11 Arabic Expressions You have Definitely Heard (But Probably Do not Know the Meaning Of) (2024)

The Arabic language is known to have many words with innumerable different meanings. Some spoken phrasescan express two or more different ideas. When it comes to country-specific conversational terms, the list of such is never-ending! There are over 22 Arabic dialects with slang words and phrases differing from one country to another. Nonetheless, with exposure to several varieties of the Arabic language and culture by means of mass media, socializing, traveling, etc., many Arabs are becoming more and more familiar with and are using expressions from other countries in daily life situations. Learn all that and other Arabic expressions with our Arabic language course.

Here you have it, we’ve selected 11 Arabic expressions from across the Arab worldand how they’re used in basic conversations. Yalla, let’s begin!

1. khalas

Translation: done / OK / alright / finish / enough / stop it

Dialect: All Arabic dialects

Depending on the situation, there are many different versions (and tones) of ‘khalas’ that Arabs use. As you can see above, the translations are endless! It can be used to end an argument “khalas now!!” and said when you finish a task, yell at your kids or even when you tell yourself to stop overthinking. Ok, khalas I’ll stop.


Translation:meaning / like / it’s like

Dialect: All Arabic dialects

In Arabic, yaani is the English word for the slang interjection “like”. It frequently comes up in any conversation. Tweak it up and write it in Arabizi, i.e., the cooler way:“ya3ni”.

3. inshallah

Translation:God willing / hopefully

Dialect: All Arabic dialects

Oh, you’ve surely heard it because Arabs tend to useitso often when speaking. Whether you want to begin or end a conversation (you can add it in between as well) inshallah is your go-to word: “khalas, I’ll finish it today inshallah”.

4.hala wallah

Translation: hi there! / welcome/ my pleasure

Dialect: Gulf

This phrase is widely common in the Gulf countries. It is said when you meet and greet your friends, when welcoming a guest to your home, and …when flirting!

When someone says hi to you say “hala wallah!” (like saying hi back basically). If someone thanks you, you’dreply back withhala wallah, too.

5.khali wali

Translation: let it be/ forget about it/ whatever

Dialect: Gulf

Those who’ve heard it aremost definitely laughing right now. “khali wali” has to be one of the mostwell-known expressions around the Gulf regions. If you live or have lived in the UAE, you’d hear Arabs, and non-Arabssay it to express annoyance with a person or situation. “Don’t reply to his messages, khali wali.”

6. akeed

Translation: sure! / of course

Dialect: All Arabic dialects

Usually used for confirmation, emphasis or to state something so obvious.“Yes, akeed!”

7. shaku maku

Translation: what’s up?/ what’s new? how’s it going?

Dialect: Iraqi

Shaku maku is literally a phrase that you’d hear throughout the day when Iraqis converse. All Arabs are familiar with this popular colloquial phrase that translates word-for-word to what’s there and what’s not?

It can be used as a casual greetingor when checking up on someone: “Hey! Shaku maku?”.If you wish, you can reply with “maku shi” (nothing’s new).


Translation: even if / it’s ok / of course/ don’t mention it (when someonethanks you)

Dialect: Levant

Lebanesepeople use this phrase to make someone feel welcome,express surprise, frustration and so on.

“Walaw, it’s on me, it’s my treat”.

9. ya haram

Translation: aww, poor thing

Dialect: Levant

Use it to express sympathy, i.e. when you feel bad for someone. “Ya haram,are you ok?”It can be used when you’re being serious or sarcastic. Remember, it all goes back to the tone it is said in.

10. fahamit alyee shlon?

Translation:do you get what I mean?


Almost every Syrian person you’d encounter would throw fahamit alyee shlon into a conversation! It is more or less a rhetorical question said to emphasize an important point (after an explanation or description of something or a situation). The next time you hear a Syrian talking, listen carefully and observe.

11. min sijak?

Translation: are you serious?

Dialect: Gulf

Thisquestion is used to express disbelief and frustration. It’s usually asked in a sarcastic tone to question someone’s actions or statement(it can be on a serious note, too).

A: The flight got delayed

B: Min sijak?

Ready to dive into the rich tapestry of Arabic expressions from around the Arab world? Sign up for our Arabic language course and master the nuances of these diverse phrases! Whether you want to navigate through casual conversations or deepen your understanding of regional dialects, our course has got you covered.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the cultural richness and linguistic diversity of the Arabic language. Enroll now and embark on your language journey with us!

