All of the Family in Arabic
As many of you know, family is one of the most important aspects of Arab culture, and in many Arabic speaking countries, families maintain their loyalty to their tribal and clan connections. Perhaps this is best exemplified by the ages-old Arab adage: “I and my brothers against my cousins; I and my cousins against the stranger.” Arabs know and speak proudly of both their genealogy and heritage.
With Eid al-Adha just a couple of weeks away, you can be sure that extended families will be gathering to celebrate the holidays together, and we thought this would be a great time for you to learn basic Arabic words for family members. So, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?
Below are both the most common relatives and some of the more uncommon ones as well:
|Cousin (male) – (paternal)||ibnu al-‘am||إبن العم|
|Cousin (male) – (maternal)||ibnu al-khāl||إبن الخال|
|Cousin (female) – (paternal)||bintu al-‘am||بنت العم|
|Cousin (female) – (maternal)||bintu al-khāl||بنت الخال|
|Nephew (brother’s son)||ibnu al-akh||إبن الأخ|
|Nephew (sister’s son)||ibnu al-ukht||إبن الأخت|
|Niece (brother’s daughter)||ibnatu al-akh||إبنة الأخ|
|Niece (sister’s daughter)||ibnatu al-ukht||إبنة الأخت|
Here are some family relations outside of the extended family:
And here are the names of relatives gained through marriage:
|Father-in-law (husband’s father)||Ḥamw||حَمْو|
|Mother-in-law (husband’s mother)||Ḥamāh||حماة|
|Father-in-law (wife’s father)||nassīb||نسيب|
|Mother-in-law (wife’s mother)||nassībah||نسيبة|
|Parents-in-law||asshār / nasāyeb||أصهار / نسايب|
|Son-in-law (husband’s son)||ibnu az-zawj||ابن الزوج|
|Son-in-law (wife’s son)||ibnu az-zawjah||ابن الزوجة|
|Daughter-in-law (husband’s daughter)||bintu az-zawj||بنت الزوج|
|Daughter-in-law (wife’s daughter)||bintu az-zawjah||بنت الزوجة|
|Brother-in-law (husband’s brother)||okhu az-zawj||أخو الزوج|
|Brother-in-law (wife’s brother)||okhu az-zawjah||أخو الزوجة|
|Sister-in-law (husband’s sister)||okhtu az-zawj||أخت الزوج|
|Sister-in-law (wife’s sister)||okhtu az-zawjah||أخت الزوجة|
The husband of your daughter or sister is called صهر / sihr in Arabic meaning “son-in-law”. If you’re a wife, you call your husband’s father حَمْو / Ḥamw and his mother is called حماة / Ḥamāh. If you’re the husband, then you call your wife’s father نسيب / nassīb while your mother-in-law is called نسيبة / nassībah. There are other names that are used for the in-laws and the vary quite a bit between countries and dialects. The easiest thing to do is simply call the male in-laws نسيب / nassīb, and the female in-laws نسيبة / nassībah.
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