Only in the colloquial Syrian dialect

The Syrian dialect has some unique features. One word or verb is used in so many different ways. The verb “sleep/slept”  (transliterated NAM) is used in the Syrian local dialect in such a diverse way that it takes different meanings in each case. For instance:

  • Slept on the money =  He stole them and never mentioned it.

  • Slept on the food = Has devoured the food so greedily

  • Slept on him that way = laid him down to the earth and beaten him up

  • Let the goods sleep = Hide it for potential monopoly or manipulation

  • Slept and never woke up = Died suddenly and unexpectedly

  • The sleep of the Cave dwellers = an insult ( or a sort of bad wish that he/she would sleep/disappear indefinitely)

  • Sleep on the issue = Keep it a secret for the time being

  • Slept on one side for 5 years = Served his sentence in the jail

  • The wall slept on him =  The wall  has fallen on him

  • Sleeping on some money = Most probably has some nice savings

  • Slept on a tile = He went bankrupt

  • Sleeping in honey = Happy nowadays. It also means that he/she was unaware of so many things that has taken place while he was “sleeping”.

What is  funny here is that  Syrians often use the word “He laid down lifelessly” when they really want to say: He is sleeping or he went to sleep.




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