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More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

posted on: Feb 9, 2022

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

Habibi sticker designed and sold by nadiabdeir 

By: Dina Kobeissi/Arab America Contributing Writer

The Arabic words habibi and habibti have spread more and more within non-Arab societies. Translating to “my love” for men and women respectively, the words have been labeled as “arguably one of the Arabic world’s biggest cultural exports.” Rappers like Drake have even included the word in their songs. While habibi and habibti are the most common words of endearment used in the Arab World, there are a plethora of words and phrases used to express affection in the rich Arabic language which includes 11 plus ways to say the word “love” alone. Here’s a list of 8 Arab expressions of endearment, other than habibi and habibti, to practice using this Valentine’s Day.

1. Hayati (يا حياتي) – “my life” 

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

Lebanese singer and actress Sabah with text in the background that says “ya hayati” (Oh my life), Sticker sold by Tameralahmarart

Hayati means “my life” in Arabic, which is what most couples say to each other to express just how far their love for each other reaches. The word can be found most often in Arabic songs about love and spoken in the Lebanese dialect. 

2. Rohi (روحي) – “my soulmate” 

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

Finding your soul mate is a magical experience. It’s the person you truly believe you belong with and that person is your rohi, which translates to “my soulmate”

3. Tu’burni (تقبرني) – “bury me” 

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

To2borne sticker: Designed and sold by why-natt

Tu’burni dates back to the Pre-Islamic era when a lover use to console his beloved in times where love outside the restraints of marriage was forbidden. It essentially means that person means so much to you that you couldn’t stand living without them and would rather die.

4. Habib Albi (حبيب/حبيبة قلبي) – “love of my heart”

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

Without a heart, you cannot live or love. In Arabic, albi means “my heart” and it is the epitome of love. Most people use albi to refer to their families or loved ones. “Albi” (my heart) is also used on its own.  

5. Omri (عمري) – “my life” 

Because one way to say “my life” is not enough, Arabs also use the word omri, which also directly translates to “my life,” but also “my darling.”

6. Wahashtini (وحشتيني) – “I miss you” 

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day
Designed and sold by Sukkariyy 

You know you love someone when you miss him or her terribly. Wahashtini translates to “I miss you” and is a common phrase in the Egyptian dialect to express feelings for another person. 

7. Eiooni (عيونى) – “my eyes”

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

Eyes are considered precious and beautiful in the Arab world, which means your lover is, too. As Amr Diab once famously wrote “habibi, ya nour el ein” he was saying “you’re the light of my eye.”

8. Amar (قمر) – “moon”

More Than Just Habibi: 8 Expressions of Endearment from the Arab World to Try Out This Valentine’s Day

Comparing someone to the moon is one of the most romantic ways of expressing love in Arabic. It’s the bright light shining on a dark night.

 

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