Wednesday, 20 April 2011

In praise of the feminine noun

This witty poem shows why feminine nouns make learning those tricky grammatical constructs worth it. Besides that, it raises an interesting point as to why so many nouns in Arabic with negative connotations are masculine, and those with positive connotations are often feminine. Perhaps it’s just a cleverly constructed poem. The English translation is below it.


لاحظوا بأن الجنة مؤنث
والجحيم مذكر
وأن الابتسامة والسعادة مؤنث
والحزن مذكر
الصحة مؤنث
والمرض مذكر
والحياة مؤنث
والموت مذكر
والمودة والرحمة مؤنث
والحقد والحسد والغضب مذكر
وأن الإجازة والراحة والمتعة مؤنث
وأن الدوام والعمل والقرف والتعب مذكر
فأعلم أن ((الإناث)) سر جمال هذا الكون
فهمتوا يا...نكد
حتى النكد مذكر

The Feminine Noun

Notice that heaven is feminine
and hell is masculine
that a smile and happiness are feminine
and sadness is masculine
Health is feminine
and illness is masculine
Life is feminine
and death is masculine
Intimacy and mercy are feminine
and hatred, envy and anger are masculine
Notice as well that holidays, rest and pleasure are feminine
and that work, nausea and tiredness are masculine

So know that females are the secret to the beauty of this universe
Have you understood...o misery?
Even misery is masculine


  1. Type-o in Arabic line 4. الحزن, surely?

  2. thanks for pointing that out!