Maltese: Arabic Roots and Sundry Grafts

Pierre Cachia

in Exploring Arab Folk Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640867
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653300 | DOI:
Maltese: Arabic Roots and Sundry Grafts

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This chapter discusses the Maltese language, with the aim of determining the Arabic roots of Maltese. Malta had been under Islamic rule for many centuries, but its close association with Europe coloured its culture. The discussion focuses on Maltese idioms culled from K. Fenech's Idjomi Maltin. A representative sample of idioms consists of idioms relating to the mouth for which three Maltese words are used: the uncomplimentary ‘geddum’, literally snout; ‘fomm’, which is applied mostly to the orifice of the mouth; and ‘halq’, the cavity. The idioms are arranged according to the ideas they express.

Keywords: Maltese language; Malta; Maltese idioms; Idjomi Maltin; geddum; fomm; halq

Chapter.  6043 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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