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306 terms

معجم التعابير الاصطلاحية: عربي مصري - إنجليزي

مع مسرد إنجليزي - عربي مصري
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أبْرَدْ مِنْ مَيِّةْ طُوبَهْ
thoroughly unlikeable
[not having qualities that win good will or friendship; unpopular; disagreeable]
...أبْرَك مِن
more nourishing/useful than...
ابْعِدوا تِبْقوا عَسَلْ قَرَّبوا تِبْقوا بَصَلْ
familiarity breeds contempt
[a long and close relationship, especially between two people, causes feelings of scorn and dislike to develop]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أبْقَى حْمارْ
I'm a Dutchman
[I am not what I am; used after a clause beginning with "if" to indicate the speaker's belief that the facts, opinions, etc., stated in the "if"-clause are wrong]
!اِبْقَى قابِلْني
come and have a laugh at my expense!
[used to emphasize the speaker's belief that something will not happen]
اِبْن أصُول
one of good breeding
[a person exhibiting good behavior and manners, especially because of being brought up in a family that observes conscience, morals, etc.]
اِبْنِ الحَلالْ
Mr. Right
[the imagined man who will fulfill all a woman's desires and needs as a husband]
اِبْن بَلَدْ
a nice fellow
[one embodying the good qualities of the traditional classes]
اِبْن حَظّ
a happy-go-lucky
[a person who enjoys himself, takes things easily as they come, and trusts to luck]
اِبْن حَلال
a good/decent sort
[a likeable person]
اِبْن ساعْتُه
a man of whims
[a person who is usually driven by a sudden fancy or notion; by a freakish or capricious idea or desire]
اِبْن سِتِّين فِ سَبْعين
son of a bitch
[an insult; "sixty" is an intensifier used in curses and insults. The literal meaning of the idiom is "son of a bitch (sixty times multiplied by seventy times over)"]
اِبْن سُوق
a born businessman
[a businessman by nature]
اِبْن عَرَب
a stalwart fellow
[a valiant, steadfast, modest, loyal person]
اِبْن كارْ
made for the job
[a person who is naturally gifted or prepared to perform a certain job efficiently; skillfully, etc.]
اِبْن نُكْتَه
jokester
[a person fond of telling or hearing jokes]
اِبْنُه عَلى كِتْفُه وِبِيْدَوَّر عَلِيهْ
right under someone's nose and he can't find it
[used when something is near or immediately in front of a person and he does not notice it and sometimes goes to look for it somewhere else]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أبُو العُرِّيف
knows all the answers
[to be conceitedly conscious of one's own knowledge]
أبُو حْمارَهْ
a country cousin
[a person from the country whose manners, etc., are simple compared to those of people living in towns]
(أبُو عَلي (عَرَّام
(the) cock of the walk
[a person who has the most control, power, or influence, especially when he is very proud of this]
أبُو لَمَسْ
as touchy as hell
[very over-sensitive, bad tempered, angry, grumpy]
(أبُو مُخِّ تْخِينْ (زِنِخْ
a pig-headed jerk
[a stupidly obstinate or stubborn person]
أبِيعْ نُصّ عُمْري
would give one's right arm
[to be willing to give up something of great value or importance to oneself in order to do or obtain something]
"إتْباع فِ "ألا أونا
go under the hammer
[to be for sale in an auction; a wooden hammer is struck against a block of wood in an auction to signal that an object has been sold]
اِتْحَشَر لِفُلان
stand up for someone; put in a good word for someone
[to take the part of; support; defend]
اِتْخَبَطْ فِ عَقْلُهْ
get off one's rocker
[mad; out of one's senses]
اِتْخَطَف بَدْري
be cut off in one's prime
[to die when one is still too young]
!اِتْسَدّ وِاسْكُتْ
shut your trap!
[shut your mouth]
اِتْغَدَّى بِفُلانْ قَبْلِ ما يِتْعَشَّى بِيهْ
steal a march on someone
[to gain an advantage over someone by doing some earlier action than expected]
اِتْقَفَشْ مِنْ قَفاهْ
have one's collar felt
[of a criminal or person suspected of a crime: to be arrested]
!اِتْقَلْ عالرُّزّ
easy does it!
[not so fast; take your time; be careful]
أتْقَلْ مِ الهَمّ عَ الْقَلْب
more than can be tolerated
[something which cannot be endured or suffered]
اِتْلَمِّ المَتْعُوسْ عَلى خايِبِ الرَّجا
one bad lot on top of another
[a useless, bad, or lazy person in addition to another]
اِتْلَمّ عَلى نَفْسُهْ
collect oneself
[to be in full control of one's emotions]
اِتْمَسَكْ مُتَلَبِّسْ
caught red-handed/in the act
[to be discovered or seized while doing something forbidden, unlawful, etc., or just after it has been done; refers to a person whose hands are still covered with blood]
اِتْنَطَّطْ (اِتْمَنْظَرْ) عَلى فُلانْ
lord it over someone
[of a man: to behave in a proud and commanding manner towards a person; rule over a person like a lord]
اِتْنَطَّطِت (اِتْمَنْظَرِتْ) عَلى فُلانْ
queen it over someone
[of a woman: to behave in a proud and commanding manner towards a person; rule over a person like a queen]
اِتْهَفِّ فِ مُخُّهْ
go potty; go nuts; go bananas
[to go crazy]
أجْسامْ بِغالْ وعُقولْ عَصافِير
all brawn and no brain
[of a person who is physically well-built, but not functioning very well, mentally speaking; "brawn" is firm, strong muscles]
أجْهَلْ مِنْ دابَّه
dumber than an ox
[slow in understanding; stupid; dull]
اِحْتَرتْ يا بَخْرَهْ أبُوسِكْ مِنِين
I'm at a loss to know how to please you!
