A Linguistic Study of The Syrian Queer Talk

Here I stand among five gay people and looking utterly stupid while doing the simple act of standing. You see, they are talking among each other in what seems like a gibberish language to me. I hear them talking, laughing and judging what I assume to be poor little me in a way that I don’t get.
My date at the time, back in the Summer of 2011, told me that his friends like me. “You got that from all the weird-ass conversation you just had with them?” I ask, a bit irritated that these people are talking about me in my face using a language I don’t get, “well, yeah. They think you’re a “Seen”.” My only reasonable reaction was then to ask, “A what exactly?”

Now, a little less than a year from that time, I find myself speaking that language fluently. It is an easy and obvious modification of Arabic that we, Syrian gay people, can understand. It comes in a number of ways and turns but it all aim to support one goal: Keeping our conversations a secret from the mainstream society.

Seen, as I came to understand, means a good looking maturely aged person. A man in his late twenties to early thirties who is manly looking, in a good shape and with handsome facial features. This is but one of the many words used by the queer society to stereotype people into certain sexual types.infoon, which I believe comes from the French word infant; means a boyish man who has a baby face and a slim body. Taby-ta is an ugly man, and tafya is a man with no sexual appeal. Batra is a feminine man who is extremely comfortable with his female side and Qaddya is the total opposite; a man who is utterly masculine and most probably bisexual or bi-curious. What I find disturbing sometimes is that when people are gathering, the people who identify as bottoms are usually referred to in Arabic as a “she” while people who identify as tops are usually referred to as a “he”. A group of queer people with mixed sexual preference who are friendly to each other might find it alright to talk to each other referring to each other as women but if a stranger is among them only the bottoms are referred to as women.

Jao, which means atmosphere in Arabic, has multiple uses, when you say that this person is jao that means he is gay. When you say that he is new to the jao that means he is new to the gay community and doesn’t have many contacts in it. Also, saying that I am Mali b al Jao means that I am not famous among gay people and I did not have many sexual relationships with lots of Syrian before. I think you get the picture.

Saboo is a funny word as well. It means “we have company”. We say it to ask people around us to act straight in fears of surrounding people.
Once, my friends were in a cab talking to each other in this language and bad mouthing the driver when the driver simply told them to “saboo”. It freaked them out.

The male origin is called true, when someone has a bigger than usual male origin they would call him true-wat and if someone has a relatively smaller dick they call him Nay Pa, which I personally find funny.

Once, a friend of mine went to a restaurant and wanted to be funny so he asked the cute waiter if they have a “true-wat” sandwich to which the man replied that such a sandwich isn’t a food of mouth but rather something you eat elsewhere. My friends figured then that the waiter is jao.

A lesbian is called a “Loly-ah”, means a pearl; while a straight woman is called a “Aqqrabba”, means a female scorpion.

Finally, these are only the words in this language which has its own grammar. We can simply have a full conversation about anything you might think of using this language; however, to keep it as secret as it is, I’ll stop here. I’m wondering if any other country in the world have this kind of queer language. I know Egypt does (and I never came to understand it when I lived there, to be honest) but I’m not sure if other places do too.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. speedzero
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 17:45:56

    عنجد حلوة
    لازم نألف معجم لترجمة الكلمات بالجو هههههههههههه
    انت معي؟؟؟؟؟؟
    ضحكتني الله يسعدك

    Reply

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