Arabic Language Blog

The 25 Most Common Arabic Slang Words Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Arabic Language

Marhaba! We all resort to using slang words without consciously thinking about it. For instance, when my wife and I send a text message to your friends about going together to watch a movie, our friends usually reply with one word: Awesome! Rather than a formal reply, along the lines of ‘we will be delighted to join you and watch a movie together,’ their answer was in a very common American slang word. Many of you have requested that we share some essential and common slang words in Arabic.

Before I share with you what I think are the 25 most common Arabic slang words, you should know keep in mind that different Arab countries have different dialects. For example, Egyptian slang words are somewhat different from Lebanese and Syrian ones. Unlike other languages, like English for example, there is not a uniform list of common Arabic slang words. The words I share with you today make sense to people in Levantine states, such as Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. I also provide you with the transliteration of every word so that you can both learn how to read and pronounce it, as well as its definition.


For now take care and stay tuned for upcoming posts!
Happy Learning!
Have a nice day!!
نهاركم سعيد

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About the Author: jesa

Salam everyone! Born as an American to two originally Arab parents, I have been raised and have spent most of my life in Beirut, Lebanon. I have lived my good times and my bad times in Beirut. I was but a young child when I had to learn to share my toys and food with others as we hid from bombs and fighting during the Lebanese Civil War. I feel my connection to Arabic as both a language and culture is severing and so it is with you, my readers and fellow Arabic lovers, and through you that I wish to reestablish this connection by creating one for you.


  1. Chris:

    إذا “شو” كلمة أخرى لـ”ما”؟ رأيت تلك الكلمة على فيسبوك, لكن لم أفهم ما عنت. أيضا, هل من المقبول أن نقول “أينك” بالعربية الفصحى؟ لقد سمعت ذلك, لكن كان على يوتيوب.

    • Arabi446:

      @Chris No , “shuu” شو , its mean what ?

    • Mhood:

      @Chris Sho means what like ma in Levant.
      In Egypt it’s “iz zay”
      In gulf shino or wish

  2. David Sarile:

    I love the Arabic blog .
    I am a Filipino family doctor practicing in Toronto, Canada. I am interested in language learning, particularly the Semitic languages:
    Arabic, Hebrew Amharic and Ugaritic.
    I find your blog very helpful in mastering Arabic.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. jesa:

    Salam Chris, I am answering in Arabic so others can also learn from your interesting questions. The interchangeability between “شو” and ”ما” depends on the question you are asking. But I would not say that they are both synonyms. For instance, in colloquial Arabic, it’s really standard to say:
    “شو أخبارك؟” (what’s up/what’s the latest news) rather than “ما أخبارك؟”(what’s your news.) The answer in typical colloquial would be “ما في شي” for example. Put differently, the “شو” is more slang and colloquial, while the “ما” is more standard and formal.

    Yes, you can definitely use “أينك” in Classical/Modern Standard Arabic.

    thanks for the good questions, Chris. keep up the good work!

  4. jesa:

    Salam David, thanks for reaching out. Good luck with your learning goals! We’re happy to know that you find our blog useful for mastering the beautiful Arabic language. Keep up the good work and stay tuned for excellent posts here on the blog and via our Facebook page (

    Shoukran and take care!

  5. Chris:

    شكرا للإجابة. من الشيق أن يوجد كثير من الطرق المختلفة لقول “what” بالعربية. “ما” و”ماذا” بالعربية الفصحى, تعلمت “شو” اليوم. أيضا, قد سمعت “ايه” بالعربية المصرية و”ايش” بالعربية السعودية. كيف يقولونه في الغرب؟

  6. jesa:

    Salam Chris, what do you mean by “الغرب”? Are you thinking of English/American way to say “ايش” or “ايه”? If so, then it is also “what”. hope this helps.

  7. Chris:

    لا, عنيت في الأوطان الغربية في العالم العربي مثل المغرب أم الجزائر.

  8. Nadyne:

    في المغرب يقال “شْنُو” أو “آشْ”

  9. mufeedha Razzak:

    Assslamu alaikum…I just joined this course n I love to learn Arabic language..may Allah help you n me.

  10. Nate:

    I really love the literal translation for “Shut up”… “Eat air”! A humorous way to think about it.

    • jesa:

      @Nate Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  11. raneem:

    what does Ji2ra mean

  12. Hope:

    What does this mean. Walaw ma fi meshkel ana bi 2amrik.

  13. Paula:

    What is the expression word “Yappiii” mean?

  14. Krishnamoorthy.M:

    I just started to learn Arabic, kindly support me.

    • ragaa mohammed:

      @Krishnamoorthy.M I am Egyptian …. arabic is very rich language not very difficult I trust u can get it with writing and speaking but little bit hard to talk as a native speaker its possible to master arabic in 2years or so just give it time and concentration and practice it daily good luck

  15. Krishnamoorthy.M:

    Please send us the translation of numbers from 1 – 100 with Arabic pronunciation.

  16. Koladew:

    You poeple are doing greate in this blog for advertising Allah’s language. Please i’d liked to learn from you.

  17. Vixky:

    Can anyone tell me what this saying in English please. Lala ya bhim chtarha barka

  18. salih:

    you are just amazing .thank you for doing that . but we dont use them in all arabic countries .

  19. Rajulkabear:

    I just discovered this blog and can see that it will be most helpful, inshela, in my Arabic study, shukran

  20. lucas coon:

    salam everyone ana bakul jaba jumir-monera said

  21. Virginia Linares:

    Great post. We are second generation born to a Syrian mother. Reading all the swear words really made us miss our mom.
    The Mother expressions are truly beautiful.