About the Author:Randa A.Loves experimenting and being creative with food and recipes. She is passionate about nature, learning languages, and exploring different cultures. Randa speaks English, Arabic, andsome Spanish.

11 Arabic Expressions You have Definitely Heard (But Probably Do not Know the Meaning Of) (2024)


What is the meaning of Kali Wali? ›

Translation: let it be/ forget about it/ whatever. Dialect: Gulf. Those who've heard it are most definitely laughing right now. “khali wali” has to be one of the most well-known expressions around the Gulf regions.

What is the meaning of Hala Wallah? ›

Hala wala means 'hello' and Wallah means 'by Allah'. This phrase is commonly used in Gulf countries.

What is the meaning of Khalas? ›

In Arabic language Khalas means “finished” or “enough.” After you eat a Khalas date, you might actually feel like you've had enough of other date...

What is the Arabic expression of disbelief? ›

Alalalah. One my favourite Egyptian terms, derived from the word Allah, this is similar to saying whoa, in that it can be used to express either disbelief or to tell someone to slow down.

What is the meaning of mafi mushkila? ›

197.2K views. “Mafi mashkila” literally means “no problem” and “mish mushkila” is more slang like “ain't no problem” #levantinearabic #levantinedialect #mafimushkila. 90.7K views.

What does yallah mean? ›

"Yallah" (also spelled as "Ya Allah" or "Ya Alla") is an Arabic word commonly used across the Arab world. Its literal translation means "Let's go" or "Come on" in English. It's a versatile expression used to urge someone to hurry up, start something, or encourage action.

What does rohi mean in Arabic? ›

Arabs use this as the most common expression of love - for friends, family, and sometimes, even strangers. Rohi (روحي) Rohi means “my soul mate”. So calling someone rohi means you'll love them a lot longer than your life - for eternity.

What does haraka mean in Arabic? ›

Haraka or Harakah in Standard Arabic means movement, and the term is found in the name or acronym of many political organizations in North Africa and the Middle East, such as: Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba: Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary group.

What is Yanni Arabic? ›

"Yanni" is an Arabic word that roughly translates to "you know" or "I mean" in English. People often use it in conversations as a filler word or to express hesitation while trying to articulate their thoughts. It serves a similar purpose to the way people use phrases like "um" or "like" in English.

What is Ahzab in Arabic? ›

Al-Ahzab (Arabic: الأحزاب, al-aḥzāb; meaning: the confederates, or "the clans", "the coalition", or "the combined forces") is the 33rd chapter (sūrah) of the Quran (Q33) with 73 verses (āyāt).

What are some Arabic swear words? ›

Strong curse words in Arabic
  • Kalb ( كلب ) Translation: Dog. Usage: ...
  • Kus ummak ( كس امك ) Translation: Your mother's… Usage: ...
  • Kol Khara ( كل خرة) Translation: Literally: Eat sh*t. ...
  • Ayreh Feek ( عيرة فيك) Translation: F*** you. ...
  • Yakhsaf allah bih al'ard (يخسف الله به الأر ) Translation: May God Swallow the Earth beneath you.
Apr 26, 2023

What is the Arabic word for rude? ›

rude {adjective}

غَيْر مُهَذَّبٍ {adj.} rude (also: discourteous, impolite, unrefined) وَقِح [waqiḥ] {adj.}

What is the meaning of Kali Wali in Urdu? ›

Khalli walli is a common word in Arabic used to say like “leave it”. We will translate is urdu like “Rehnay doo/رهنے دو”.

What is the full meaning of Kali? ›

Kali, in Hinduism, goddess of time, doomsday, and death, or the black goddess (the feminine form of Sanskrit kala, “time-doomsday-death” or “black”).

What does Khalibali mean? ›

Khali Bali is an Arabi word which means Beparvah or Bindas( Unworried, thoughtless, unconcerned, careless, cool, disinterested, heedless) in Hindi. Recently one song was filmed on one of the popular actor Ranbir Singh where this word is used many times.

What is the meaning of khalli walli? ›

خللي ولي Khalli Walli is not Arabic purely. It is a pidgin phrase created by Indians or Pakis living in Saudi Arabia to mean “Let go”, Do not worry, or I don't care.

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