[said to someone who is hard to please; in the literal Egyptian-Arabic translation, "I don't know where to kiss you, بخره, the word بخره is a woman whose breath is malodorous or whose mouth smells the sharp odor of raw onions and thus no-one is willing to bring himself near her]
إحْساسِي مايِكْدِبْش
feel it in one's bones
[to suspect something strongly; have a suspicion that is not based on facts but feelings]
أحْسَنْ بِمَراحِلْ
streets ahead
[far better than something or someone]
أحْسَنْ تِكِّبِسْ
lest one should be jinxed
[to be brought to bad luck; from the Egyptian folk belief that well-wishers should not take a new-born baby in their company when paying their first visit to a newly-married woman since the sight of the baby might turn her sterile]
!اِحْفَظْ مَرْكَزَكْ
watch your step!
[be very careful not to make a mistake, not to offend someone, etc.]
اِحْنا بِنِقْرا فِ سُورِةْ عَبَسْ؟
how many times do I have to say it?
[said to someone after trying several times to make him understand something]
أخَدْ (عربية، عجلة، إلخ) زِيرُو
go for a spin
[to go for a rapid drive or ride]
أخَدْ فُلانْ فِ عِبُّهْ
have someone under one's thumb
[to have someone under control or influence]
أخَدْ فُلانْ وِشِّينْ
give someone a row
[to scold]
أخْرِةِ الْمَتَمَّهْ
add insult to injury
[to cause offence to someone after one has already caused harm to him in some other way]
!اِخْزِي الشِّيطانْ
spite the Devil!
[resist the temptation]
!اِخْزِي الْعِينْ
don't tempt the evil eye!
[don't disclose news of your success, happiness, etc. lest you should be subject to the power that some people are supposed to have of causing harm or bringing bad luck to others by looking at them]
أخْلاقُهْ باظِتْ
go to the dogs
[to be no longer of good quality, character, etc.]
اِدَّى القُطّ مُفْتاحِ الْكَرارْ
appoint the fox to guard the chickens
[to assign the wrong person to do a particular job, especially one who is going to do the opposite of what ought to be done]
اِدَّبِّسْ حِتِّةْ تَدْبِيسَهْ
be put on the spot
[to be put in a difficult or dangerous situation; in trouble]
اِدْعِي لِفُلانْ
keep one's fingers crossed for someone
[to wish or hope deeply for success, good luck, etc., especially by crossing two fingers next to each other on the same hand as a physical sign of this]
اِدَّهْوِلْ عَلى عِينُهْ
fall head over heels
[to become completely or deeply in love]
آدِي أخْرِتْها
this is the upshot
[the final and most severe of a series of difficulties; refers to the last shot in an archery match]
آدِي الجَّمَلْ وادِي النَّخْلَهْ
call someone's bluff
[to make someone prove whether something that he says or pretends to be true is really true; from Poker (a card game): to bluff is pretend to have cards of greater value than one really has]
(مَثَل شعبي)
آدِي زَمانِ البِدِنْجانْ
it's the silly season
[a period of time when there is little sense or reason, and therefore most people find themselves obliged to cope with what is fashionable whether they like it or not]
إدَّى فُلان اِسْتِمارَهْ سِتَّهْ
give someone the pink slip
[a notice of dismissal from one's job]
إدَّى فُلانْ دُشّ
give someone a sound scolding
[to blame someone with angry words]
إدَّى فُلانْ عَلى حَنْطُورْ عِينُهْ
give someone a real shiner
[to hit someone on the eye so that he sees sudden flashes of light]
!إدَّى فُلانْ ماتِرْحَمُوش
let someone have it!
[don't have mercy on someone; let someone suffer because he can be no longer tolerated]
!أدِيكْ قُلْتَها بِعَضْمِةْ لِسانَك
you said it!
[used to express strong agreement with a statement just made]
!اِدِّيني عَقْلَكْ
picture it for yourself!
[to form a picture of something in one's mind; just imagine!]
أرْضَ اللَّهْ واسْعَهْ
there's plenty of opportunity elsewhere
اُرْقُصْ لِلْقِرْدِ فِ دَوْلِتُهْ
curry favor with authority
[to try to gain the approval or favor of a person in authority by behaving too politely towards him or flattering him, especially insincerely]
(مَثَل شعبي)
!اِرْمِي بَياضَكْ
cross my palm/hand with silver!
[to give money to a person, especially a fortuneteller who has a desirable piece of information to tell]
إزَّيِّ... عَلى حِسَّكْ؟
how did you find...?
أسِّ الْمَصايِبْ
the villain of the piece
[the person or thing that is guilty or responsible for something bad or harmful]
اِسْألْنِي أنا
I know it only too well
[said of a person with pretensions to complete knowledge or infallible experience]
(اِسْتَعْوَضَ اللَّهْ (رَبِّنا
write something off as a dead loss
[to have no hope of regaining someone or something because he/it is bad, boring, ineffective, lost, dead, etc.]
!اِسْتَلَقَّى وَعْدَكْ
you'll cop/catch it!
[you'll be punished or scolded]
اِسْعَى يا عَبْدْ وَانا اسْعَى مَعاكْ
God helps those who helps themselves
[people who wish for good luck and God's help in gaining what they want must first make an effort themselves]
(مَثَل شعبي)
!اسْمَ اللهْ عَلى عَقْلَكْ
use your loaf!
[use your common sense; be sensible; think clearly]
اِسْمَ اللَّه عَلى فُلانْ
may God bless someone's (little) heart
[an invocation of divine protection]
اِسْمَ اللَّه عَلى مَقامَكْ
begging your pardon; no offence intended
[often prefaces a contradiction, objection or mention of any mundane or lowly object]
اِسْم عَلى مُسَمَّى
a fitting name
[a name whose meaning happens to suit the nature, the character or mood of the person bearing it]
اِسْمُهْ إيهْ دَهْ
how's your father
[used to refer to something that one has forgotten the name of or does not want to mention by name]
اِشْبَعْ بِيها
to hell with you and...
