The jidhir of today's word is the red Joker in a pack of playing cards
(the Kuwaitis call cards "janjifah" which is a word only used in Kuwait.
In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, they refer to cards as waraq, or "papers".)

Intriguingly, the black Joker is referred to in Kuwaiti as maykar.

So if some unfortunate person is described as jaykar, a response might be:
"jaykar wala maykar? هههههه"

جذر jidhir Origin, root
ميكر maykar Black Joker
ولا wala Or
هههههه hahahahahaha Hahahahahaha


Kuwait only has two seasons, Sayf and shitaa. I say 'only' -
but this means that there are six whole months in which 
you can enjoy the outdoors. And those six months are not
in summerThe time to be in Kuwait is in the winter.

As most of Kuwait borders the water, the outdoors life is all
about the sea. It's this way now as it's always been. So no
big surprise that the Arabian Gulf has shaped the country's 
identity and heritage with its pearl diving, fishing, transporting
of cargo and supplies...

And by offering the ideal location for a bath?

Perhaps this idea is far-fetched, but could it be a coincidence
that the verbs 'to wash' and 'to swim' are exactly same word
in the Kuwaiti dialect?

صيف Sayf Summer
شتا shitaa Winter
لازم اتسبح laazim atsabbaH I have to wash
خدم :ashaan Because
تسبحت tisabbaHt I went swimming


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

Growing up outside of Kuwait, I wasn't familiar with having
house staff or any such domestic khiddmaat. So upon finishing
dinner at a Kuwaiti house, I got up to take my plate to the kitchen
sink as I normally would ... and the gesture was met with
cries of protest.
"Let the khaddam take it!" was the explanation.
I went with the flow, but my reservations about using the word
"servant" lingered. So I asked someone for advice.
"What's a better word than al-khaddaamah?"
The reply: "maadrii ... filibiiniyyah?"
Looking for the perfect come back to this, in Kuwaiti?
Refer to this earlier post.

خدمات khiddmaat Services
خدم khaddam Servants
الخدامة al-khaddaamah The servant
مادري maadrii I don’t know
فلبينية filibiiniyyah Filipino (f)?
تلفوني tilifuun-ii My phone 
مفصول mafSuul Disconnected
 عن الخدمة :an al-khiddmah Out of service


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

Some phrases don't seem obvious ones to learn, but when you do
commit them to memory, they open doors and buy you time.

دورك dawr-ik Your turn (to a male)
دورچ dawr-ich Your turn (to a female)
تغسل tighasl You clean (to a male)
تغسلين tighasliin You clean (to a female)


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

This video is a forgotten gem from 1970s Kuwait television.
It tells of the adoration of a bunch of school kids for their
road-safety aware driver who doesn't mind the kids standing
and chatting to him while he ploughs through Kuwait City traffic -
as bad as it was ever was.

draywil-naa :aash :aash, long live our driver! 

المرور al-muruur The traffic
اعرف :aarif I know
نظامه nuDHaamah Its laws
اتيسر aatyasir I drive
 بالسلامه bi s-salaamah Safely

dig 3alay

Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

If you think about it, love begins with a phone call. 
Or a Blackberry PIN.
:ashaan gone are the days where boys wrote love letters
and threw them over the wall that separated their school
from the girls' school.
And laana even today in Kuwait, it is more comfortable for 
unmarried couples to get to know each other on the phone
rather than in person.
Guys who are inclined not to spend money might be
delighted to hear of the low-cost dating rituals in the Gulf,
however, and here's the 'but': on your wedding day, your bride
(and maybe her entire family) is going to expect you to cough 
up a sizeable dowry.
So before Sheikh Romance says tdigiin :alay to his dream girl... 
he should be prepared for the investments.
In other words: two new phones.

عشان :ashaan Because
لان laana Because
توا tawaa Just
I met you (to a female)
هذا hadhaa This is
ينون yinuun Crazy
هاچ haach Take (to a female)
رقمي raqm-ii My number


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

I was waiting for shaakhS but then I got a phone call: someone
else is coming too. I'm tired, but entertaining shakhSayn isn't
too much work. Then another phone call. More ashkhaaS coming.
In a few minutes, the TV dinner-for-two has become a sit-down 
dinner Haflah.

When Theyab returns home, I'm confused. He comes accompanied,
but with several miniature action figures.

"Er... where are an-naas?" I ask.
"Here, t:arif-ay :ala Rabbid and Assassin and..." he says, indicating
his newly-received special-edition figurines.
"This is actually tragic," I say, taking off my apron. "Sudt-nii!"

