From ‘Ya Allah’ to ‘El Telta Sebteh’ – 10 Lebanese Phrases Eloquently Expressed

The Lebanese dialect is a stunningly beautiful form of expression. The level of precision and eloquence is astonishing. There is this delicate and fresh subtlety in its utterance. The inherent nature of the meanings and their clever use to give off certain impressions and emotions is something on its own. Even though every Arabic dialect is special and beautiful in its own way, the Lebanese dialect is definitely deserving of recognition. In this article, we’ll be highlighting 10 Lebanese phrases that are refreshingly attractive and lightly expressed.

‘Ya Allah’

Oh my God. Originates from the levant area, where people were generally very pious. It is used when expressing distress or helplessness over a situation.

‘Khayra B Ghayra’

Better luck next time. Rhyming and playful way of consoling someone who missed an opportunity.

‘Wen Hal Ghaybe’

I missed you. It literally means “where have you been absent”. Used when seeing someone after a long time, in a friendly manner.

‘Ensah’

Forget it. Modern day levantine slang, typically used when someone does not want to commit to a certain plan.

‘Yeslamo’

Thank you. Short for “yeslamo idek/idayke”, referring to the “salam” brought upon one’s hands for doing you a favor.

‘El Se3den b 3ein emmo ghazel’

 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Literally means “the monkey looks like a deer in the eyes of its mother”.

via ih1

Kellak/kellik zo2

Thank you. Literally means “you’re tasteful” for doing me a favor, and so I thank you for it.

Ma fi shi men eimtak/eimtik

You’re valuable to me. Used when you’re thanked for doing someone a favor, it means “you’re welcome” as in you’re so valuable to me that I am happy to do you this favor.

‘Sahten’ 

Double health. It is used to wish someone a good meal right before or after they eat.

‘El Telte Sebteh’

Third time’s the charm. When disappointed at the outcome of a situation after trying twice, this expression is used by people trying to motivate you to try one more time because it will work the third time.

As you can see, every word has a personal and intimate interpretation, and they have been thoughtfully and cautiously developed. It is without a doubt that anyone who speaks Arabic can appreciate its sensual attraction to their listener, which is all the more reason to abuse it full on.

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