[I, we, etc. do not care about the thing or the person mentioned]
اِشْتَدِّي يا أزْمَهْ تِتْحَلِّي
it's darkest before the dawn
[the worse a crisis the closer it is to be relieved]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِشْتَرَى التُّرْمايْ
buy the Brooklyn bridge
[of a gullible person: to be taken advantage of]
اِشْتَرَى سَمَكْ فِ الْمَيَّهْ
buy a pig in a poke
[to purchase something without first having an opportunity to judge its value or all the relevant facts]
اِشْتَغَل فِ الأزْرَقْ
play dirty
[to behave offensively or carelessly in order to cause harm or trouble to someone]
أشَّرْ بِصْباعُهْ
crook one's little finger
[to bend one's finger in order to attract the attention of another person, especially so that they run to help or do something for one]
اِصْرِفْ ما في الجِيبْ يَأتِيكْ ما في الغِيبْ
tomorrow will take care of itself
[don't worry about your present financial situation because there will be other days, on which a new start can be made]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أضْعَفِ الإيمانْ
the least one can do
اِطْبُخِي يا جارْيَهْ كَلِّفْ يا سِيدِي
he who calls the tune must pay the piper
[the person who claims a right to ask for something, or to control how something is used, has to pay for it]
اطْلَعْ مِنْ نافُوخِي
get off my back
[leave me alone; stop annoying or arguing with me]
اِعْرَفْ خَلاصَكْ
look to your own ends
[bear the consequences of your own actions, and try to find yourself a way out]
أعصابُهْ اِتْحَرَقِتْ
one's tempers are frazzled
[to tire out; weary]
أعْصابُهْ باظِتْ
one's nerves go to pieces
[to become confused; break down mentally]
أعْصابُهْ فِ تَلاجَهْ
as cool as a cucumber
[very calm, e.g. in a difficult situation]
!أعْلَى ما فْ خِيلَكْ اِرْكَبُهْ
do your damnedest/worst!
[an outrageous response to a threat]
اِلأعْمالْ بِالنِّيّاتْ
it's the thought that counts
[the goodwill, or affection, that lies behind an action, gift, etc., is more important than the action itself] (مَثَل شعبي)
!اِعْمِلَّكْ هِمَّهْ
put some guts into it!
[hurry; try to do something faster]
!(أفُكَّها فِينْ (مِنينْ
what a fat lot of good that does me!
[used sarcastically, and sometimes humorously, when the speaker does not approve of a verbal reward, an apology, etc., he has just received]
أقْرَعْ وِنُزَهِي
a beggar with a Havana
[of one who is needy but always dressed up; "Havana" is a brand of the finest and most expensive cigars in the world]
أقْطَعْ دِراعِي
I'll eat my hat
[I'm sure: used to emphasize the speaker's belief that a fact, statement, etc., is true, or that something will happen as stated]
!أُقْعُدوا بالعافْيَهْ
keep well!
[said to or by someone on parting]
أكْتَرْ مِ الْهَمّ عَ الْقَلْبْ
a drug on the market
[something that is plentiful, especially because nobody wants to have or buy it]
اِكْفِي الْقِدْرَةْ عَلى فُمَّها تِطْلَعْ البِنْتْ لُ امَّها
like mother like daughter
[of a daughter: to be very much like her mother in character]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أكْلْ عِيشْ
a bread-and-butter job
[something that provides a person with the simple things he needs to continue to live]
الأكْلْ فِ الشَّبْعانْ خِسارَهْ
there's no point in gilding the lily
[to attempt to improve someone or something that is already attractive, especially in a manner that spoils the object's original worth or appearance; the phrase has been changed from a speech in Shakespeare's play "King John" (before 1598): 'To gilde refined gold, to paint the lily,/... Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.' (Act 4, scene 2)]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أكَّلْ فُلانْ البالُوظَهْ
do a snow job on someone
[to overwhelm a person, especially to persuade him to do something by talking fast]
أكْلْ وِبَحْلَقَهْ
look a gift-horse in the mouth
[to look for faults or other things to complain about in something that is freely offered]
أكْلْ ومَرْعَى وقِلِّةْ صَنْعَهْ
the life of Riley
[a comfortable and happy life]
!أكْلِكْ مِنِينْ يا بَطَّهْ
I don't know where to start!
[said of something very attractive, appetizing, etc.]
آلْ شَدَّادْ
hashish-smokers
[the transliteration of the Egyptian-Arabic idiom, آلْ شَدَّادْ, refers to the tribe of a hero of folk epic whose name is identical in pronunciation to any of a number of devices the purpose of which is to provide tension or traction (e.g. a splint, chain-adjuster, etc.); the connection between the literal equivalent and the idiomatic one seems to lie in the effort exerted by heavy hashish-smokers (usually in a gooza: the local hubble bubble) when dragging smoke out of the pipe]
!اِلزَمْ حُدودَكْ
don't overstep the mark!
[don't go beyond permitted limits; don't do more than allowed]
اِلْطَعْ إمْضِتَكْ اِلكَّرِيمَهْ
put your John Hancock
[write your signature; John Hancock was a wealthy New Englander who was president of the Continental Congress, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The story goes that when he sat to sign the Declaration of Independence, he remarked that he would write his signature so large that King George could read it without his spectacles. The term John Hancock is now idiomatically used to mean a person's signature]
ألْفْ وَراها أُلوفْ
money breeds money
[the first sum of money one makes is usually the hardest, but when invested properly it reproduces quickly]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اللَّهُ أعْلَمْ
be anybody's guess!
[of an event, result, etc.: to be uncertain]
اللَّهُ الغَنِي
it can be done without
[to get along though not having the thing mentioned or implied]
!اللَّهْ يِجازِي شِيطانَكْ
you little devil!
[said to a very able, clever, energetic, or reckless person]
اللَّهْ يِجْحِمْ فُلانْ
may someone roast in hell
[of an enemy: a curse expressing anger or annoyance because the person mentioned is believed by the speaker to have been a source of trouble]
!اللَّهْ يِحِظَّكْ
you make me laugh!
[said to someone in appreciation of his entertaining company, especially when the speaker has been in a bad mood for sometime]
اللَّهْ يِخْرِبْ عَقْلَكْ
you're a riot
[said to a very amusing or skillful person]
اللَّهْ يِرْحَمْ أيّامْ زَمانْ
O for the good old days
[often used by older people: a former time that, when remembered, seems better than the present in spite of improvements in science, etc.]
