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|Arabic to English translations [PRO]|
|Arabic term or phrase: بكاش أو هجاص:BAKKASH OR HAGGAS|
|WHEN YOU DESCRIBE SOMEONE IN THE EGYPTIAN COLLOQUIAL ARABIC. I NEED IT BOTH IN STANDARD AND SLANG ENGLISH.|
1 hr confidence: 9 hrs confidence: 11 hrs confidence: peer agreement (net): +1
Additional shades of meaning
Not being an Egyptian, I have refrained from voicing any opinion on this question, because I don’t have any. My proper place is to watch and learn from the experts.
I decided to respond because the answers so far show general consensus on a surprisingly narrow definition of BAKKASH and HAGGAS. I was hoping to see a broader spectrum of usage, and some reflection on the finer shades of meaning.
Among the nuances not yet discussed, and which I naturally know only second-hand, through my Egyptian associates, are the following:
BAKKASH: In addition to the sense of flattery, the word is used in the sense of lying for the sake of self-aggrandizement. This can involve exaggeration or half-truths, but can also involve telling lies. So a BAKKASH can mean a self-promoter who toots his own horn for social gain. In that sense, its purpose is similar to that of flattery, except that a flatterer usually praises others, albeit insincerely, while a BAKKASH usually praises himself.
HAGGAS: In addition to the sense of exaggeration, the word is used in the sense of fooling or goofing around, either verbally or physically. It can refer to deceptive or misleading statements, whether by way of exaggeration or outright fabrication, but can also refer to childish or nonsensical behavior, verbal or otherwise. The expression BALASH HAGS is similar to the expression BALASH LI’B ‘IYAL
بلاش لعب عيال
In fact, Hans Wehr defines HAGS as “mischief, nuisance, or horseplay.” Of course, Hans Wehr’s work is dated, if not outdated, but it should at least inspire deeper delving and perhaps richer discovery.
As I said, I have no opinion on this matter, one way or the other. I am sure the answers presented so far are correct, but I wish to see more varied input from our Egyptian colleagues, confirming, contradicting, or just commenting on this variety of meanings.
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reply to fuad
Fuad stated the following:
"while a BAKKASH usually praises himself."
This is not true. Bakkash is usually a praiser/flatterer of others so as to gain whatever ends he wants to gain. It doesn't usually refer to praising onself. This word therefore, is not used in the sense of lying for the sake of self-aggrandizement. It is for the aggrandisement of others like I said before.
As for HAGGAS: It, like I mentioned in my posting, refers to exaggeration mainly without necessarily being used fooling or goofing around, either verbally or physically.
I agree that it can refer to deceptive or misleading statements, whether by way of exaggeration or outright fabrication, but I don't agree that it can refer to childish or nonsensical behavior, verbal or otherwise.
In doing so the Haggas is trying to draw the attention to himself or trying to gain an audiance.
Not always do I, for one, have the luxury of time to expand on the details I give on this forum. Please forgive me.
Local time: 10:37
Native speaker of: Arabic, English
PRO pts in pair: 553
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braggart, braggadocio, blowhard, blower, hot air merchant
Now that we seem to be coming to an agreement on BAKKASH, I would like to go back to your original question, where you asked for suggestions of equivalent terms in English, both standard and slang.
The terms I am suggesting are from Roget's II, The New Thesaurus, Third Edition.
"Braggart" is a standard pejorative term, derived from "bragger" (one who brags).
"Braggadocio" is another term whose very sound evokes the intended meaning of boastfulness and vainglory.
"Blowhard" is considered "informal," while "blower" is considered "slang."
"Hot air merchant" is just a descriptive phrase.
All of these terms convey the sense of exaggerated self-praise and ostentatious vainness, in a pitiable way. If this is the sense that is conveyed by BAKKASH, then any of these terms should suffice.
These terms, however, do not convey the sense of willful, calculating social climbing, such as smoothing one's way along the corporate ladder by self-promotion and positive deception. If this is an essential element in BAKKASH, then these terms would fall short.
In that case, the term that would come close is "weasel," a noun commonly used in the US for someone who lies smoothly and adroitly with selfish intent.
American Heritage Dictionary
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