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"There is no pencil in my bag."

Translation:لَيْسَ هُناك قَلَم رَصاص في شَنْطَتي.

October 7, 2019



The writing core of classic"wodden gray pencils" was made of lead, before graphite came as a replacement material. In french we still say "mine de plomb" ou "crayon de plomb" for some of these graphic tools, even if there is no lead in the chemical composition of it anymore.


Why is there raSaaS in the sentence?

  • 1410

Pencil in Arabic is قلم رصاص.

Originally, رصاص means lead but I'm not sure why it was called so. Maybe in the old days people thought that such writing tools were made from lead in the inside, or maybe it is simply describing the color it makes. Still in some places they would use the word رصاصي (raSáSí) for the grey color (but mostly it would be called رمادي Ramádí, meaning ash-like color).


I don't know for sure, but it's probably separating pen from pencil.

  • 1410

It is for sure. The point is, we are not sure why a pencil would specifically be called قلم رصاص, which translates to pen of lead. So, in theory, it is either the people in the old days thought such writing tool was made from lead (or maybe it was indeed at some time?), or it refers to the grayish color of the writing.
On a side note: coloring pencils, in Arabic, are typically called ألوان خشبية (alwán xašabiyyah: wooden colors).


it was made of lead, indeed ;)


في شنطتي مش فلم رصاص؟

  • 1410
  1. The word مش is not Arabic. It's used in Egyptian dialect and originally from Coptic and ancient Egyptian.
  2. The structure of the sentence, even in Egyptian dialect, is not quite correct. An Egyptian would most probably say: مافيش قلم رصاص في شنطتي with قـ spelled like Hamza or "A".
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