Thread: Bil Arabe
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Old September 9th, 2009, 01:20 AM
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Hookah Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default Bil Arabe

There are a variety of terms out there for different hookah aspects, but i thought i would let those that would like to know, what the Arabic terms are, since the market is heavily middle eastern dominated. Just as english has multiple dialects (british, southern, brooklyn, etc) so does arabic, every country in fact has a few too many!

First off Hookah is used rarely in the Middle East, however because of western influence it is sparingly used. Hookah is a Hindi/Urdu term. In Arabic one could say Shisha (شيشة) which literally means a container or glass container, or the proper term which is Nargieleh (نرجيلة), or colloquial Argeileh (ارجيلة), or Arkelah (اركيلة) which literally means coconut shells, which makes one think they were originally made from coconut shells then evolved to glass, hence the two names.

Tobacco is called Toubagh (تبغ) Colloquially Toumbak (تمبغ) - Note: The term shisha is not used for tobacco, coming online as an Arabic speaker i was extremely confused by this terminology. However if you asked for Toumbak, you would get just that, pure tobaccy! As hookah smokers, we are looking for what is commonly known as Moassel (معسل) which literally means honeyed, which makes me wonder if original Toumbak was sweetened with honey to start. Areed (or Baddi) Moassel Il-Argieleh is a common way of saying "i want honeyed (tobacco) for hookah" its assumed when you say Il-Argieleh, its tobacco that you are looking for. However if i went into an arabic grocery store and asked for Moassel, they wouldn't know what i was asking for unless i put it in context honeyed fruit, honeyed candy, etc.

Moving on, a hose is called a Nabrej (نبريج) or Colloquial Narbidj (نربيج) or Narbish (نربيج), Sonda is also used in parts of the Gulf and Iraq. On a side note, i dont know how well hookah john sells his Narbish in the Middle East, because translated the name of his hose is hose. i think its

Coal, one word fits all! Faham (فحم) ... thats it!

Tray is See-nee-ah (صينية)

Another important term is Smoke or Dakhen (دخان). It is typical to say Dakhen il-Argeleh or Dakhen il-Shisha which both indirectly translate to Smoke the Hookah

Thats all i have for now... Any other native speakers want to chime in and add, please do! Also if you have other translations, please let me know...
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