Arabic synonyms, are they really synonyms?

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Moderator of the Arabic Content
Joined: 21.04.2013
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You may have known that Arabic has many synonyms of one thing e.g. Reem ريم, Rasha رشا, Thaby ظبي, Gazelle are all types of gazelle, different species. The thing is, in Arabic we have words to describe specific action in specific time. For example the gazelle that leads all other gazelles in the same group they call it "Ajeed Alreem عجيد الريم" or "Gayed Alreem قايد الريم" means "Leader of the gazelles". The gazelle that usually likes to be alone and it doesn't hang much with others also has a name. Imagine that the same goes to camel and the different types and characters of camels each might have a name. This makes it easier to use one word only to describe a whole specific thing than explaining it in a sentence.

Another examples:

There are words all synonyms of (went) BUT each of them means a specific time of the day (Gulf dialects):

Thawa ضوى = Came back home at night
Saraa سرى = Went and headed to somewhere at midnight or forward
Ghabash غبش = He went out before sunrise
Raah راح = Means he went out in the time between sunset and before midnight

Another exmaple:
Same3 سَمِع = heard
Ansat أنصت = Listened (But not just listened, it means he is listening with full attention to the speaker)

Those words were used more by the older generations, so when a father asks "Where is your brother? and she answers "Raah" he would know exactly what time he went out without much of explanation. Today (Thawa, Saraa and Raah) are used but not always with the meaning of those specific times, most of the times they are just generally means (went).

There are 14 or more words that means "Love" each word explains a "level of love" from having a crush to totally falling in love. You can imagine the hard time I have trying to translate some lines to English and I'll I can get is "Love" in every line while in the original script it is more variable. I don't think the people are using those words in poems or else today meaning a level of love, most words are used just as synonyms to love.

I'll add more examples if it came to my mind, can't think of more now Regular smile

Super Member
Joined: 24.06.2011

It's a very interesting theme to read! Thank you for your attention to these details! Waiting for the next post.
Best regards

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