Family vocab III: brothers and sisters

Family vocab I: mother and father

Family vocab II: child, son and daughter

Continuing our family vocabulary series, this time we look at siblings. Two Arabic roots can be used to approximate the English word “sibling,” نَسَبَ (nasaba), “to relate,” and قَرُبَ (qaruba), “to be near.” Their derivations that mean “sibling” are نُسَيب (nusayb) and أقرِباء (aqribāʾ), respectively.

“Brother” and “sister” are pretty simple, “brother” being أخ (akh, pl. إخوة ikhwah) and “sister” being its somewhat irregular feminine form, أُخت (ukht, pl. أخوات akhwāt). However, because of the tradition of plural marriage in Arab culture going back to pre-Islamic times, there is additional vocabulary for full brothers and sisters (that is, siblings with whom one shares both father and mother), who may also be called شَقيق (shaqīq) for “brother” and شَقيقة (shaqīqah) for “sister.” This derives from the verb شَقَّ (shaqqa), an example of a tri-consonantal root where the second and third consonants are identical, meaning “to split, tear, rip.” To split what, I don’t know; inheritance maybe? Realistically, أخ and أُخت should meet all your needs pretty well.

Turkish here. Persian here.

Advertisements

One thought on “Family vocab III: brothers and sisters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s