Right and left: اليمين و اليسار

Because like I tell my daughter, by now we should know our right from our left:

  • Right: اليَمين (al-yamīn), which comes from the same root as the country Yemen (اليَمَن), which archaically means “south” (reflecting a time when the compass was oriented to the east and the rising sun, putting south on the right)
  • Left: اليَسار (al-yasār)

3 thoughts on “Right and left: اليمين و اليسار

  1. Pingback: ISIS v. ISIL: the definitive* answer | Arabic Word a Day
    • That’s exactly right. شمال is “north” in MSA, but it has the older/archaic (and still colloquial) meaning of “left.”

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