Perhaps one of the most trying parts of learning Arabic is learning Arabic colloquial phrases. (These are sometimes called Arabic slang phrases). In fact, much like in other languages, they play a vital part of learning both Standard and Spoken Arabic. However, you really wouldn’t know them unless you had heard them used before.  For this reason, today’s article will do just that. It will expose you to 10 of the most well-known English slang phrases and their Arabic equals.

What Do You Mean By Colloquial Phrases?

First, Arabs use colloquial phrases in their normal daily banter rather than that of formal speech or writing. Moreover, these words and phrases are often not easy to translate. This is due to the fact their real meaning is hidden behind other meanings of words.

Next, what follows is a list of English colloquial phrases and their equals in Arabic in concert with their true meanings. In fact, you will find Arabic has a range of dialects such as Egyptian slang phrases as we show in the chart below. However, there are also some you will find in all Arab dialects. Either way, it’s good practice for those who want to study an Arabic dialect and aren’t sure which to study.

A Handy List of Colloquialisms in English and Arabic

English:Learnt it by heart
Modern Standard Arabic:حفظته عن ظهر قلب
Transliteration:hafizath ean zahr qalb
Literal Meaning in Arabic:I memorized it from the back of a heart.
English:No way!
Syrian Arabic:ما عم صدّق
Transliteration:ma eam sddq
Literal Meaning in Syrian:I can’t believe it!
English:He missed the boat.
Modern Standard Arabic:ضيَّع الفرصة
Transliteration:dyae alfursa
Literal Meaning in Arabic:He missed his opportunity
English:Once in a blue moon
Libyan Arabic:مرّه في القدّاش
Transliteration:mrrh fi alqddash
Literal Meaning in Libyan:Once in a how much (Once in a while)
English:Add insult to injury
Modern Standard Arabic:زاد الطين بلّه
Transliteration:zad altiyn bllh
Literal Meaning in Arabic:To make the clay more wet
English:to be blunt
Libyan Arabic:وجهها صحيح
Transliteration:wajahuha sahih
Literal Meaning in Libyan:Her face is still correct.
English:Being stubborn
Syrian Arabic:يكبّر راسو
Transliteration:ykbbr rasu
Literal Meaning in Syrian:to make his head bigger
Libyan Arabic:يسكّر راسه
Transliteration:yskkr rasah
Literal Meaning in Libyan:His head is closed
English:It slipped my mind
Modern Standard Arabic:نسيتها تمامًا
Transliteration:nasituha tmaman
Literal Meaning in Arabic:I totally forgot about it.
Most Arabic dialects:راحت عن بالي
Transliteration:rahat ean bali
Literal Meaning:I got rid of my mind
English:I wasn’t born yesterday
Syrian Arabic:شو شايفني ولد صغير قدّامك؟
Transliteration:shu shayfni wulid saghir qddamk?
Literal Meaning in Syrian:Do you see a boy in front of you?
English:It’s a piece of cake
Modern Standard Arabic:سهل كشرب الماء
Transliteration:sahl kashrb alma’
Literal Meaning in Arabic:It’s as easy as drinking water.

Kaleela Makes Learning Arabic as Easy as Pie

Finally, you’re  off to a good start with these easy to use Arabic slang phrases. In fact, we guess you could say that learning Arabic with the Kaleela Arabic app is as easy as pie. (We prefer pie over water any day.) Additionally, maybe you prefer to learn Arabic at your own pace, where you want, and when you want. If that’s the case, then why not head over our website and download the Kaleela Arabic learning app today? Indeed, it’s convenient and easy to use anyplace and at anytime. Try it out for yourself today and start speaking Arabic tomorrow. Visit for more info.

Kaleela – Learn Arabic the Right Way!