The Sneakiness of the Letter Ghayn
I was watching a lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on youtube, which can be seen here. In it, he mentions that many of the meanings of words that begin with Ghayn (غ) have to do with betrayal, obscurity, leaving, covering over, the unknown, evil, and other words of this nature. Just a general black cloud upon it, like if the alphabet was Middle Earth, Ghayn is Mordor. So I cracked out the Hans Wehr, and decided to see how true this is. The letter Ghayn does not have a large section, comparatively, in Hans Wehr, so the fact that there are so many words that conform to this connotation is evident of a deeper, hidden treachery concealed behind Ghayn’s open-mouthed and otherwise welcoming demeanor. Incidentally, many words have love-related meanings as well, in their derived forms: seduction, temptation, swooning, flirtation are seen as a slippery slope, beset on all sides by Shaitan’s presence.
She dwells in the back of your throat, the subtle and rolling rumble only a voiced velar fricative can give. Because of where Ghayn emerges from, and this connotation, I imagine her personified as Oscar the Grouch. Oscar the Ghhhraaouch.
Here is the list i came up with.
غبر/ غبار – dust/ to cover with dust
غبش – darkness, “the twilight before sunrise”
غبشة – opaque
غبن – to defraud, cheat, dupe.
غبو / غبى – to not understand, to be ignorant.
غبي – stupid
غتّ – to submerge, immerse
غثي – To confuse, muddle, jumble.
غدر – To act treacherously, perfidiously, betray etc
غادر – To leave [so betrayal is when one turns away from his loyalties and leaves to the loyalty of other parties.]
(غدو (غدا – to leave (one of كان’s sisters)
غرّ- to mislead, deceive (form VIII to be blinded, fooled, unexpected)
غرور – dillusion
غرر – hazard
غرارة – thoughtlessness
غرب – To go away, to be a stranger or obscure entity, to be difficult to comprehend.
غربة- Melancholy loneliness felt when outside one’s homeland. Good Al Kitaab word for ya.
غريب – Strange, obscure.
مغرّب – Banished, exiled.
غرض – To have a bias.
تغرض – Biased, partial.
مغرض – Person with ~
غرق- To drown, be submerged
اغراق -Scuttling (of a ship), sinking, [also “hyperbole” – ie inundated with exaggeration to the point of sinking]
مغرق – Immersed, engrossed
غرم – Damage, loss
غرا – Tempt, seduce
اغراء – Instigation, temptation, allurement
مغريات – Temptations
غزّ – To be thorny
غزل – The English word Gazelle comes from the Arabic ghazal, same meaning. But Ghazzal, in English and Arabic has a poetic meaning, a type of poem, check the link. The connection is thus: The style of poetic expression that many ghazzals use is said to evoke a melancholy lovesick feeling. So as a verb, the three letters, ghayn zai lam, means, according to my teacher in Jordan: “the melancholy whimper of a doe cornered by hunters.” [Side note: this is one of my favorite anecdotes when it comes to Arabic connotations]
مغازلة – Flirtation
غزوة – Invasion
غازية – Female dancer, danseuse (hmm.)
غس – Worthless
عش – To defraud, cheat, act dishonestly
غش – corruption, deceit
غشاش – Fraud, deceiver, swindler, imposter
من غشنا فليس منّا – A hadith saying “whoever cheats us isn’t one of us.” This is really useful (i’ve found) to bust out when someone is trying to rip you off because you’re a foreigner.
غشم – To treat wrongly or tyrannically. Form VI to feign ignorance or inexperience [deceptively] Form X – to deem or regard as stupid, ignorant, foolish.
غشوم – Unjust, iniquitous
غشيم -Ignorant, inexperienced, a greenhorn
غشو – To envelop, conceal, descend upon.
غشى – Unconsciousness, swooning
غشاء – cover, wrapper, coating
غاشية – misfortune, calamity, disaster
غص -to choke, be choked, be overcrowded or packed
غصب – Take by force, rob, seize, force, compel, abduct, violate (a woman), conquer, subdue
غاصب – Usurper
غض – To lower, lessen, diminish, detract, to turn away from [out of modesty]
غض البصر – lower ones gaze.
