Arabic Language Blog

Egyptian Proverbs (8) Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Arabic Language, Culture, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

     Arabic proverbs الأمــْــثــَــال الــعــَــرَبــِــيــَّـــة reflect the beauty جــَــمــَــال of the Arabic Language and the wisdom حــِــكــْــمــَــة of the Arabs and their culture. In Egypt, these proverbs are part of everyone’s daily routine. There is no one single situation مــَــوْقــِــف that would not have the perfect proverb tailored for it. Just for the sake of fun الــمــُــتــْــعــَــة , I am going to share some of these famous proverbs. If you are living in Egypt, you will probably recognize them right away, but if you live outside Egypt, most likely you will have a smile إبــْــتــِــســَــامــَـــة on your face. These proverbs are in the Egyptian dialect الـلــَّــهــْــجــَـــة .

Egyptian Proverbs

يــَــا بــَــخــْــت مــَــنْ كــَــان الــنــَّــقــِــيــبْ خــَــالــَــهُ   

/ ya bakht min kan el-nakeeb khal’uh /

  • Literal Translation: Lucky is he who has a Sergeant as his uncle.
  • Hidden meaning: It helps to have relatives in positions of power.
  • Applicability: To comment on somebody’s connections.

الـلــِّــى يــتــجــوز أُمــِّــى ، أقــُــولــُــه يــَــا عــَــمــِّــي  

/ elli yetgawiz ummi, a’ool luh ya am’mi /

  • Literal translation: Whoever marries my mother, I’ll call him ‘uncle’.
  • Hidden meaning: You should make peace with people whom you are forced to deal with (or perhaps who will have power over you!)
  • Applicability: Sometimes diplomacy is the best policy.

اِتــْــلــَــمْ الــمــَــتــْــعــُــوس عــَــلــى خــَــايــِــبِ الــرَّجــَــا

/ etlam el-mat’oos ala khayib el-rajaa /

  • Literal translation: The miserable got together with the hopeless.
  • Hidden Meaning: No good can come out of such a union.
  • Applicability: To criticize two losers who decide to join efforts!

يــَــا خــَــبــَـــرْ بــِــفــْــلــُــوس ، بــُــكــْــرَة يــِــبــْــقــى بــِــبــَــلاش

/ ya khabar befloos, bukrah yeb’a bebalash /

  • Literal translation: The costly news of today, will be free tomorrow.
  • Hidden Meaning: The secrets of today will, in time, be common knowledge.
  • Applicability: When someone is going out of his way to find out about something.

فــِــى الــتــَّــأنــِّــى الــســَّــلامــَــة ، و فــِــى الــعــَــجــَــلــَــة الــنــّــدَامــَـــة   

/ fi al-ta’anni al-salama, wi fi al-‘agalah al-nadama /

  • Literal translation: Safety is in caution/slowness, and regret is in haste.
  • Hidden meaning: Take your time and don’t rush.
  • Applicability: Advice to someone not to hurry up or push his/her luck.

عــَــلــِّــمْ فــِـى الــمــِــتــْــبــَــلــِّــمْ ، يــِــصــْــبــَــحْ نــَــاســِــي

/ al’lim fi el-mitballim yesbah nassi /

  • Literal translation: Whatever you teach a stupid person, he will forget.
  • Hidden meaning: A stupid is a stupid!
  • Applicability: There is no hope trying to convince a stupid/stubborn person.

 الــفــُــلــُــوس مــَــعَ الــتــِــيــُـــوس   

/ el-felous ma’a el-tiyoos /

  • Literal translation: Money goes to peacocks.
  • Hidden Meaning: Some people get what they do not deserve.
  • Applicability: Used by unwealthy to justify why others are richer!

الــفــَــاضــِــي يــِــعــْــمــِــلْ قــَــاضــِــي

/ el-fadi ye’mil qadi /  

  • Literal translation:  He, who is not busy, acts like a judge.
  • Hidden Meaning: If someone has nothing useful to do, he will spend his time/energy judging others.
  • Applicability: People will not stop making judgments.

الــقــَــرَايــِــبْ عــَــقــَــارِبْ

/ el-qarayib ‘aqaarib /

  • Literal translation: Relatives are scorpions.
  • Hidden Meaning: Sometimes a relative’s bite is worse than a scorpion’s.
  • Applicability: When someone is hurt by his own relatives.

إذا كــَــان الــكــَــلامْ مــِــن فــِــضــَّــة ، فــَــالــســُــكــُــوتْ مــِــنْ دَهــَــبْ    

/ iza kan el-kalaam min fiddah, fal-sukoot min dahab /

  • Literal translation: If speech is silver, silence is gold.
  • Hidden Meaning: Silence is sometimes more valuable than talking.
  • Applicability: When someone’s speech is meaningless/damaging.


More Proverbs ….. 

Egyptian Proverbs (1)               Egyptian Proverbs (2)

Egyptian Proverbs (3)               Egyptian Proverbs (4)

Egyptian Proverbs (5)               Egyptian Proverbs (6)

Egyptian Proverbs (7)

Ornament Colour B06

Check us back soon 

Peace  ســَـــلام  /Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.