,etc...are all derivation of Azemmour.
But,how about Anfa,Mlilia and Echaouen??Ho!!Ho!! Things are becoming more hard. :)

Adnane:Here are some samples of nashat you are asking about.May be it's what our glorious Antr is refering to ;)
"Wa salba salba..salbani ya bent oumi..wa khatri hani". Also:
"Al kass 7lou,al kass 7lou..Ghir sakra wa t3arbita m3a la7lou..Al kass 7lou". :)
I beg the help of Mr Rasta Gnawi to use his knowledge in the "3ilm al 3aroud" to tell me in which "ba7r" these songs are made?? :)

Hudhud:You asked for "yhetref". Two words comes in my mind:"Y7etref" with (7) is derived from the arabic word "al mou7taref"(specialiste or expert) but in darija the meaning of "7atrouf" is the leader of a criminal gang(dont confuse with "al moun7aref").However "Y8etref" with (8) means "to be delerious".


2:57 am    August 26, 2007

hudhud message
what about "yhetref??" like mumbling under your breath, not quite a whisper, and not quite audible. as in the saying "elli ybaat fi qalb esheikh yesbah yhetref bih."

11:08 pm    August 25, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
Antr, which leads me to politely ask the question: what kind of nashatt and entertainment? ;)

9:24 pm    August 25, 2007

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
interesting... I just learned that Azmour was a Berber name as well.

While Barchid has the biggest mental institution in the country, Sttate was considered as the headquarter of nashat and entertainment.(Las Vegas Moroccan style)

So if you lose it in Sttate, the hospital of Barchid might be your next stop.

(d'ou: Sttat ysatti, Berchid ydaoui)


6:57 pm    August 25, 2007

hudhud message
mbouchi remains mbouchi until he answers about "bezzaf" and "mderrah" ;o)) good luck man!!

6:14 pm    August 25, 2007
3abir Sabil
SETTAT:this name is of amazigh origin.It is derived from the word "AZTAT":a man responsible(in the past) for the safety of travellers who pay him a toll in return(ztata).

What does the word "lamsatey"(the mad) do with "Settat"??
The song said:"Waa Settat msatey ..Berchid yedaoui"!!
Have fun :)


4:20 pm    August 25, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
Emtti? you guys morphed the word "wtaa" into "emmta". Matwatash 3la zyout. Wata'a in arabic to step or press on something (wat'atou lhayati fi lqoutbi shamaliyi---> the difficulty of life in the north pole)

yeshaq from yatahiqou-->> to deserve: root haqq.

Isn't zaribah the place where the farm animals live? any relation to 'zarab lma'u' ?


2:18 pm    August 25, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
Antr, 7na li MBOUCHin ! :)
That deciphering of ZGA and ZRAB are brilliant! who would have thought.

12:52 pm    August 25, 2007

hudhud message
oh here's another one: "yeshaq" (pron. yes-haq) to need something. yeshaq, shaqti, mashaqtiche, matesehqiche. origins??

12:50 pm    August 25, 2007

hudhud message
so is that where the great andalousi musician Ziryab got his name?? very cool, i had no clue it's based on a classical arabic word.

what about "emtti" like "matemttiche fi zyoute" that's what my dad always said to me as a kid when crossing the parking lots, don't step in the car oil. =)


11:28 am    August 25, 2007

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message
Man, you are not MBouchi after all.

Bravo !


9:20 am    August 25, 2007
To hudhud :
ZREB : classical arabic origin.
We say : ZARABA AL MA2O : The water's discharge speed up.
AZZIRBOU : The place of the river where the water runs with a great speed.

to Antr :
DABA : Now, or it will happen one day.
Often it's used double ( daba, daba yajra lik ma jra liya), the word comes from classical arabic : DA2ABA : to persevere.

ZGA : Be cool, be calm, don't bother
It comes from ZGAWA it means the bag full of barley that we hang up on the head 's horse in order to feed him and to make him calm.