غضة – Shortcoming, deficiency
غضب -To be angry, upset, irritated
غضر – Turn away from, turn on/against someone,
غضن -To wrinkle, pucker, shrivel
غضن -Toil, labor, hardship, difficulty
غضو – To close ones eyes, to overlook, disregard, avoid seeing
غضا – On pins and needles, in an unbearable situation
تغاض -Overlooking, connivance, disregard
غط – To immerse, dip, plunge
غطيطة – Fog, mist, miasma
غطرة -Headcloth worn in Bahrein and Najd [covering over of the head]
غطرس – To be arrogant, haughty
متفطرس – conceited, self-obsessed
غطس -To immerse, dip, plunge
غطاس – Baptism
غطش – To be or become dark [said of the day], obscured
غطا – To cover up. Form II – To wrap up, be stronger, conceal, to drown out
غف – To take unawares, grab, grasp, seize.
غفر – Guard over, watch
غفرة – Cover, lid
غفارة – Headcloth
مغفر – Helmet
غفل – To neglect, not heed, act foolishly, ignore,
غفلة -Foolishness, heedlessness, acting without thinking
تغفيل -Stultification [I have no idea what that means at all]
مغفل – Apathetic, indifferent, gullible, easily duped, a chump
غفو -To doze off, take a nap
غل -To penetrate, become deeply embedded, to put in manacles or chains, be filled with hatred,
غل – hatred, spite malice
غلب -Subdue, conquer, vanquish, be victorious
غالب – Most of, the majority, [that which has been overcome by another side]
مغلب – Defeated, overwhelmed, overcome
غلس – Darkness of night
غلط – To make an error, to be incorrect, be mistaken
غلظ – To be or become rude, crude, rugged, to treat ruthlessly
غلغل – To penetrate, become deeply embedded, to put in manacles or chains
متغلغل – deeply embedded, extensive, far-reaching
Note this is just غل doubled.
غلف -To wrap in a cover
غلاف – a cover
غلق -To close, shut,
انغلاق – incomprehensibility
غلم – To be seized by lust or sensuous desire
غلو -To go over the proper bounds, to be excessive, to overflow, to be expensive
غالي – Expensive
غم -To cover, to veil, to conceal
غمد -To sheathe, put into a scabbard, shelter, encompass, protect
غمر -To be plentiful, to be abundant, to overflow, to flood, submerge, immerse
غمار -copious, plentiful, desolate, bare [see previous post on antonyms]
مغامرة -hazardous or foolhardy undertaking, adventure, risk, hazard
غميزة -failing, fault, shortcoming of character
غمس – To dip, plunge, submerge, immerse
غمص -To belittle, degrade, despise, hold in contempt
غمض – To be hidden, concealed, to be dark, to close ones eyes, to be incomprehensible
غامض -ambiguous, dark, obscure [which itself comes from the Latin obscurus, indistinct, dark, as opposed to lucidus, light, and therefore clear. ]
غامضة -unsolved problem, riddle.
غمط -To belittle, degrade, despise, hold in contempt
غمغم – To mumble, to mutter
غامق – Dark
غملج – Fickle, inconsistent, unstable
غمى – To swoon, faint, loose consciousness
غنج -To flirt
غندر – To play the dandy, act like a fop
غنم -To gain booty, take as war spoils, plunder, sack, loot
غنم – Spoils, booty
غنم – Sheep and goats, herd
غيهب -Darkness, duskiness, gloom
غار -To To penetrate, become deeply embedded, to ooze away. Form II – to attack, raid
غارة -Predatory incursion
مغار – Cave, cavern, grotto
غاص – To dip, plunge, submerge, immerse
غوط – To evacuate the bowels
غاغة -Mob, rabble, riff-raff, din
غال – To take away, grab, rob
اغتيال – Assassination
غوى – To stray from the right way, seduce, tempt, lure away from righteousness.
غواية -error, sin, seduction
غاب – To be absent
غيب – the Unknown world, that of jins and angels and spirits and the world beyond death, the supernatural.
غار/غير – To be jealous, to display zeal over. Form II To alter, modify, change. Form III To be dissimilar, to be different
غير – other than, different from, unlike, no, not, non-, un-, dis-, except, save.
مغاير – Indecent, immoral
غاض/غيض – Decrease, diminish, recede
غاظ/غيظ – To anger, exasperate, enrage, vex, gall
غيم/غام -To become cloudy
غيام – Clouds, mist, fog.