Sunday, July 23, 2006

Word play : to "drink" a cigarette

In Tashawit, the word associated with smoking is sui generis. You not only smoke a cigarette, you can drink it. This sounds ridiculous in other languages, but it is perfectly ok in Tashawit. The phrase swigh asabsi means "I smoked a cigarette". But the translation of the verb swigh is "drank". Example swigh aman, I drank water.

The same situation exists in the Algerian derja. Algerians use the verb yachrab to mean smoke. But the verb charaba means "to drink".

Why is this? Any other examples?


Anonymous said...

The sentence "swigh asabsi" (drank a cigarette) or "sessagh ug sebsi" (i'm drinking a cigarette), is not used by all algerian. It's an exact translation (to the Arab or derja) of the Chawi expression by Chawi people. In Chawiland we use "amethna hetchath" which is translated to Derja by "ennaw tadrab" (rain is striking) and not "ennaw t'soub" (rain is falling).

Also, we use "at-thkayyfa ug sebsi" (i'm smoking cigarette). The origin of the verb 'akayyf' (to smok) comes from the plants 'Canabis'.
Is these mean that Berber people are accustomed to smoking Canabis? Just a question :))

We use the verb "akmay" (kammigh dug sebsi)instead (sessagh or tethkayyfagh.


shawi said...

Hi gb, amk hallid,
There is a fine line between Tashawit and Derja. I'm talking structure and to a lesser extent vocabulary. Your examples demonstrate my point.

The words akmay and akayyf are used in deja too. Yakmi, yatkayyef.

Having said that, let us make it more interesting. When it comes to cigarettes, Ichawiyen/Algerians don't inhale, they 'swallow' :) To my knowledge the word used is "bell3agh" from the Arabic 'yabla3'. Or is there another word?

Also, here are some words used in the dept of tobacco: amaqus, a3ar3ar. Any other words?

Thanks a gb. I appreciate your contribution!

shawi said...


It should read 'amaqsus'

Lameen Souag said...

Turkish does the same thing: tütün içmek = "to drink tobacco", ie to smoke tobacco. Why would they use this expression? Well, if you've ever seen a shisha being used, it's pretty obvious...

shawi said...

Saha Lameen,

A friend of mine told me some American Indian languages do the same thing. Any truth to that?

I appreciate your contribution!

Lameen Souag said...

I think so - I seem to remember some American Indian languages doing that - but when I did a quick search I couldn't find them.

Erin Charaba said...

Charaba means "to drink?" That's my last name, explains a lot.

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