If you are called a “giraffe” by an Arab this means you are too tall. If you are called a “gazelle” then you are pretty. If you are called a “wall” then you are useless!
Insert these creative similes in your daily conversations, and pass for an Arab in a heartbeat.
Here are 6 of the most popular similes Arabs love to use:
1. Like Beethoven : "مفكر حالو بيتهوفن"
If you can play Jingle Bells on the piano then you must have heard your mother proudly saying: “mashallah she plays like Beethoven!” Or your brother shouting: “can you please turn it down a notch ya Beethoven?”
2. Did you swallow a radio? : "شو بالع راديو؟"
An analogy often used to describe a chatterbox who loves the sound of his/her own voice. Arabs might actually enjoy listening to your endless chats, but you know your time is up when they accuse you of “swallowing a radio”.
3. Casanova el Arab : "كازانوفا العرب"
Being described as a Casanova by an Arab is not exactly a compliment. It is a rather sarcastic analogy to describe men who think they are a great catch or God’s gift to women. “Here comes Casanova el Arab!”
4. Like an owl : "متل البومة"
In some cultures an owl is a symbol for wisdom and wealth, but for Arabs, it’s a symbol of pessimism and bad luck. It is a favorite among Arab moms to describe daughters-in-law!
5. Like a trella : "متل التريلا"
Trella is the Arabized version of “trailer truck”, it is also refers to people who storm into the room and make a racket when they move. It is also Arabs’ not-so-nice way of describing people who are overweight.
6. Like a bear : "متل الدب"
You might think Arabs use “like a bear” to describe a strong and fearless person, but you'd be wrong. “Like a bear” is used in reference to someone who moves heavily, sleeps a lot or eats a lot. But it can be turned into a cute analogy when changed into دبدوب or “baby bear” which would then become a term of endearment.