Arabic – Egyptian Dialect

Colloquial Egyptian Arabic Expressions

This lesson intends to educate the learner on common expressions (idioms) in Egyptian Arabic. Explore this page on Arabic Desert Sky to read more about each idiom and find examples of how they’re used. The table below teaches 3 idioms; what they mean, what they literally mean, and then you will practice pronunciation of each idiom and finally, matching the idiom to it’s meaning. 

Arabic script Franco Meaning Literal meaning
حطّه على الرفّ HaTTuh 3ala r-raff to not make use of someone’s abilities to put someone on the shelf
وجع – يوجع راسه waga3 – yiwga3 raasu to annoy or inconvenience someone to hurt someone’s head
ناس مابتجيش الا بالعين الحمرا naas matbitgiiš illa bil-3ein il-Hamra people who only do things the hard way, like needing to be yelled at for correction who only come by the red/evil eye

Speaking in Idioms

The Franco column is a helpful starting point for pronunciation. Practice pronunciation using Lisaan Masry by typing in the individual Arabic script words at a time.

Match the Idioms


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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.