!اللَّهُمَّ اخْزِيكْ يا شِيطانْ
get thee behind me, Satan!
[said by someone who is trying to resist the temptation of doing something bad]
!اللَّهُمَّ طَوِّلِكْ يا رُوحْ
give me strength!
[I need more courage and patience to tolerate this! an expression of exasperation used when the speaker is annoyed by someone's stupidity]
اللَّهُمَّ لا اعْتِراضْ
God knows best
[a formula used to disclaim any blasphemous intent in criticizing God's work]
اِللِّي اِتْلَسَعْ مِ الشُّورْبَهْ يُنْفُخْ فِ الزَّبادِي
once bitten, twice shy
[if one has been cheated or deceived on one occasion by someone or something, one will be more careful when one meets that person or thing again, or should a similar occasion occur later]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي خَلَقُهْ خَلَقْ غِيرُهْ
there are plenty of other fish in the sea
[there are plenty of other people for you to meet and things for you to do: often said to comfort a person who has lost a boyfriend or a girlfriend]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي سَبَقْ أكَلِ النَّبَقْ
first come, first served; the early bird catches the worm
[the person who arrives first will be dealt with first; the person who gets up early to work will be successful]
(مَثَل شعبي)
(اِللِّي عَ الْبَرّ شاطِرْ (عَوّامْ
easier said than done; it's easy to talk big
[it is easier to tell someone to do something than do it: used in answer to someone who is giving advice on how to do something and who is thought not to realize how difficult it is to do the thing]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي على راسُهْ بَطْحَهْ يِحَسِّسْ علِيها
if the cap/shoe fits wear it
[if the statement, remark, etc., about someone is true, then he must accept it: often shortened to "if the cap fits"]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي فِ قَلْبُهْ على لِسانُهْ
wear one's heart on one's sleeve
[to allow other people to know what one is feeling; show one's emotions, e.g. one's love or hatred for someone; from Shakespeare's Othello (1964). Iago: 'But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve/For daws to peck at...' (Act 1, scene 1)]
اِللِّي لُهْ ضَهْرْ مايِنْضِرِبْشْ على بَطْنُهْ
he who has someone at his back comes to no harm
[said of a person who always has someone present to give him support or protection]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي مايْشُفْشْ مِ الغُرْبالْ يِبْقَى أعْمَى
there's none so blind as those that will not see
[there is even less hope of persuading someone who is able to understand something but refuses to do so than there is of persuading a person who has difficulty in understanding something: usually used to express one's annoyance at someone who sees only his own side in an argument and refuses to admit that there may be some truth in the opinions of others]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي مايِقْدَرْ عَ الْحَمْرَهْ وعَلِيقْها يِخْلِي مِنْ طَرِيقْها
if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
[if the difficulties or tensions produced by important work prove too much for you, don't complain but get out and leave it to others; حمره is a type of bay horse that is known for its appetite for عليق: special fodder made from broad beans, cotton seeds and hay]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اللِّي مِشْ عاجْبُهْ يِشْرَبْ مِ البَحْرْ
if you don't like it, lump it!
[you'll have to accept a situation, decision, etc. without complaint whether you like it or not]
اِللِّي مَكْتوبْ عَ الجِّبِينْ لازِمْ تِشُوفُهْ العِينْ
what must be must be
[what is believed to be determined beforehand will happen in spite of all later efforts to change or prevent it]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي واخِدْ عَقْلَكْ يِتْهَنَّى بُهْ
a penny for your thoughts
[tell us what you are thinking about: usually addressed to a person who has been silent for some time and who appears to be thinking deeply and seriously]
اِللِّي يِبُصِّ لْفُوقْ يِتْعَبْ
he who tries to keep up with the Joneses gets out of breath
[he who competes with other people of a better social position will use up his financial resources, strength, etc., before gaining what he wants] (مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي يِحِبِّ النَّبِي يِزُقْ
on one's/its last legs
[of a person, an organization, a piece of equipment or machinery close to ruin; about to stop operating]
اِللِّي يِحْتاجُهْ البِيتْ يِحْرَمْ عَ الجّامِعْ
charity begins at home
[one's first care must be for one's family; one cannot care for others and neglect one's family]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي يِخْتِشي مِنْ بِنْتْ عَمُّهْ مايْجِبْش مِنْها عِيالْ
faint heart never won fair love
[a timid or easily discouraged person won't get the best of anything in life]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي يِعِيشْ ياما يِشُوفْ
well, you live and learn
[used as an expression of surprise when one learns something new]
اِللِّي يِيْجِي بَلاشْ يُرُوحْ بَلاشْ
easy come, easy go
[what was easily won, gained, earned, etc., is easily lost, spent, or wasted: often said to show that one is not worried at losing something or freely spending money]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِللِّي يِيْجِي مِنُّهْ أحَلّ مِنُّهْ
half a loaf is better than none
[it is better to take what one can get or accept what is offered, even if this is very little, than to risk having nothing at all]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أمّ الخِيرْ زَيّ أمّ السَّعْدْ
you pays your money and (you) takes your choice
[a person who has to choose between several of very similar possibilities or courses of action may as well trust to luck when making his choice; from a 9th-century rhyme: "Whatever you please, my little dears: / You pays your money and you takes your choice./ You pays your money and what you see is/ A cow or donkey, just as you pleases." The idiom is intended to be humorous and therefore uses incorrect grammar (pays, takes, sees, pleases)]
أمْرِي لِلَّهْ
let matters run their course
[an expression of resignation: of an illness, state of affairs, series of events: to continue to its natural end: develop naturally]
!اِمْسِكْ أعْصابَكْ
steady yourself!
[be calm; don't get too excited]
اِمْشِي سَنَهْ ولا تِخَطّي قَنا
better safe than sorry
[it is wiser to be over-cautious and take proper care than to be rash and unthinking and so do something foolish that harms one, that one regrets later]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أمورْ بامْيَه
rotten affairs
[a state of widespread corruption, e.g. bribery, dishonesty, bad morals, etc.]