 شخص shakhS 1 person
شخصين shakhSain 2 people
اشخاص ashkhaaS 3 - 10 people
حفلة Haflah Party
اللناس an-naas The people
تعفي على t:arif-ay :ala    Meet… (to a female)
قلتيلي giltii-lii You (female) told me
إني inn-ii That
انا ana I am
al-:arabii The Arab version
Sudt-nii You (male) got me 
صدتيني Sudtii-nii You (female) got me


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

Hassan needs to do paperwork. He goes to the Ministry of Information
and approaches the reception desk.
"Excuse me, who do ana as'aal about filing these papers?
The receptionist looks carefully the cleanly-shaven Hassan.
"Please go to that desk over there," she says, pointing to the
other side of the room.
Hassan wanders over and approaches the clerk.
"May I ask you su'aal?" he begins, showing the clerk his papers. The clerk
takes one look at the papers, then steals a glance at Hassan's flip-flops,
his board shorts.
"Second floor."
Hassan sighs, grabs his folder and makes his way to the elevators.
The second floor is filled with people running around and a gaggle of women
showing each other their nail polish. Hassan approaches them.
"Excuse me, can you help?"
The women stop chatting and grimace at Hassan's t-shirt. Pink Floyd.
"No paperwork is done in this building. You have to travel across Kuwait
to another building."
"What other building?" Hasan exclaims.
The women shrug and turn back to their conversation.

Now Hassan goes home and does his homework. He puts on his dishdasha,
grows a beard and returns a week later to the Ministry of Information.
He approaches the ground floor reception desk.
"Excuse me," he says, "mit'akidiin this building isn't the right place to file
these papers?"
The receptionist gives him a big smile. "Yes, it's the correct building, sir -
you can do your paperwork here b-suhuulahIf you don't mind, I'll take
your papers and have them ready in five minutes. Please have a seat."
Hassan slaps his forehead in exasperation.

انا اسأل  ana as’aal I ask
سؤال su’aal A question
متأكدين mit’akidiin? Are you sure? (to a group; asking the Ministry as a whole)
shlawn How
al-Hukuumah The government
تاخذ taakhidh Takes
فلوس filuus Money
من min From
الناس an-naas The people


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

If aHad says, "I'm mariiDH" all the time, people won't pay much attention to him fii n-nihaayah.

b-khaaSuuSah when there is a new detective series coming out on TV.

Even if it's the case, it doesn't count when zawj-ii spends the day with his head down the toilet, refusing TV, food, drink and even his devices.

bii t-taalii, you know it's for real.

احد aHad Someone
مريظ mariiDH Sick
في النهاية fii n-nihaayah In the end
بخاصوصة b-khaaSuuSah Especially
ناليالي bii t-taalii Then

How was today's post?


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

:aadatan we offload onto an-naas who are closest to us.
And once we get started, it's hard to stop.
"This happened to me the other day," somebody might complain,
"ham hadhaa ... wa ham hadhaa."
In such times we should make like Rust Cohle from True Detective
and simply retort:
"maa yiham-ii." 

عادتن :aadatan Usually
الناس an-naas The people
هم هذا ham hadhaa wa hadhaa Also this and this
shtabii? What do you want?
ما يهمني maa yihim-nii It’s none of my business

laa yi7uush-ik

Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

The week ends with another brief tale from Ramadan -
During this particular month, fuTuur is not based around seafood
:aadatanBut, hadhii al-marrah ghayr because tonight it seems 
the fast is being broken with Kuwait's finest hammuur.
But when the fish was placed before him, our host gaal:
"simach fii ramaDHaan? laa yiHuush-ik!"

فطور fuTuur Meal to break fast
عادتن :aadatan Usually 
هذي المرة غير
hadhii al-marrah ghayr This time it is different
هامور haammuur Hammour (Kuwaiti fish)
قال gaal Said
سمچ في رمظان   simach fii ramaDHaan In Ramadan
تروحين truuHiin Are you going
وياي wiyaay With me (to)
ويع wai: Ew

maa y9iir

Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

I live in Barcelona but :aa'ilt-ii saakniin in England and Kuwait.
cham Saar-lii living here now? Close to three saniin now.
al-ayaam tarkiD!

barshaluunah is a great place to visit and even better place to live,
but ta:jib-nii always? :ala Hasab.

It's like algebra: if on a given (D)ay there are a greater number of
(T)opless women on the beach relative to freshly grilled (S)ardines,
then yimkin laa.

عائلتي :aa’ilt-ii My family
ساكنين saakniin Lives (pl)
كم صارلي
cham Saar-lii How long have I been
1 year
2 years
3 - 10 years
11+ years
الايام تركض al-ayaam tarkiD Time flies
برشلونة barshaluunah Barcelona
تعجبني ta:jib-nii Do I like it
على حسب :ala Hasab It depends
يمكن لا yimkin laa Maybe not
تبي تشوف tabii tshuuf Do you want to see
بنات banaat Girls
متفصخين mitfaSkhiin Naked
على البحر :al-bahr (contraction of :ala al-bahr) At the beach