The Arabic language is full of emotion and meaning. Arabic words often have much greater significance than their apparent daily usage.
So although these colorful and beautiful words are used in daily life, the strength of these meaningful Arabic words is not diminished by their casual usage.
This is what makes Arabic such a poetic language. While every word can sound like music to your ears, it can also tell a story and, in some cases, carry an alternative meaning to further strengthen its original one.
So here are 15 beautiful Arabic words that not only sound musical but have a lyrical meaning behind them as well.
While the word Sadeeq means “friend”, it also originates from the word sidq صدق, which means truth.
So it’s impossible to call someone your friend without calling them truthful, as someone in whom you have wholehearted faith.
So according to the Arabs, truth and trustworthiness are the cornerstones of friendship.
The word nour means “light”, but also “radiance” and “vibrance”.
On top of being a word, it’s a charming unisex name with a lot of variations.
You can commonly find girls named Nouran نوران and Noreen نورين. Noreen نورين essentially means two “nours”, which amplifies that they’re abundant in light.
The word nour in Arabic also tends to be liberally used in the romantic context. Try listening to an Arabic romantic song or reading an Arabic love poem, and you’ll come across phrases like nour aieny نور عيني (the light of my eyes) and nour ‘alby نور قلبي (the light of my heart).
While it means sympathy and kindness, rahma رحمه also means “mercy” and it’s believed to be one of the traits of God in Islam (with similar concepts in other religions).
When someone dies, no matter what his religion is, Arabs say رحمه الله عليه rahmat Allah ‘aleeh.
This is an imploration that God be merciful to that person and that they be treated with kindness and sympathy in the afterlife.
You might have heard of the popular Um Kalthum song, أمل حياتي amal Hayaaty. If not, you might want to go listen to it — it’s an iconic Arabic song.
The word amal أمل means “hope” or “aspiration”. It’s one of the most beautiful Arabic words and often spoken with sparkling eyes.
Many parents choose to name their daughter after it.
What’s more beautiful to have than hope?
The Arabic word ‘ishq عشق expresses a deep level of love for which there is no direct equivalent in English, though it may be equated to “passion” or “desire”.
The word ‘ishq encapsulates the meaning of regular love (حب) and passion (شغف). It represents a deeper form of love.
While the word may seem intense, Arabic speakers are not hesitant to use it. Baashaak بعشقك is a conjugated form of ishq عشق and is an expression of love that’s commonly used between lovers.
The word ‘ishq also is a loanword in other languages that have Arabic influence, like Persian (عشق) or Turkish (aşk).
Arabs have always had a special relationship with the qamar قمر, which means “moon” (often pronounced without the qaff letter, as just ‘amar). It’s the basis of the Islamic calendar and it is also used to describe someone as beautiful.
A clever way to describe someone as perfect is to call them ‘amar arbaatashar قمر اربعتاشر, which means “the moon of the 14th“, which is when the moon is at its fullest on the Islamic calendar (the full moon is always on the 14th day).
So, by calling someone ‘amar arbaatashar, you’re not only describing them as beautiful but the fullest and complete form of beauty. No language in the world can top that! (If it can, let us know!)
Oum أم means both “mother” and “origin”.
For Arabs, mothers are not only parenteral figures, but also the origins of existence. Everyone respect their mothers.
The word showq شوق is one of the most meaningful Arabic words.
It signifies a strong sense of yearning and longing that takes control over you.
In Arabic, you can say ash-shta’telek اشتقتلك, instead of the plain “I miss you”.
The Arabic word ghalabni غلبني can be translated as “it defeated me”. However, this word is not merely used when someone beats you in a video game!
Saying ghalabni means “it took over me” or “conquered me”, in the sense of “it won me over” or “it took away all my defenses”.
There’s another popular romantic Um Kalthum song named “غلبني الشوق ghalabni ash-showq”, which means “the yearning and longing took over me and got the best out of me”. (See above for the meaning of showq!)
Toohoran طهوراً means purity and cleanliness.
In ancient Arabic poems, the root word Tohooran was a way to praise a beautiful woman, by describing her as tahirah طاهره.
In modern Arab culture, some people believe that any sickness purifies us from our sins. So, one equivalent way of telling someone who is sick “get well soon” in Arab culture is to say Toohoran طهوراً .
This implies that their illness is purifying them, and is intended to give them comfort.
The word yaqeen يقين means “certainty”.
This word brings together knowledge with consciousness. It not only reflects the confidence that you have but also that your mind is fully conscious of its belief.
أنا على يقين من أمري Ana aala yaqeen min aamri, means I’m fully sure and confident in this matter. If anyone says this to you, trust him, he knows what he’s talking about.
Funnily enough, while this word actually means paradise or blessings, don’t be surprised to hear someone say it to you after you step out of a shower!
Yes, living in naeem نعيم, means living in bliss like living in a small paradise on earth. However, Egyptians also use it as a way to compliment your new haircut or to congratulate you on the shower you just took.
It might be strange to hear such an elegant word used in such a random context, but that’s the Arabic language for you!
The word ta’burni تقربني literally translates into “I hope you put me in a grave”.
The beauty of this Arabic word is in the meaning it carries — it means “I hope I don’t outlive you, and thus have to live without you.”
The Arabic word shams شمس means “sun”.
Still, like many Arabic words (and like the word for “moon” above), it’s not just used to describe its original meaning.
Like the word nour, it’s also associated with the quality of the light that comes from the sun.
Some people choose shams as a name for their daughters and it’s been using to describe musicians, scientists, concepts, and even events.
Like the singer Najwa Karam, for example, who has been titled Shams Al-Oghnya Al-Arabya شمسالأغنيةالعربية – to describe how she’s an iconic figure to the Arabic music industry.
You can also see shams as a family name in other cultures.
Daweyt داويت means “healed” or “put together”. However, it is more commonly used metaphorically.
Arab poets use the word daweyt in the phrase daweyt rouhi داويت روحي , meaning “you healed my soul and put it back together” (from its presumably fragmented state).
It’s hard not to fall in love with the Arabic words after reading more deeply into Arabic words and learning their hidden meanings.
The depth of meaning in the Arabic language is a friendly reminder to stop and smell the roses.
The words above are commonly used in so many different contexts.
But if we take a moment to look into their etymology and to reflect on their origins, we can gain a renewed appreciation for them.
There are so many other beautiful words in Arabic, that are not just musical in sound, but also lyrical in meaning.
Next time you learn an Arabic word, take a moment to learn about its origin. There’s probably a profound meaning kept between its letters.
Start by looking into the origins of ahlan wa sahlan, that common Arabic greeting, if you haven’t already.