An invaluable new resource for learners and users of Classical and Modern Standard Arabic How would you ever know that “to lose a baby ostrich” means to rush into something without thinking? Or that “what can the wind take from the pavement?” is said when someone has nothing left to lose?
This comprehensive guide to idiomatic expressions in literary Arabic, the first of its kind, will inform, amuse, and entertain, through more than 8500 entries found in texts from the Qur’an to today’s newspapers. With explanations in Arabic and English, it is an essential resource for both students of Arabic and native speakers.
Reaching into the great wealth of this complex and intriguing language, the dictionary draws on and reveals the rich cultural and religious traditions of Arabic-speaking communities that have informed its idioms. Expressions of condolence, astonishment, and hardship, alongside sayings about friendship, miserliness, and reconciliation are collected and made accessible here, while glimpses are provided into history through phrases tied to important events and figures—from the ancient Egyptians to Saddam Hussein. Altogether this book allows a fascinating insight into Arabic’s many quirks and intricacies.