If it’s one thing we as Egyptians are known for, it’s saying things in a way that cannot be taken at face value. For the sake of convenience, we say things that we don’t really mean. It’s often just a way of keeping the conversation going on a superficial level. We gathered a list of common white lies that are often said by Egyptians.
‘Inshallah’ is often said to mean ‘yes, it will hopefully happen’, yet it’s not as hopeful as we think. When kids ask for a present or someone asks to arrange a meetup, ‘inshallah’ usually means in the far future, or most probably ‘not going to happen’.
Masaft el seka
‘I’m in the elevator’, or ‘I’m coming down now’, or even ‘masaft el seka’, usually means they’ll be hours late. We are never actually on the way when we say are, and it’s never just ‘5 minutes away’.
Hakalemek lama akhalas
This one’s used to avoid a conversation or a call. ‘I’ll call you as soon as I’m done’; we all know that usually never happens.
The famous ‘I miss you’ is just a way to show sugar coated care for someone else. It’s just a way to maintain a conversation and be polite. Sure, it is often meant, but it’s also sometimes used superficially.
El denya za7ma
This one’s a very common excuse when we’re late for something. We blame it on the traffic, which is always convenient and believable.
Walahi ma ma3aya feloos
This one’s often used to avoid giving money to a beggar in the street.
This one is never ever meant. We say this to mean we don’t need the money, ‘keep it’, but the expected response will always be ‘la2 3eib’.
Mashoftesh el message
This one’s another common excuse when confronted about not answering. ‘I just didn’t see the message’, the truth is our phones are with us 24/7, the excuse will pass the tension, but only on an artificial level.
This one is also used to avoid an outing, I’m simple ‘busy’.
Ha2oom men el nom dilwa2ty
This lie is one we tell ourselves to avoid the guilt of procrastination. It will usually take way longer than ‘dilwa2ty’ or now, to get out of bed.
This one’s to justify laziness, ‘I’m just too tired’.
This one is known as ‘za7la2a’, avoiding telling someone we don’t want to meet by pushing it to a ‘later time’. The truth is, that time never comes.
El bet beitek
This one’s hilarious because literally every host tells it to a guest. Its inherently untrue, but said out of courtesy.
We say this to show someone that we care or that we are willing to help out in an exaggerated manner. In reality, it’s just a common expression that doesn’t always mean much.