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‘Ya hmar’ and 9 other animal insults Arabs use

posted on: Jun 30, 2016

‘Ya hmar’ and 9 other animal insults Arabs use



Arabs love unleashing their creativity when it comes to anything verbal. Whether it’s going over the top to praise someone or way too far in insulting others, we just have a way of delivering the message in the shortest and simplest way possible.

For some reason when insulting one another, we love using animals to do so. Which Arabic insult have you overused?

1. Ya Hmar/Hamara

‘Ya hmar’ and 9 other animal insults Arabs use

You’ve got a specific someone in mind right? Although it really is an insult to be called a donkey, many have come to use the word when joking with one another. You can basically call anyone a hmar and get away with it.

2. Kalbeh/Kaleb


Basically calling someone out for doing you wrong. This never ends well.

3. Ya Baqraa



You know you’ve called someone a cow before for either hurting you because of their size, strength, or for just simply hurting you.

*Baby scratches you with her long nails that haven’t been cut for 1 month*

You to the baby’s mom: *Bintik baqra*

4. Torrr

Photo source: Twitter/Art 7ake

Photo source: Twitter/Art 7ake

It’s basically putting the ba’raa and donkey together. Usually the best way to brush off an idiot who said something to piss you off.

And then of course, when people want to criticize your hair they refer to…

5. Kharoof

‘Ya hmar’ and 9 other animal insults Arabs use

Basically anyone with curly hair has been faced with this one. Whether you’re a guy with an afro or a girl with really frizzy/curly hair, Arabs just somehow think you like like that sheep up there.

People with straight hair have their own reference too!

6. Zay danab el hsaan

‘Ya hmar’ and 9 other animal insults Arabs use

To be fair, if you’ve got super straight hair up in a ponytail, it kinda does resemble this. But, at least your hair comes hassle-free!

And insulting one’s body is also a must…

7. Zay el djeje


Basically calling someone out for having skinny legs by using drumsticks as a reference?

Big and tall people don’t have it easy either though…

8. Shuu debb


This doesn’t ONLY apply to big and tall people. It’s also used when someone whose definition of ‘playing around’ usually ends up with someone being injured.

9. Shu zgheeri… mitil el fara


After saying that and realizing that you’re not too happy to hear that, they start asking you why you’ve taken it to offense. “Ma it’s a compliment,” they say. Umm, being called a mouse is the farthest thing from a compliment.

10. Shu hayee


The one thing we all never want to be called. Basically a back-stabber, two-faced person that we are all warned from becoming close to. Stay away min el hayee before the evil eye strikes!