7ay al-miid

inkhash! the girl says to her brother ("let's hide").

The three-year old boy looks at her, dumbfounded.

khanla3b 7ay al-miid, she insists (“let’s play hide and seek!”).

He still looks confused. The girl rolls her eyes.

ruu7 inkhash wa ana adawwar-ik! she explains (“go hide and I'll look for you (>m)”).

He shrugs. “inkhashay wa tadawwriin-ich!” (“You go guide and go look for yourself (>f)”).  


shagayt-nii is a phrase that can be used in a few different situations. It might mean a triumphant “I beat you” but it could also mean “I wore you out.”

The root sh-g creates words that suggest “tearing.”

That’s why when your dress gets caught somewhere and you hear that ominous sound, you can say, nafnuuf-ii inshag (“my dress is torn”).


If you want to use the passive voice in Kuwaiti, you often add the sound "in" to the first-person verb in the past tense.

Sounds like gibberish? Let's use an example.

To say "I invited someone to my party" is 3izamt a7ad 7aflit-ii. This is called the active voice, because you're the one taking the action. In the driver's seat. Pedal to the medal (yuck, I know).

If however, the situation was reversed and someone invited you, well in English you'd say "I was invited" wouldn't you? This is called the passive voice. Why? Because you didn't lift a finger - instead someone else came over, took action and you just sat there. Passive.

And how to say it in Kuwaiti? 

Clue: it's today's word.

There's a third and final way to express how you ended up spending your weekend dancing awkwardly to Ricky Martin remixes. If you want to reveal who exactly invited you, then you'd simply say:

"Theyab 3azam-nii."

muu shay

muu shay 
literally means 'it's not anything' as in, less than nothing. As in, really awful.

Hopefully this expression won't come up too much in your daily life. It can also mean, 'it's not something...' in which case:

muu shay ta3baanah fii-h

Translated: it's not something I'll lose sleep over. 


Today's word is a noun in Kuwaiti Arabic, but used as an adjective in English. 

So whereas you'd say 'my favourite brother' in English, you'd say: ukhu-ii al-mufa'9al in Kuwaiti.

Obviously 'favourite' changes its spelling according to whether the noun it's paired with is masculine or feminine. In the above example, the word 'brother' is clearly a masculine word. But how would you say my favourite sister?

Answer: ikhit-ii al-mufa'9alah.