آنِ الأوانْ
it's high time
[it is necessary at this moment: used to indicate that an action or decision must be taken without further delay]
!إنْ شا لّلهْ أمُوتْ
cross my heart and hope to die!
[to swear that one is telling the truth or that one will not reveal a secret]
!إنْ شا لّلهْ ما حَدّ حَوِّشْ
never mind the cost!
[said by someone who is indifferent to money]
إنْ فاتَكِ البَدْرِي شَلَّحْ وِاجْرِي
better late than never
[it is better that something should happen or someone should arrive late than not at all]
(مَثَل شعبي)
إنْ كانْ حَبيبَكْ عَسَلْ ما تِلْحَسُوش كُلُّهْ
don't abuse the kindness of a friend
[don't ask too much from someone who has been generous, kind, helpful, etc., to you]
(مَثَل شعبي)
أنا عَبْدْ الْمَأمور
I'm simply doing my job
[to have nothing to do with the consequences of what one is doing because one is only performing the duties of one's work]
!أنا فِ عَرْضِ النَّبِي
I beseech you
[used to ask earnestly; implore; beg eagerly]
!ْأنا مِشْ ناقِص
I've had it up to here!
[to become fed up; reach an end; be able to take no more of something]
أنا وِفُلانْ والزَّمَنْ طَويلْ
I'll get even with someone in the end
[to get one's revenge on someone; harm someone who has harmed oneself]
!إنْتَ شايِفْ كِدَهْ
sez/says you!
[so you say! Used as a scornful expression of disbelief]
إنْتَ مابْتِشْبَعْشِ أبَدًا؟
d'you want jam on it?
[what more do you want? used to a person who has just got an advantage and then asks for more]
إنْتَ وجَماعْتَكْ
you and yours
[a person, his wife, and their family]
إنْخُلِي يا أمّ عامِرْ
loud(ly) and clear(ly)
[publicly; unambiguously; for all to hear and notice; as the folk story goes, a thief was once seen stealing some wheat flour from a neighbor's barn. He managed to get away and ran home to tell his wife that she need not hide the flour he used to steal, and that she could sift it in public, because the truth had become known to everybody]
(مَثَل شعبي)
إنْسْ وَالا جِنّ؟
what have we here?
[used when the speaker is suddenly aware of the presence of someone else]
أنْضَفْ مِ الصِّينِي بَعْدْ غَسِيلُهْ
stripped bare, cleaned out
[without a penny]
!آهْ مِنَّكْ
you snake-in-the-grass!
[said to a person who is thought by the speaker to have harmful intentions not easily recognizable]
أهُو دَهْ... والا بَلاشْ
that's what I call...
[par excellence]
!أهُو دَه الكَّلامْ
now you're talking!
[that's much better: used as an expression of agreement or encouragement]
أهُو دَه اللِّي كانْ ناقِصْ
all one needs
[what one does not want or need is the thing or person specified; what will make one's difficulties, disappointments, inconvenience, discomfort worse, or complete, is that thing or person specified]
(أهِي الدِّنْيا عَلى دِي الحالْ (أهُو دَهْ حالِ الدِّنْيا
that's the way the cookie crumbles
[that's how things are and one must accept them: used when something unfortunate, unpleasant, etc. has just happened]
آهي خَتَمِتْ
that's the last straw
[the final thing that, when added to an unpleasant or bad situation, causes failure, ruin, etc.]
أوْرْطِةْ عِيالْ
a whole tribe of children
[a number of children, belonging to the same parents, whose keeping is a real burden because of lack of money]
!إوْعَى تِقُولْ بِمْ
not a peep out of you!
[I'm not going to listen to the slightest word, sound or complaint from you]
أيّامِ الصِّيفِ الحَلالْ
dog days
[a period of very hot and uncomfortable weather during July and August; translation of Latin "dies caniculares" days of the Dog Star; because this is the period when the rising of the Dog Star (Sirius) coincides with the rising of the sun]
اِلأيّامْ بِتِجْرِي
time flies
[time passes very quickly: usually said to express surprise that so much time has passed while one has been working, since one last met a person, etc.]
اِلأيّامْ دُوَلْ
life is full of ups and downs
[life has times of happiness or success and times of sadness or failure]
أيّامْ فُلانْ مَعْدُودَهْ
someone's days are numbered
[someone's life or usefulness has only a short time left, e.g. because of fate or a powerful person is against one]
اِلإيدِ البَطّالَهْ نِجْسَهْ
the devil finds work for idle hands
[those who are not kept busy by work or other useful activity will start doing things that are harmful or evil]
(مَثَل شعبي)
اِلإيدِ اللِّي ما تِقْدَرْ تِقْطَعْها بُوْسها
if you can't beat them, join them
[if a rival faction, political party, business firm, foreign power, etc., continues to be more successful than one's own, it is better to go over to their side and get what advantages one can from the alliance]
(مَثَل شعبي)
إيدْ لِوَحْدَها ماتْسَقَّفْشِ
it takes two to tango
[a job, duty, etc., is easy to do if more than one person share the work; "tango" was the first Latin American dance to gain international popularity. It depends on a "couple" of dancers who glide smoothly through a variety of step patterns]
(مَثَل شعبي)
إيدْ وَرا وإيدْ قُدَّامْ
empty-handed
[having nothing in the hands; bringing or taking nothing, especially nothing of value, such as money or a present]
إيدَكْ مِنُّهْ واِلأرْضْ
a dead loss
[a person, idea, or activity, etc., that is hopelessly bad or ineffective]
إيدُهْ خَفيفَهْ
light-fingered
[having a tendency to steal things]
إيدُهْ طَرْشَهْ
pack a punch
[having the ability to deliver a quick thrust or blow with the fist]
(إيدُهْ مَخْرُومَهْ (سايْبَهْ
open-handed
[generous]
إيدُهْ ناشْفَهْ
tight-fisted
[miserly]
إيشْ تِعْمِلِ الماشْطَهْ فِ الْوِشّ العِكِرْ
you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
[nothing good can be made from material that is bad or of poor quality]
(مَثَل شعبي)
إيشْ جابْ لِجابْ
the one is not a patch on the other
[to be not nearly so good as]
اِلآيَهْ اِتْعَكَسِتْ
the boot is on the other foot/leg
[the situation has been turned the other way round]
إيهْ الْعِبارَهْ؟
what's cooking?
