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Hədṛat Lwaba (Lwaba Language)

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Lwaba Language
Latin script: Hədṛat el-Lwaba, Arabic script: هدرات اللوابا
Native toMorocco
RegionMorocco: mainly in cities of the south and the west of the country (the so-called Dakhil region)
Native speakers
Afro-Asiatic, Arabic dialects, Arabic Slangs
  • Lwaba Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3

The Hədṛat el-Lwaba (literally “Lwaba language”) is an Arabic-based queer language or slang used by Arabic-speaking people belonging to gender and sexual minorities in urban Moroccan communities. Its speakers refer to themselves of the Lwaba community (singular Lubya whose original meaning is “bean”.[1]), which is a Moroccan specific identity grouping different minorities of gender and/or sexuality[2]

Map of Moroccan Queer Languages
Map of Moroccan Queer Languages (Garaoun 2022)

This language has Moroccan Arabic as its matrix, from which it differs by an elaborate alternative lexicon, and some pragmatic, morphologic, prosodic, and phonetic specificities. It is mainly practiced in the big cities of the Atlantic and the Souss plains. If it is the most widespread and known queer Moroccan slang, other undescribed varieties are also spoken, especially in the North of the country. It presents an important internal variation (at the diatopic, diagenerational and diastratic levels):

-       Casablanca məṛmṛa, Marrakesh məṛmura “super-feminine”

-       Marrakesh mesnun, Agadir mesnan, “gossip”

Due to the laws penalizing homosexuality and sexwork in Morocco[3], it is very difficult to investigate on this language of which we do not know basic elements such as the number of speakers or the origin. The analysis of its lexicon and in particular of the language contact phenomena that it shows nevertheless makes it possible to determine the importance of the influence of plurilingual Moroccan Arabic - Berber and French individuals in the process that led to its emergence.

The Hədṛat el-Lwaba arose for the same reason that most antilanguages develop, to ensure in-group preference in diverse societies. However it also fulfilled other functions such as to "camp up" conversation, and provide entertainment in a subculture where verbal wit and repartee are highly valued.

Commonly used terms[edit]

Hədṛat el-Lwaba (latin script) Hədṛat el-Lwaba   (Arabic script) Etymology English translation
Ḥšəf حشف Unknown Money
Ḥəṭṭan حطّان <Arabic root ḤṬṬ “to put on” Verbal attacks
Ḥəṭṭaṭa حطّاطة Verbal attacks expert
ʔaməḥṭāṭ أمحطاط The fact of doing verbal attacks
Təšlāx تشلاخ <Arabic root ŠLX “to slice” Sounds, mimics, and body movements that express hyper femininity
Ẓəllal زلّال <Tamazight root ẒLL “value” Sex partner
Baš باش <French bâche “tarpolin” Night
Talaṣyanit تالاصيانيت <French l’ancienne “the old one” + Berber morphological stem Sex worker’s expertise
Lašwih لاشويه <Colloquial Darija šuha + French article la Scandal
Gəlti قلتي <Colloquial Darija you told You slay
Fədṛiya فدرية <Colloquial Darija fəṛdi “rifle” (+ metathesis and feminisation) Penis
Māmma l-fədṛīya ماما لفدرية Hudge penis
Səyyədati سيّداتي <Colloquial Darija “my mistress” HIV / AIDS

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic Language : Simplified Chinese characters, Google Translate, Latin, Traditional Chinese characters
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  1. Gallardo, Lucille (2018-11-27). "Marien Gouyon. 2018. Ana Loubia. Ethnographie des homosexualités masculines à Casablanca". GLAD! (5). doi:10.4000/glad.1158. ISSN 2551-0819. Unknown parameter |s2cid= ignored (help)
  2. Garaoun, Massinissa (12 April 2022). "A wīl-i žṛāhīm! An Introduction to a Moroccan Queer Language: Həḍṛāt əl-Lwāba". Decolonizing Sexualities Network. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  3. "LOUBYA IN TIME OF CORONA : REPORT 2020". Nassawiyat. 22 February 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021. |Authors list= missing |1= (help)

External links[edit]

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