Let's take a moment to stop and consider the meaning behind common words we use on a daily basis in Lebanon.
The result will surely surprise you!
1. "Masare" (money)
The word "مصاري" dates back to the early 20th century and was used by the people of the Levant, especially the Lebanese and Syrians, in reference to money.
The word actually originates from Egypt (Masr). Why?
At the time, after British troops entered the Levant region, General Edmund Allenby limited the use of banknotes in the region to Egyptian cash issued by the National Bank of Egypt, which was controlled by the Brits.
2. "Sharmouta" (prostitute)
The word "شرموطة" literally means 'a worthless piece of cloth,' but people gradually began using it in reference to sex workers, according to Raseef22.
Another derogatory term, "قحبة" (Qahbe,) also has an interesting meaning. The word originally refers to "the woman who coughed."
Since female sex workers used to stand on the streets and cough to signal potential clients, the word became linked to prostitutes.
3. "Shater" (smart)
4. "Sa2eel" (annoying)
While we don't often make the association, the word comes from the formal Arabic word "ثقيل," which directly translates to "heavy."
5. "Frang" (money currency)
If you've lived in Lebanon, then you have probably heard or said the phrase "Walla ma ma3e wala frang" (I swear I don't even have a penny).
"فرنغ/فرنك" actually comes from the French franc, the currency of France until the Euro was adopted in 1999.
Lebanon was under French rule up until 1943.
6. "Nooreh" (shabby)
The word is often used to refer to a cheap or dowdy person who lacks class, but little do people know that the negative connotation linked to the word is rather offensive.
The word draws reference to gypsy peoples residing in Palestine, Syria, and Jordan. The "Nawar" groups originate from the Indian Peninsula.
"نوري" refers to their primitive lives in tents and deserts, undermining their rich culture and historical background.