[What is happening? What is being planned? What is everyone doing?]
بابِ النَّجّارْ مِخَلَّع
the shoe-maker's wife is ill-shod
[said of a person whose children, wife/husband or relations in his responsibility are not so good as he is in the same field of specialty, craft, etc., especially because he does not give them the attention he gives to others]
(مَثَل شعبي)
!البابْ يِفَوِّتْ جَمَلْ
kindly get out of here!
[no-one is forcing you to stay; said to someone who threatens during an argument to leave, or whose presence is no longer welcome]
باضِتْ لُهْ فِ الْقَفَصْ
the big jackpot just fell/dropped into one's lap
[of a lucky or happy event: to happen to come to a person, especially with no effort of his own]
باطُهْ وِالنِّجْمْ
not have a penny to one's name
[to have no money at all]
باع الغالِي بِالرَّخِيصْ
sell one's birthright for a mess of pottage
[to exchange something of lasting value for something that is of value for a short time only]
باع الْمّيِّهْ فِ حارْةِ السَّقّايِينْ
carry coals to Newcastle
[to do something that is completely unnecessary, especially to take supplies, articles, etc., to a place where there are plenty of them already]
باعْ ضَميرُهُ
sell one's soul
[to disregard one's conscience, especially concerning the quality of the work one does, in order to gain money, power, personal safety, etc., easily]
باعْ هُدومُهْ
lose one's shirt
[to lose everything one has; suffer a severe financial loss, especially in gambling or speculation]
باقِي لُهْ تَكَّهْ
within an ace
[very close to doing something]
بِالأجَلْ
on credit
[on a promise to pay later]
بِالبَرَكَهْ
without undue concern; without bothering to be precise
[of something that is dealt with without observing formalities, counting, weighing, etc.]
بِالتَّقْسِيطِ الْمُريحْ
on the knock
[a method of buying an article by paying part of the price each week or month]
بِالتَّمامْ وِالكَّمالْ
all told
[including everything or everybody]
بِالتِّيلَهْ
only by the skin of one's teeth
[only just; with very little time, space, etc., left over]
بِالثُّلُثْ
with a capital/big A, B, C, etc.
[definitely so: used to suggest that a person or thing is an extreme example of the kind described; ثلث is a large decorative intertwined style of Arabic calligraphy]
بِالحَرْفِ الواحِدْ
to the letter
[exactly; with attention to every detail]
بِالطَّبْلِ الْبَلَدِي
a hell of a job
[a very difficult job, especially on that is witnessed by a lot of people]
بِالطُّولْ بِالْعَرْض
by hook or by crook
[in whatever way one can; by any available means; by fair means or foul]
بالِعْ رادْيُو
talk a blue streak
[to talk continuously, rapidly or interminably]
بِالعَجَلْ
at/on the double
[as quickly as possible; immediately; part of a military command ordering a soldier to march at twice the usual speed]
بِالعَرَبي
in plain English
[in language that can be easily understood; without trying to be too polite or kind]
بِالقَطَّارَهْ
in/by dribs and drabs
[in or by small, often irregular, amounts]
بِالْمّيِّتْ
at least
[not less than; at the lowest calculation]
بانْ عَلى أصْلُهْ
sink to one's / someone's level
[to begin to behave badly or speak coarsely, especially when this is expected of one by others]
بِتاع التَّلاتْ وَرَقاتْ
a con man
[a swindling or duping person]
بِتاعْ أمُّهْ
tied to one's mother's apron-strings
[especially of a man or boy: completely dependent on and under the control of his mother]
بِتاعْ كُلُّهْ
Jack of all trades
[a person who has the ability to do many different kinds of work although not necessarily very well; a thing that can be easily adapted to many different uses]
بِتاعْ نِسْوانْ
a skirt-chaser
[a man who is often lonely and wanders the streets in search of a girl or a woman, especially when considered as an object of sexual desire; womanizer]
بِجَرِّةْ قَلَمْ
at a stroke
[suddenly and without a single action or effort]
بِحالْةِ الفَبْرِيكَة
in mint condition
[in perfect condition; as if new; refers to coins that have just been made at a mint (a government factory that makes money)]
!بِحِسَّكْ
I owe it all to you!
[an expression of appreciation or gratitude, especially by a wife to her husband, which shows that the well-being she is in can only be enjoyed as long as he is alive]
بَخْتَكْ يا بُو بْخِيتْ
take pot luck
[to take whatever may be obtained without previous knowledge of what this may be; take a chance]
بِدونْ مُناسْبَهْ
out of the blue
[unexpectedly; without warning]
بِرَبْطِةِ الْمِعَلِّمْ
in the mass
[as a whole]
بِرُخْصِ التُّرابْ
as cheap as dirt
[costing very little; very cheap]
بَرْوْ عَتَبْ
put in an appearance
[to appear somewhere or attend a party, etc., especially because one feels a duty to attend]
بُرُودْ إنْجِلِيزي
English reserve
[the act of keeping one's thoughts, feelings, and affairs to oneself, which is believed to be typical of English people]
اِلبُساطْ أحْمَدِي
things are quite informal
[a friendly call for a comfortable, relaxed gathering]
بِسَلامْتُهْ
may God keep someone safe
[a parenthetical formula of concern]
بِسَلامْتُهْ
bless someone's black heart
[a parenthetical formula used derisively]
!بِسْمِ اللهْ
help yourself! join in!
[an invitation to a guest to begin eating when food is served, or to someone to come into the company of those who have already started eating]
!بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمْ
good Lord/God/heavens!
