ba3d wa7dah




The child looks up at her father. ba3ad wa7dah! she pleads.

The father taps his ears as if they no longer work and says, "maa agdr asmi3-ich" ('I can't hear you' >f).

The girl is way beyond fake dismissals of this kind. Her lip curls, her cheeks flush red and she beats her foot on the ground.

min 9ijj-ich? the father thinks inaudibly while staring at his twelve-year old daughter who seems, well, too tall and (previously) too mature to do this kind of a number.

Sometimes being a parent is al-a7san but at moments like this...

"bas!" hollers the father, trying not to notice the fellow shoppers staring at them.

The girl flinches at her father's shout, her eyes well up, and she begins to cry. Very, very loudly.

Yes, right now, being a parent is truly al-aswa2 of all possible things. Even being cut adrift on a raft in the middle of the Pacific would be a more tempting prospect than the wails of a child and the accusing glances of hundreds of strangers.

At times like this, a pressured parent has little choice other than to crack an apologetic smile and say: "inzayn."


Arabic
Pronounced?
English

بس!
bas!
no more!
إنزين
inzayn
well okay then
الاحسن
al-a7san
the best
الاسوء
al-aswa2
the worst
من صجك؟
min 9ijj-ik?
are you kidding? (>m)
من صجچ؟
min 9ijj-ich?
are you kidding? (>f)
من صجكم؟
min 9ijj-kum?
are you kidding? (>pl)