6aazij




Every weekday morning before sunrise, the oldest suug (‘market’) in Kuwait is filled with noise, bustle and people bidding on the shiny piles of fish placed on mats at their feet.

simach 6aazij?” a newbie buyer asks one of the fisherman, who gives him a steely look and replies: “ee, 6aazij 6aazij” since he has just literally roped in the catch from the Gulf.

The best thing about markets is that you have a chance to buy products at their prime, and usually for less than their plastic-covered cousins at the supermarket.

The fawaakah (‘fruit’) are either naa’9jah or slightly under-ripe; the khubz (‘bread’) is never baayit and the khu'9rah (‘vegetables’) that many of us sweet-toothed penitents have to begrudgingly chomp on are, just as the fisherman said of his catch, 6aazjah 6aazjah.

So why does the sight of a hamburger that didn’t use la7am (‘meat’) 6aazij and fries that in all honesty came from bu6aa6 ('potatoes') m3afin still send ‘I want you’ signals to my brain?


Arabic
Pronounced?
English

طازج
6aazij
fresh (m)
طازجة
6aazjah
fresh (f)
ناضج
naa’9ij
ripe (m)
ناضجة
naa’9jah
ripe (m)
بايت
baayit 
stale (m)
بايتة
baaytah
stale (f)
معفن
m3afin
rotten (m)
معفنة
m3afnah
rotten (f)