[an expression of surprise, disbelief, etc.; to achieve its idiomatic function, the Egyptian Arabic formula should be uttered with a faster tempo than the normal one that is usually used when it is an invocation said before an undertaking]
بِشَحْمُهْ وِلَحْمُهْ
your actual
[the real famous person: sometimes spelled "yer actual" to copy humorous pronunciation]
بَشْرَقْ عِينِيهْ
feast one's eyes on; give one's eyes a treat
[to look with enjoyment at something pleasant]
يَصّ لِفْلانْ مِنْ طَرْفِ مَناخِيرُهُ
look down one's nose at someone
[to regard somebody with scorn or dislike]
بَصَلْ بِخَمْسَهْ وِبْخَمْسَهْ بَصَلْ
six of one and half a dozen of the other (半斤八兩)
[the same or nearly the same in one case as in the other]
(مَثَل شعبي)
بَصْلِةِ الْمُحِبّ خَرُوفْ
a posy from the beloved is a ruby; a cheerful look makes a dish a feast
[a gift from one's beloved, no matter how cheap or humble it is, will be as much appreciated as something of great value]
(مَثَل شعبي)
بَطْنُهْ كَرْكِبِتْ
have one's heart into one's mouth
[to feel afraid or anxious, e.g. when waiting for something to happen]
البَطَّه السُّودَة
the black sheep
[a person who is bad or in some way not up to the standard of the others in a group]
بِطُولُهْ
on one's tod
[by oneself; alone]
بِعافْيَهْ
under the weather
[unwell or not cheerful; probably compares being unwell to being under a cloudy sky during bad weather]
بَعْدِ العِيدْ مايِتْفِتِلْش كَحْكْ
one doesn't hang up streamers after Christmas
[an action or event is only meaningful when performed or celebrated at the right time; streamers are long, narrow, flowing ribbons that are hung during Christmas time]
(مَثَل شعبي)
بَعْد خَرابْ مالْطَهْ
lock the stable door after the horse has bolted
[to take special care to avoid suffering harm, loss, etc., after a misfortune has already taken place]
بِعَدَدْ شَعْرِ راسَكْ
more than you have had hot dinners
[very many or much: often used to scold a person with little experience for pretending to be knowledgeable]
بَعْزَقْ (بَعْتَرْ) كَرامِةْ فُلانْ
strip someone out of dignity
[to humiliate someone by scolding him angrily]
بِعِيدْ عَنِ العِينْ بِعِيدْ عَنِ القَلْبْ
out of sight, out of mind
[something or someone that is not seen is soon forgotten]
(مَثَل شعبي)
بِعِيدْ عَنْ شَنَب فُلانْ
it's quite beyond someone
[out of the reach, range, ability, or understanding of someone]
(بِعِيدْ عَنَّكْ (عَنِ السّامْعِينْ
may the like of it never come upon you!
[prophylactic phrase accompanying the mention of something undesirable = may such a thing be far from you!]
اِلبَغْل فِ الابْرِيقْ
a quart into a pint pot
[to attempt to do what is impossible, especially by trying to put a great quantity of something into something that cannot hold it]
بِفَرْق شَعْرَهْ
by a whisker
[by a very small amount]
بِفْلُوسَكْ بِنْتِ السُّلْطانْ عَرُوسَكْ
money talks
[the possession of wealth enables one to get favored treatment, exert political pressure, promote one's own interests, etc.]
(مَثَل شعبي)
!بَقِينا فِ الْهَوَا سَوَا
join the club! you're in good company!
[that's just the same unfortunate situation I am or we are in!]
بَلّ رِيقْ فُلانْ
give someone respite
[to give someone a time of relief and rest; lull]
بَلّ رِيقُهْ
wet one's whistle
[to take a drink]
!(بَلا خِيبَهْ (وَكْسَهْ
it's all farce!
[ridiculous; absurd; improbable]
!بَلا عِلَلْ
such a hopeless lot!
[an expression of exasperation used as a comment on something or someone that is thought to be useless, extra, etc.]
!بَلاشْ تُقْلْ
enough of this coyness!
[stop acting more reservedly, shyly or bashfully than you ought to: usually said to someone who is trying hard to hide his affection for someone else]
اِلبَلَدْ اِللِّي تْوَدِّي
we can well do without someone
[to be able to get along without the person mentioned or implied: often used to denote that the person referred to is not very much wanted or welcome]
بَلَّطْ عَ الفِلُوسْ
hang onto the money
[to refuse to pay one's share or repay one's debts]
بَلَّطْ فِ الخَطّ
wouldn't budge
[to refuse to move or stir]
بِلُّهْ وِاشْرَبْ مَيِّتُهْ
it's not worth the paper it's written on
[of a worthless document or written paper; the literal Egyptian Arabic translation, "soak it and then drink the water", refers to the folk cure of drinking water in which a written charm has been soaked]
بَلْوَهْ مْسَيَّحَهْ
a clever devil
[a very tricky person who is usually difficult to deal with]
البِلْيَة لِعْبِتْ مَعَ فُلان
fortune smiled on/upon someone
[to become successful, wealthy, especially because of good luck]
بُوزِ الإخْص
a wet-blanket
[a dull or boring person who spoils other people's happiness]
!بُوسْ إيدَكْ وِشّ وِضَهْر
count your blessings!
[to remember the ways in which one is fortunate, especially when one is dissatisfied with something]
بَوَّظِ الطَّبْخَهْ عَلى بِمَلِّيمِينْ مَلْح
spoil the ship for a ha'porth o'tar
[to risk ruining or losing something valuable by refusing or being unable to buy a small but necessary article; originally "lose the sheep for a ha'porth of tar [i.e. to lose a wounded sheep because one refuses to spend a small amount of money on treating its wound]. In some places, sheep is pronounced as "ship"]
(مَثَل شعبي)
بِياكُلْ فِ قَتَّهْ مَحْلُولَهْ
live in clover
[very comfortable, especially in having plenty of money or food for which one does not do the least effort; refers to farm animals that have plenty to eat]
بِيتِ القَصِيد
the name of the game
[the main idea; exactly the right idea]
بِيِتْخانِقْ مَعَ دِبّانْ وِشُّهْ
short-tempered
[a person who can easily be made angry]
بِيْخافْ مِنْ خَيالُهْ
be afraid of one's [own] shadow
[to be very timid]
بِيِدَّنْ فِ مالْطَهْ
flogging a dead horse
[to keep trying to get response or satisfaction from someone or something that cannot or can no longer give it; refers to a person who beats a horse to make it go even though it is dead, thus doing something that is completely useless]
اِلبِيرْ وِغَطَاهْ
the ins and outs
[the small details, often difficult to explain or understand, of a system, operation, course of events, etc.]