5:10 am    August 25, 2007
TFOU ! fik ghi TBARZITE 3la ssba7.
TBARZITE : from parasite
TBARZITE = derangement.

4:53 am    August 25, 2007
GA3 = 9A3 : Fosha arabic origin.(G=9)
literally in english is dreg.
GA3 means : straight out/at all.
e.g 1 : manamchich m3ak GA3.
e.g 2 : GA3 ma tfakkar fiya.

SHNIWLA : is an insect = mosquito.
We say in Darija : Ah! Ah! 3la Mra masmouma b7al SHNIWLA !


12:52 am    August 25, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
forgive Adnane, it should have been khizzou and not zrodia

5:02 pm    August 24, 2007

hudhud message
lol u know what's funny about your sample sentence is that zroudiya is so darija :) in fousha they say "jazar" and in algiers they say "sennariah" from the spanish "zenahoria"..

hellouf - pork/pig (from fousha hellouf - wild boar)

where does "rechta" come from??



4:31 pm    August 24, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
mziya comes from mayyaza - to distinguish. Take it to Mazaya.. min mazaya zrodiya annaha touqawi albassar. The distinguished positive features of something. So mziya ma klitsh lbouboush - would be that one of the distinguished good things I did was not to have eaten snails at that shady fastfood snack. Min mazaya ma fa3alt annani lam akol tabaq al7alazoun... but the truth is that I did! and I probably will never do it again..

4:15 pm    August 24, 2007

hudhud message
and i think 'mziya' is also from zine, as in darli mziya = he did me a favor, or "mziya ma rouhtche lesouk" it's a good thing.

4:14 pm    August 24, 2007

hudhud message
sda3 is from "souda3" headache.. fous'ha arabic word.

4:11 pm    August 24, 2007

hudhud message
we say zarmoumiya too for small lizards.
meqnine for small songbirds - anyone know that one?
chouada - plural of chadi for monkey - i have no CLUE how that became a word. is there any fous'ha origin?? and funny to hear lebanese ppl name their sons "shadi" =P
boujeghlellou for snail, i guess it just sounds like something slimy and slow lol =D
and lulu for small turtles.. i guess b/c of the pretty shells??

zga or yezgi means to call someone by something like when you call someone "simooh" you can say "yezgilou/zgalou simooh" etc.
no idea if there is any root word in classical arabic.

what about zarnajiya? that's the noisy fellahi chaabi bands music. where did that word come from... zarnaja youzarnijou?? lol.

bezzaf or bel bezzaf - hopeless to track its roots =)

what about "ga3" as in all ?? when my mom was growing up that was considered vulgar low class slang. now everyone says it.

i met this woman from the algerian sahara once, they say "ghaya?" instead of "la bass?" which i assume comes from "ghayat ma yakoun" the pinnacle or best as in you're doing great.

"sra" instead of "saar" as in what happened, wech sralek.

what about mderrah? or nderrah? I think it means to distort/damage/ruin something or lose something. like when gnawa diffusion sings in visa vie "nderrah quarti ou nel3abha roussi" or when you say a melon is "mderrah" i.e. fassid, rotten or damaged. is there a root word derh?


2:00 pm    August 24, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
actually, mezyan is 3ala wazn mef3aal and not fa3laan... gotta get my 3arood right

1:50 pm    August 24, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
Shniwla I think is what we call zarmoumiya.. small lizards commonly found in coastal areas. Zga means two things: as a verb it means "wait!" or "hold it!" with a commanding tone. As a noun, it means noise or sda3. In fact, this summer I went to an open air concert of Moroccan RAP, and it was funny to hear the rappers shout to the audience: Dirou SDA3!.. the "Make some noise!" line.

1:07 pm    August 24, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
Those are tough words. I imagine Mezian has to do with zin which is good. Mezian is 3ala wazn "fa3laan" so it might actually be in the old arabic language.

Daba probably from da'b, which means something like taking initiative or commencing work or starting up or working hard. So daba meaning 'now' could have to do with the commencing part

I don't even know what shniwla means!! and zga? what is this.. casawi darija?

qemejja: qamis in arabic, camesa in spanish.. no idea where the j came from!


