Syrian Arabic - Worth its Weight in Gold

I was watching Bab Al Hara (باب الحارة)looking for new words or phrases to do a post on and I found a good one, "worth its weight in gold". This is a Syrian show and the way the guy says it in the clip is really quick so I made a video with the phrase pronounced more slowly.

All you need to know to give this clip context is that this guy is coming to give Abu Hatim (ابو حاتم) some news. They are not friends.

(In the video there is an error. I say هزر for "guess" instead of حزر which is the correct word for "guess". Hard H is the one you want.)

شو؟ ان شاء الله جايب اخبار معتة مثل العادة (shoo? inshallah jayib akhbar m'iteh mithl al'aadeh.) - What? I hope you've brought bad news as usual.

He's being sarcastic when he says ان شاء الله . He doesn't really hope it's bad news.

معِتة - bad, terrible

مثل العادة - as usual

جايبلك خبر بيسوى تقله دهب (jayib lak khabar byiswa tu'loo dahab) - I've brought you news that's worth its weight in gold.

Literally this phrase is "I'm bringing you news thats weight equals gold."

The word جايب (jayib) is the فاعل (fa'il) or "doer" form of جيب (jeeb) which means "to bring".

يسوى (yiswa) - "it equals"

تقله (tu'loo) - "its weight". In MSA it would be ثقله , but often in the Levant region the ث becomes ت and the ق becomes a ء . This is difficult at first, but you get used to it after listening a lot.

دهب (dahab) - "gold". In MSA the word is ذهب , but the ذ becomes a د in dialect.

عن صهري ابو شهاب؟ ('an Suhri abu shhab?) - About my brother in law Abu Shihab?

You'd have to have watched the show for this to mean anything to you.

صهر (Suhr) - brother in law

The way he says شهاب almost sounds like شاب because the ه is very light.

لا والله ما حزرت يا ابو حاتم. هالخبرية مو عن سهرك ابو شهاب (la wallah ma Hazart ya abu hatim. hal khabariyeh moo 'an suhrak abu shhab) - No, you didn't guess (correctly), Abu Hatim. This news is not about your brother in law Abu Shihab.

حزر (Hazar) - to guess


أمل said...

Excellent post bro as usual!

Just an small FYI:


in MSA is:



Keep up the great work man.

The Arabic Student said...

Hey, thanks for the info. I changed it.

أمل said...

Do you know where mi`tih comes from? You said it means very bad. Does it have a cognate in MSA?

Anonymous said...

Awesome post man. The video with slower speech and explanations makes it more useful to me. Would be even more useful whenever you post a video with angry Syrian women, those get waaay too fast for me!

A question: for "weight", is the MSA word وزن also used in dialect or is it entirely replaced by تقل ?

Aaron said...

Hi! I also had a question about the word معِتة . Is there a shaddah on the ت? If so, what is the masculine form of the word?

Thanks in advance!


Anonymous said...


I didnt know where to post this but I'd like to know something about arabic.
How can you know which word contains a "short" vowel or not?

For example, the word سيد is pronounced "Sayd" but how am I supposed to know there was a short "a"?

Because at first I would read: سيد ---> Seed

I know it comes with pratice but is there a sort of tip? Like 90% of the words that only contain 3 letters have probably a small vowel hidden (example بيت bayt=house).

Thanks in advance!! :D

Anonymous said...

U're a geniuos man! I cant even begin to tell u how much this helps. Im plateuing at an intermidiate-level right now and the expressions i get from your site is the way to go forward in conversation for me. Plus my arab friends finds it hillarious when I drop stuff like this on them, haha.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your Syrian dialect lessons. Have you by chance watched "Ma fi metlo" from MTV lebanon? It's hilarious! I recommend checking it out if you haven't yet!