Arabic 102

My word for the day is sorsarrrr – which uses the letter ‘sohd’, not to be confused with the normal ‘s’ sound, or ‘seen’, as the letters are called. TECHNICAL: NO NEED TO READ! The sohd (to give it a phonetic value) is a sound made deep in the throat, one of the many letters not found in European alphabets; sohd, dohd, thor, zord, ghein and the ain are just some of the letters that twist the tongue to get the rolling, guttural sound going.

Actually, the Egyptian accent is much softer than that of the Gulf states, which has got the whole throat-gagging-spitting thing going on.

Sorsar, by the way, means cockroach, a word I have become annoyingly familiar with thanks to the gargantuan beasts who galloped down the hallway playing tag with each other, every night after lights out in my old (temporary) apartment (here's a pic).

Happily, I don’t have to use the word so much in my new apartment (which I’ll tell you about later) but I think that’s cos I started off as the boss, walking in brandishing a big can of sorsar spray, complete with explanatory pictures on the can in case they can’t read, the spray as super-toxic as toxic as only second- and third-world chemicals can be. I think the sorsareen (what IS the plural for cockroach?) get the pictures…

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