Many words in modern Arabic dialects are originally Turkish. This articles discusses why this is the case, as well as gives lots of examples for such loan words and phrases.
This may sound strange for many, but since the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire had administrative control over most of the Middle East and North Africa, from Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Hijaz, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.
Even after the Ottomans gave up control for the colonial powers of Europe in the 19th century, the cultural influence remained. Like most societies under colonial or imperial rule, Arabs looked up to Turkey and everything Turkish. Many things were borrowed, adopted, integrated, and imitated.
My knowledge of many of these words was when I encountered them when visiting Turkey twice in the 1990s as a tourist.
|كوبري||Kobru||Brigde. The original Arabic words is جسر (Jessr) or قنطرة (Qantara). The latter was borrowed into Spansih.|
|كات||Kat||ِA story in a building. This word is used in the old part of Alexandria, and is almost unique in Egypt. The correct Arabic term is طابق (Tabiq).|
|أوضة||Oda||Room. This is used in Egypt. The original Arabic is غرفة (Ghorfa)|
|أفندم||Afandem||Affirmative answer. Used when replying to a superior, specially in the military.|
|أيوة||Aywa||Affirmative answer. In everyday use.|
|تمام||Tamam||Equivalent to "OK"|
|خلاص||Khalas||"Finished", "over", "done"|
|وابور||Vapur||The Turkish word seem to be derived from a European word (Vapour), and refers to steam engines. Nowadays it is used for ferry boats. In Arab countries, it is used for the steam engine of a train.|
|كازوزة||Gazuz||Any carbonated drink|
|ياميش||Yamish||Nuts and dried fruits. Commonly consumed in the fasting month of Ramadan. In Arabic it is known as نقل (Noqol)|
|دولمة||Dolma||Vegetables stuffed with rice and minced meat, and cooked in oil.|
|بسطرمة||Bastirma||Dried meat encased in a mixture of garlic and fenugreek seed and spices. Came to Egypt from Turkey|
|قطايف||Kadaeyf||The same word is used for different desserts in Turkey and Egypt. In Turkey it is the thin vermicelli like thing baked in the oven, and smothered with thick syrup, and stuffed with nuts, raisin, or saltless cheese. In Egypt, it is a sort of small pancakes that are rolled with nuts and raisins stuffing, then deep fried, and then dipped in syrup. The name is definitiely of Arabic origin, from the root قطف which means "picking of fruit from their trees".|
Many job titles in modern Arabic are actually Turkish. It is relatively easy to detect those, since they end with the "-ji" suffix. In Egypt, the J sound becomes G (like in Garden). Many of those have become family names.
|شيشكلي||Shishekli||Flower seller. Known in Syria.|
|خاشقجي||Khashokji||Spoon maker. In Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, there is a diamond called after that name. Also, the Saudi millionnaire arms dealer Adnan Khashokji is named so.|
|عطشجي||'Tishji||Train water (from the days of steam engines)|
|قهوجي||Qahwaji||Coffee shop waiter|
|كبابجي||Kababji||Maker of Kabab (skewered meat)|
|قبطان||Koboudan||Captain (pilot at sea)|
|قبودان||"||Variant of above|
|كبودان||"||Variant of above|
Many military ranks of Turkish origins were in use in Arab countries until recently. Although the formal titles are now Arabic, the Turkish ones are still in conversational use.
|جاويش||"||Variant of above|
Many proper names in modern Arabic are actually Turkish names. The strange thing about those is that all of them have Arabic roots, mostly from the Quran, Islam's revealed text, or from certain ideal values and qualities. Such borrowing then reverse borrowing is a very interesting phenomenon. All of these end in the ي Arabic letter (-i or -y when romanized), which approximates the Turkish sound. Others have the -t.
|مجدي||Mejdu||From Arabic Majd: Glory|
|شكري||Shokru||From Arabic Shokr: giving thanks (to God)|
|صبري||Sabru||From Arabic Sabr: patience|
|يسري||Yosru||From Arabic Yosr: Ease|
|فكري||Fikri||From Arabic Fikr: Thought|
|حكمت||Hikmat||From Arabic Hikma: Wisdom|
|حشمت||Hishmat||From Arabic Hishma: Modesty, proper attire|
|عزت||Izzat||From Arabic 'Izza: pride (?)|
|عصمت||Ismat||From Arabic 'Isma: protection (by God)|
|شوكت||Shawkat||From Arabic Shawka: Power|
Anonymous (not verified)
maybe Beltaji could meanWed, 2008/03/12 - 11:58
maybe Beltaji could mean woodcutter or axman, from the turkish baltacı, that means also halberdier in the army.
Anonymous (not verified)
Baltagi is axe man, but itMon, 2008/12/29 - 08:13
Baltagi is axe man, but it means thug in arabic. I think it has something to do with gang members in the old days having an axe or balta. Also I think you meant arbagi not abagi, which means cart driver. Generally the suffix -ge to a word means "the person of". Another example would be Gazmagi which means shoe maker. The words themselves are not necessarily turkish but the suffix -ge is.
Nour (not verified)
Baltagis were also usedFri, 2020/05/08 - 03:52
Baltagis were also used during the Egyptian revolution of 2011.
Fawzi (not verified)
Baltaji in slang EgyptianSat, 2009/01/03 - 03:24
Baltaji in slang Egyptian means a thug nowadays.
Anonymous (not verified)
BaltagiThu, 2009/01/29 - 17:26
It is usually a slang word taken from Turkish to Mean Thug or underworld boss. It is also a word that can be used for pioneer/sapper for military purpose.
Aladdin Ahmed (not verified)
BaltajiThu, 2019/05/16 - 07:05
Balta is a Turkish word denoting a sharp metallic tool used for digging or cutting so when you add the suffix "ji" the word becomes the person who uses that tool. Therefore, the word baltaji means someone who uses violence, physical strength or rough behaviour to settle score.
Balta is an axeThu, 2019/05/16 - 10:54
Balta is an axe, either the one used for chopping wood, or the battle axe type.
TurkishArabic (not verified)
Many words here are arabic in originThu, 2009/03/19 - 07:27
There are many Arabic words here showed as a Turkish words and borrowed to Arabic .. but they are Arabic in origin such as:
- تمام : وهي من جذر تمٌه ، أتم يتم فهو تام
- خلاص : وهي من جذر خلص أي إنتهى أو نجى ، خلص يخلص فهو خالص
And about Captain قبطان it is English word and not Turkish
Leon (not verified)
tamam and khalas areThu, 2009/04/23 - 19:48
tamam and khalas are definately arabic as come from arabic 3-consonant roots.
But the other examples are really interesting, although the Turk Dil Kurumu (Turkish Language insitutue) also says Dolap is arabic origin. You can check on their online dictinatry.
İstanbullu (not verified)
I don't know for خلاص butMon, 2016/10/10 - 19:42
I don't know for خلاص but tamam with the meaning of okay was coined in Ottoman Turkish in its original Arabic form it merely meant done, finished. Kaptan in Turkish was borrowed from Venetian and not English and was used as in Kapudan-ı derya, kaptan paşa and so on. Dolab is originally dûlâb from Persian. All these words were borrowed or borrowed back in a semantically enriched form from Ottoman Turkish.