Thursday

Arabic Saying: We're confused, baldy. Where do we kiss you?

Ok, this saying sounds pretty strange.  In Arabic it's احترنا يا قرعة من وين نبوسك which literally translates to "We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you?".  In this clip from the RoyaTV YouTube channel people give their opinions on what the phrase means.  The consensus is that it refers to someone who is difficult to satisfy. When you try to satisfy someone but they keep giving you a hard time you'd get fed up and say this saying.  The explanation they hint at in the clip is as follows:

You kiss a person on the cheek, which is a bald part of the head.  However if you are kissing a someone who has no hair their head is all bald so you don't know where to kiss them.  So, you're trying to kiss the person (i.e. do something nice for them), but since they are bald you don't know where to do it, meaning that the person is not someone who you can easily do something nice for (kiss) or satisfy them.  Really odd, I know.

Here's the thing though.  Some of the people in the clip take the saying to be talking about someone bald, اقرع. And some take it to be talking about a pumpkin قرعة.  You can see why the words قرعة and اقرع are related.  Someone bald has no hair, just like a pumpkin.  The word قرعة can mean bald too though.  So whether you take the saying to be talking about a pumpkin or a bald person, it still means the same thing.  No need to analyze the saying too much.  The important thing is that we know how it's used.  It just means someone who is hard to satisfy. 

Let's look at the clip!
video

احترنا يا قرعة منين نبوسك.  يعني في حدا صعب.. فتفكيره صعب فصعب ترضيه بطريقة معيّنة.  فأظن شبهوها بالقرعة... النبتة يعني عشانها مدورة و بكل محل نفس الإشي فبتحتار تبوسها في محل.  أظن.  بعرفش
We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you.  It means there's someone difficult... so his thinking is difficult, so it's hard to satisfy him in a certain way.  So I think they likened it to a pumpkin, the plant, I mean because it's round and it's the same in every place so you get confused where to kiss it in a place.  I think.  I don't know.

احترنا يا فرعة من وين نبوسك؟  قرعة شعرها محلوق.  وين نبوسك؟  ما بعرف الصراحة
We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you?  A bald person, her hair is shaved.  Where do we kiss you?  I frankly don't know.


احترنا يا قرعة منين نبوسك.  مثل قديم.  ببساطة انه في ناس كثير هالايام بتحيّرك و ما بتعرف شو بدك, كيف بدك ترضيها بالاخر فبينحكى المثل هذا... بالاخر كيف بدنا نرضيك او كيف بدنا... عارف؟  احترنا يا اقرع منين نبوسك
We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you?  It's an old saying.  Simply it's that there are a lot of people these days that confuse you and you don't know what you... how you can satisfy them in the end.  So this saying is said... in the end how do we satisfy or how can we... know what I mean?  We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you?
((You notice that he says اقرع, bald, here instead of قرعة, pumpkin.  I think the words can be interchangeable.  Like if you called someone a pumpkin head, meaning they were bald.))

احترنا يا قرعة من وين نبوسك؟  يعني ما عرفنا كيف نرضيك او مش عارفين ايش نعمل عشان نرضيك. اظن
We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you?  It means we don't know how to satisfy you or we don't know what to do to satisfy you.  I think.       

احترنا يا قرعة من وين نبوسك؟  يعني يعني يعني شخص معيّن و يكون كتير كتير بيغلّب و مهما حاولت معاه مش ضابط ولا إشي فبتحكي احترنا يا قرعة من وين نبوسك؟ 
We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you?  It means... there's a certain person and he really, really gives people a hard time and no matter how hard you tried with him nothing works, so you say "We're confused, baldy.  Where do we kiss you?"

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, Arabic Student, these are really helpful!

Question: at the very end, you transcribe:
شخص معيّن و يكون كتير كتير بيغلّب

Are you sure that last word is "biyghallib"? Listening to it over and over again I keep hearing "biykhallib"... Is it used often in the sense of "giving a hard time"?
The root ghlb in fus7a carries the meaning of overwhelming, predominating so it kinda makes sense. When someone is too overwhelming they become annoying. I'm not sure about the word khlb.

The Arabic Student said...

Thanks, Anon. Yes, it's غلّب . It usually means what it means here. Also there's غلبان which is used more in Egyptian which refers to someone who is really down on his luck. Someone who life has dealt a bad hand.

Cunnilinguist said...

Hi,
I have a question, but I didn't know how to message you other than commenting.

I was reviewing my notes from this summer and I wondered if what I copied from the board was wrong?

When telling time in Arabic do I say wa (و) or do I say (alif with a hamza and a fatha and then wow (أو) to say plus 5 minutes? In my notes I have it written that و is modern and أو is the archaic way of writing wa.

I often make mistakes, but because I'm stubborn I've entered into a slap bet with a Saudia friend of mine haha.

Can you please let me know if you've heard anything about this?
I also asked my teacher from whom I believe I learned this rule, but I also wanted your opinion as a very widely learned individual.

Shukran!

Rob2212857@maricopa.edu

Anonymous said...

check this out Arabic Student, I think you'll like it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NSRV9ik2BA

Osamah Qashou said...

@Cunnilinguist:
it's very simple wow (و) means and, plus,..
but alif with a hamza and a fatha and then wow (أو) means or...
since u can't tell time with using or u can't obviously use (أو) in arabic.. u need to use (و)...
(و)and (و) are the same as they have ever been
"و is modern and أو is the archaic way of writing wa" << that's not true, but we now pronounce و slightly different it more like (o) than it's (wa)... i hope my answer was satisfying!

Osamah Qashou said...

"Really odd, I know."<< really!?, maybe i look at it differently because i'm arab!!
أما بالنسبة للبس بكلمة قرعة..
للمذكر .. أقرع(زي ما بتعرف) على وزن أفعل .. صيغة المذكر من أفعل (في الفصحى) هي فعلاء (أفعل-فعلاء) مثل أحمر-حمراء أبله-بلهاء ..ألخ
فباللهجة العامية بالعادة ما بنلفظ الهمزة بآخر الكلوة .. فقرعاء بتصير قرعة (النبتة ه نبتة القرع..وحبة واحدة منها بتكون قرعة) .. فالتماثل باللفظ كان صدقه .. لكن ما بنفي أنه في رابط بين الكلمتين (لفظياً ومنطقياً).. فممكن يكون الأصل مشتقّ!

Jodie Marie said...

I just came along your blog after searching for some Saudi dialect phrases on Youtube and it's fantastic! Keep it up and good luck with everything