12:06 pm    August 24, 2007
Hi Rasta : we say in classical arabic :" LA TO3ACHIRA AL AKHRA9O FALIKHOR9IHI YORIDO ( he want) ANE YANFA3OKA FAYADORROKA."

FISA3 : (Arabic origin).
FISA3 = FI SA3A = in one hour. The word means "Quickly".
e.g : To do some work FISA3 = To do it quickly.
[we can note a time shift between the meaning of FISA3 and the concept of time. LOL]


9:14 am    August 24, 2007

Antr McShaddad (Yahia.L) message

An Algerian was telling me how a protest in Algeria was oppressed by the police carrying \"Matreg\", I immediately understood he meant \"Matraque\" de police...

Now, where do these words come from ?




9:12 am    August 24, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
Hmmm - I will have to disagree on the first part of "wash rak". wash is a severe minimization of "fi ayi shaenin", meaning in which state or mood, not which thing as in shayein. Which would make it "fi ayi shaenin araka" in which state or mood do I see you? what is meant really is: what's your mood? what's up? wassup?

11:03 pm    August 23, 2007

hudhud message
i thought dir/dayer comes from yadourou, turns. like as in how the world turns with you.
i don't know tikishbila, but twilwila is the ululating sound the female species in north africa emits upon sight of a bride or some other great event (editor's note: sometimes emitted in slower ululations in order to express sarcasm or convey mockery - although its usage is rare in non-north african parts of the world, some sociologists have documented reports of hearings in various urbanized corners of north america, particularly frequent in the extreme northern province of quebec and in the southern regions of france)

"wash rak" or "wechnou" or "chnou" or "chenou" all come from "wa ayou shay'in ra'aka" - what have you seen/been shown. chnou/wechnou/chenou come from "wa ayou shay'in houa?" and what is it?

algerians are notorious for chopping off syllables and dicing vowels, and generally speaking in short, abrupt, quick phrases. they seem to believe that time is running out, the planet is about to come to an apocalyptic end, and that if they don't speak any faster they will trip on their words and die a shameful death in front of god and humanity.

hence the word "ezreb" - hurry up. often expressed in the frustrated tone released in a long breath that sounds more like a cry: "Eyh haou tangoulek ezreeeeeeeb, eh!!"

now if anyone here can explain the origins of "ezreb" I will eat my hat.


8:31 pm    August 23, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
you're right, because dir is do.... Like washta rak ddir? what are you doing. so how to i see you doing... pretty fancy linguistic composition.

here's another one: tsenna. comes from ista'in (3ala wazn istaf3ala) as in hold on or slow down. root from ta'anni as in fi ta'anni salama wa fi l3ajalati nadama :)


8:26 pm    August 23, 2007

Adnane Ben. message
DAYER: as in kirak dayer - how do I see you doing.. or rather how do i see you managing (yourself). Dayer comes from adara, youdirou, al-moudir, to direct or to manage.

8:21 pm    August 23, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
My best assessment of the famed "kirak dayer" or as the Algerian say it "wash rak" is that it breaks down into "kayfa araka dayer" or "how to I see dayer." So I got the kirak part, where does dayer come from? dayer as in round or turning around, or something to do with circles? Any clues?

8:10 pm    August 23, 2007

Rasta Gnawi message
Al Khor9 means ignorance? can you put it in a sentence? Must be some gharbi expression :)

Metreg: comes from mterqa or hammer. It's a tree branch with a heavy knob on one end (sometimes a root.) The object is typically found in cars under the driver's seat and is mainly used to break the ice during unfortunate encounters in the middle of the night with qutta3 torqaan.

Then there is tikshbila tiwliwla (don't remember all the words to the song.) Anyone knows what the hell tikshbila is and what tiwliwla means?


MBOUCHI's notes (10)
common sens..
Memory & Fragrance..
right or not right..
I'm afraid but not crazy..


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