The other day I sent Rami a text asking him to bring home some milk and eggs. He replied “on my head.” I immediately started laughing. He wasn’t trying to say he’d bring home milk and eggs on his head, but instead that he’d do anything I ask of him. When someone tells you ” ‘ala raasi” in Arabic it means well, that they’d do anything for you. ‘Ala rassi literally translates to “on my head.” I started to think of other Arabic sayings that sounded funny when translated literaly.
“Hamatik bit hibbik.” = Your mother in law loves you. Said when you visit someones house while food is just being served.
“Il kird be ‘ain imma ghazal.” = The monkey in it’s mother’s eyes is a gazelle. Said when a mother is gushing over her child that isn’t very cute. It’s the Arabic version for “a face only a mother could love.”
“Wareenie ‘arth ishtafik.” = Show me the width of your shoulders. Said when someone wants you to leave them alone. So turn around and walk away so I can measure the distance between your shoulder blades as I enjoy you moving farther and farther away from me.
“Habbak bourse.” = Your love is a skin disease. Ha! This one is probably my favorite. It’s said (jokingly) to someone when you’re trying to tell them that you’d much rather do without their love.
So if you ever overhear an Arabic conversation and ask someone “what did they just say?” Be prepared for a very confusing answer.