In a melting pot of culture, words of different languages are frequently picked up and used as slang amidst our colloquial tongues. (Think: Drake saying “its a habibi ting” on his song, “Portland.”) So that you’re not left out of the loop, Muslim Girl is here to translate and explain some basic Arabic words that may be used around you. For all you know, you could be the one to introduce these words into your friend group’s slang terms.
Here are some frequently used Arabic words we’ve heard around us:
1. Habibi (for men) (ha-bee-bee) Habibti (for women) (ha-bib-tee)
This one’s everybody’s favorite. Habibi/habibti translate into nicknames such as “sweetheart” and “my love.” Go ahead, switch the contact name of your significant other to this. We know it’s tempting.
2. Shukran (SHOOK-run)
Shukran means thank you. Try to remember this the next time you buy your shawarma out of a halal truck; maybe the individual will give you half off your meal!
3. Afwan (aaf-wen)
This one will usually follow Shukran (thank you) in a conversation. If someone thanks you, you can reply with afwan (you’re welcome). Practice them together!
4. Ismee (iss-mee)
(SALAM, MY NAME IS)…..are you finding it difficult to introduce yourself around your new refugee neighbors? Every new friendship starts with your name! Follow after us: Ismee (my name is) _____.
5. Asif (men) (aas-eef) /Asifa (women) (aas-eefa)
Did you recently piss off your habibi ting? Try saying sorry in Arabic! Asif is a sincere apology that could impress the person that hears it!
These words are easy to learn and handy to use! Say them out loud so they don’t sound foreign anymore and teach your friends to watch how quickly others pick up the words as slang.