A Dictionary of Arabic Idioms and Expressions

Arabic-English Translation

El Mustapha Lahlali, Tajul Islam

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Helps intermediate and advanced learners of Arabic develop their vocabulary, writing, translation and comprehension

  • Translates over 8,000 idioms and expressions from Arabic into English
  • Reflects a broad range of registers from everyday topics to business jargon and includes phrases from classical to modern Arabic
  • Designed to be helpful to all Arabic users whether they are translating medieval texts, signing business documents or simply having a conversation
  • Organised alphabetically from Alif to Yaaʾ (A–Z)
  • Includes a user guide and list of abbreviations

Are you at your wits’ end (ضاقت بك الأرض) trying to master the Arabic language (تجيد اللغة)? With thousands of entries, this dictionary will help you to rattle off (تحدر حدراً) idioms and expressions in no time (في لمح البصر).

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Entries from Alif to Yaa'

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A Dictionary of Arabic Idioms: Arabic-English Translation presents a valuable reference on one of the most challenging aspects of the Arabic language. It is a very useful resource for learners and translators alike with accessible presentation and comprehensive content covering a wide range of old and contemporary idiomatic expressions.

Aziza Zaher, Durham University

This is an immensely useful and attractively organised volume. The idioms of any language can be difficult to master. Thus all students of Arabic, whether beginners or those who are advanced, will have cause to be immensely grateful for the painstaking labours of El Mustapha Lahlali and Tajul Islam.

Ian Richard Netton, University of Exeter
Professor El Mustapha Lahlali is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Media at the University of Leeds. He is the author of several books, including: Arabic Media Coverage of Pandemics: Discourse, Strategy and Impact, Routledge, 2023; Arabic Political Discourse in Transition, Edinburgh University Press, 2022; How to Write in Arabic: Developing Your Academic Style, (2nd edition), Edinburgh University Press, 2021; Arabic Media Dictionary, Routledge, 2019; Essential Skills in Arabic: from the Intermediate to the Advanced Level, Edinburgh University Press (co-authored), 2020; Advanced Media Arabic, Edinburgh University Press, 2nd edition, 2017; Advanced English-Arabic Translation: A Practical Guide, Edinburgh University Press, 2014 (co-authored); Contemporary Arab Broadcast Media, Edinburgh University Press, 2011; Ibn al-Tayyib: the Forgotten Journey of an 18 Century Arab Traveller, I.B. Tauris, 2010 (co-authored); How to Write in Arabic, Edinburgh University Press, 2009 (1st edition); Advanced Media Arabic, Edinburgh University Press, 2008 (1st edition); Critical Discourse Analysis and Classroom Discursive Practices, Lincom Europa, 2007.

Dr. Tajul Islam is a lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Leeds. He is the co-director of Iqbal Centre for Critical Muslim Studies. Dr. Islam has a wealth of experience in teaching Arabic and Islamic Studies to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has actively contributed to national and international conferences on Arabic and Islamic Studies. His interdisciplinary research allowed him to combine Islamic texts with linguistics, translation, phonetics and orthography.

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