‘ers (عَرْسْ): wedding

Bismillah: Literally, in the name of God. You say bismillah as you start something: your first sip of water or bite of food at the start of a meal, as you get in a car to go somewhere, or to seal an agreement.

Derija: Mainstream Moroccan dialect, which combines elements of Arabic, French, Spanish, and indigenous Berber languages (Tamazight, Tashel7it)

ftour: breakfast–literally breaking fast, but also the first meal of the day.

gaouri, gaouria: Morocco’s answer to the Mexican word “gringo,” meaning a foreigner, especially someone who’s white and/or from Europe.

alHamdulilah: Expression in arabic meaning “Thanks be to God” الحمد الله

Inshallah: Expression meaning “God Willing” اِن شاء الله

Khti, Khouati: sister, sisters

l3alm saghir (العلم سغير): “The world is small”

mashi mushkil! The “Hakuna Matata” of Morocco. Literally, it means, “no problems!”

medina: short for medina qadima, or old city. Moroccan cities consist of an old city and a “ville nouvelle,” or new city built since colonization around the old city.

Nhar kabir hada!: ” It’s a great day!”

Ousted, ousteda (أستاذ, استاذة): teacher

as-hab (اصهاب) (sing. sahb): friends.

Souq (سوق): Market

Tabiat alHal (طَبِة الحال): “of course”


6 responses to “Glossary

  1. Karl

    So what are some examples of derija words that borrow from French and Spanish? I’m always used to hearing that Spanish borrows a few words from Arabic, though I guess it makes sense that it goes both ways.

    • Kathleen

      Hm…good question! I’ll investigate…

    • Kathleen

      My friends at helped me out with this one:

      Weaving Spanish into derija is more common in the north of Morocco, since it’s closer to Spain and to Sebta (aka Ceuta) and Melilla, two Spanish enclaves in Morocco. Some Spanish words that are used in northern Moroccan derija:
      Pomperos, bolancia, kakha, lata, norté, pardido, campo, pokadio, trambia, poonto, playa…

      Then as far as Spanish words derived from Arabic, it’s said that the two languages have thousands of words in common. This site lists some Spanish words that are derived from Arabic:

      This topic might be worth its own post!

  2. Pingback: New modes of circulation in Rabat « Petit à petit…شوية بشوية

  3. Cody

    Hey– I believe “friends” is as7aab (أصحاب) — unless the ح changes in darija?
    Love your blog!
    I’m heading to Casa to teach English soon.
    Thanks for all this…

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