بِيْشِفّ وِيْرِفّ
spick and span
[fresh, clean and tidy in every detail]
بَيَّضْ وِشّ فُلان
do someone proud
[to make someone proud; do very well; gratify highly]
بِيضَهْ مِقَشَّرَهْ
on a plate
[something obtained without having to work hard in order to get it]
بِيعَهْ سُقْعْ
a real bargain
[something obtained at a very low cost or with very little effort]
بِينْ نارِينْ
between the devil and the deep blue sea
[having two possible courses of action open to one, both of which are dangerous, unpleasant, etc.]
بِيُنْفُخْ فِ قِرْبَهْ مَقْطُوعَهْ
waste one's breath
[to talk without any effect]
بِينْهُمْ ما صَنَع اِلحَدّاد
at daggers drawn
[quarreling or fighting; on bad terms with an opponent]
بِينِي وبِينَكْ
frankly speaking
[to say something or express oneself openly, hiding or keeping back nothing]
تارْ بايِتْ
an old feud
[a long and deadly quarrel between two families or tribes, which is often passed from father to son; bitter hatred between two persons or groups]
اِلتَّالْتَهْ تابْتَهْ
third time lucky
[after two failures in attempting to do something, the third time is likely to be successful]
(مَثَل شعبي)
تِباتْ نارْ تِصْبَحْ رَماد
here today [and] gone tomorrow
[present for only a very short time]
(مَثَل شعبي)
تَحْتْ إيدُهْ
at one's elbow
[of things: within easy reach; near and ready for use]
تَحْتِ السَّواهِي دَواهِي
still waters run deep
[a person who is quiet and says little often hides deep feelings or a lot of knowledge of a subject]
(مَثَل شعبي)
تَحْوِيشِةِ الْعُمْر
someone's nest egg
[money saved by a person or family for future use]
!تِدَوِّبُهْ فِ عَرَقِ الْعافِيَهْ
wear it in good health!
[said to someone who has just bought a new garment]
تُرابِ الفِلُوس
chicken feed
[a very small amount of money]
تُرُشِّ الْمَلْحْ مايِنْزِلْش
not be enough room to swing a cat
[to have only a very small amount of space; the "cat" here refers to the CATO'NINE TAILS, a whip formerly used for punishment on board of a ship of the British navy]
تُرُشِّ العَضْم
stick to someone's ribs
[of food, especially heavy filling food: to satisfy someone's hunger well; give someone health and energy]
تِسْتاهِلْ بُقَّكْ
[really] worth eating
[of food: would you like to try it?]
تِضيعْ فِيها رَقابِي
heads will roll for it
[certain people will be dismissed from their jobs, especially because of a mistake, failure to act properly, etc.]
تِعِيشْ وِتاخُدْ غِيرْها
you may live to take another knock
[a light-hearted consolation after a minor misfortune]
!تِفّ فِ عِبَّكْ
count yourself lucky!
[said to someone who has survived a misfortune; who has been spared harm or destruction, or exempted from punishment suffered by many others]
!تِفّ مِنْ بُقَّكْ
don't say such a thing!
[said to someone who blasphemes or mentions something ill-omened]
تَقاوِي راجِل
a pint-sized man
[of a man who is remarkably smaller than the standard size of his kind]
اِلتًّقْلْ صَنْعَهْ
play hard to get
[to make it difficult for someone to meet or talk with one, often in order to make oneself more attractive to or wanted by someone]
التُّقْلْ وَرا يا قَبّاني
the best is still to come
[considerable profits, gains, etc., are usually obtained in the end: used to encourage someone who is likely to lose patience or hope while waiting to see the result of an action, enterprise, etc., قباني is one who weighs with a steel yard (قبان): a type of scale, having two arms of unequal length. The longer one has a movable weight; the shorter one has a hook for holding the object to be weighed. The heavier the object being weighed the further backwards the weight attached to the longer arm (التقل) is moved]
تُورَ اللهْ فِ بَرْسِيمُهْ
a happy camper
[a person who is stupid but content with his present situation]
تِيجي تِصِيدُهُ يِصِيدَكْ
the biter bit
[a situation in which a person suffers from the results of his own action, especially when the intention of his action was the cheating or deception of another person]
(مَثَل شعبي)
تِيجِي مَعَ الهُبْلْ دُوبْلْ
beginner's luck
[the good fortune that sometimes allows a novice to outdo an expert]
(مَثَل شعبي)
جابْ أجَلْ كَذا
polish off something
[to eat up or drink up; get done with or rid of; finish]
جابِ الْحَقّ عَلى فُلان
put someone in the wrong
[to make someone responsible for a mistake, causing a quarrel, etc.]
جابْ ضُرَفْها
put up the shutters
[to stop doing business forever]
جابْ فَسُوخَهْ
keep a dog and bark oneself
[to have a person to do a job and then do it oneself; فسوخه [a type of black resin, used for burning as incense and for sticking charms against the evil eye] refers to a useless person]
جابْ فُلانْ عَلى مَلا وِشُّهْ
bundle someone off
[to bring or send in a hurry; hustle]
جابْ قَرارْ فُلان، كَذا
get to the bottom of someone, something
[to find out the true nature of a person or subject or the exact cause of something]
جابْ لِفُلانْ أرْتِكارْيا
give someone the creeps
[to cause someone to have feelings of dislike, fear, nervousness, etc.]
جابْ مَرْبَطِ الفَرَس
hit the nail on the head
[to say something that exactly describes a situation or explains the cause of a difficulty]