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casbah

English translation: The old part of a North African town, usually constructed as a fortified complex.

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Arabic term or phrase:casbah قَـصـبـة
English translation:The old part of a North African town, usually constructed as a fortified complex.
Entered by: Fuad Yahya
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11:25 Jan 20, 2001
Arabic to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - History
Arabic term or phrase: casbah
As in "come with me to the casbah"
ellie fargher
The old part of a North African town, usually constructed as a fortified complex.
Explanation:
In English, this term refers to a mansion, a citadel, or the older part of a town in North Africa. It came into English by way of Colonial French. The Arabic derivation is somewhat obscure.

The original site of many a Middle Eastern and North African city or town is a walled complex, resembling a forte. Population increase would typically lead to the expansion of the town into a modern, sprawling metropolis, while keeping the old castle intact, until, in some cases, it succumbs to its natural demise. These old fortress (I was born in one) is often called "Al-Qal’a" القلعة (The Castle). This became the name of a Spanish town (you may have heard of the "Alcala barber" if you studied formal logic) as well as a Spanish family name (A Spanish president as well as several famous Spanish athletes have had this name).

In North Africa, the name for such an entity was "qasba" قصْبة. It may be the local pronunciation of the Arabic word "qasaba" قَصَـبة, meaning the main part of a town or the main town in a region ("Kasaba" is the name of a twon in Cyprus as well as a city in Turkey).

But qasba may also have been derived from the verb "qasaba" قَـصَـبَ which refers to the stone cutting involved in the construction of these formidable structures.

Whatever the origin may have been, the French used the term to refer to the old parts of the towns around which they established their colonial presence. The term eventually found its way into English.

Fuad
Selected response from:

Fuad Yahya
Grading comment
Thanks for the informative answer! We had a most difficult time finding a definition.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
naThe old part of a North African town, usually constructed as a fortified complex.Fuad Yahya
nacasbahAlbert Golub


  

Answers


24 mins
casbah


Explanation:
kasbah

Albert Golub
Local time: 18:26
Native speaker of: French

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
AhmedAMS
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4 hrs
The old part of a North African town, usually constructed as a fortified complex.


Explanation:
In English, this term refers to a mansion, a citadel, or the older part of a town in North Africa. It came into English by way of Colonial French. The Arabic derivation is somewhat obscure.

The original site of many a Middle Eastern and North African city or town is a walled complex, resembling a forte. Population increase would typically lead to the expansion of the town into a modern, sprawling metropolis, while keeping the old castle intact, until, in some cases, it succumbs to its natural demise. These old fortress (I was born in one) is often called "Al-Qal’a" القلعة (The Castle). This became the name of a Spanish town (you may have heard of the "Alcala barber" if you studied formal logic) as well as a Spanish family name (A Spanish president as well as several famous Spanish athletes have had this name).

In North Africa, the name for such an entity was "qasba" قصْبة. It may be the local pronunciation of the Arabic word "qasaba" قَصَـبة, meaning the main part of a town or the main town in a region ("Kasaba" is the name of a twon in Cyprus as well as a city in Turkey).

But qasba may also have been derived from the verb "qasaba" قَـصَـبَ which refers to the stone cutting involved in the construction of these formidable structures.

Whatever the origin may have been, the French used the term to refer to the old parts of the towns around which they established their colonial presence. The term eventually found its way into English.

Fuad


    Webster's Collgiate (10th ed.); American Heritage
    Al-Muheet Al-Waseet
Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
Thanks for the informative answer! We had a most difficult time finding a definition.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
AhmedAMS
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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Changes made by editors
Jan 8, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO
Jan 8, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
FieldArt/Literary » Social Sciences
Field (specific)(none) » History


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