"Roumi"

I’m studying Moroccan Arabic in Morocco, and a word I hear often is “Roumi,” as a word referring to foreigners, or for things generally “western,” the opposite of “Bildi” etc. How would you define it? Furthermore, do you know the origin of the word “Roumi?” Does it come from “Roman?” Or from something else?

Assalamu alaikum

While I am not Moroccan, I will take a stab at it. Rumi is, as you indicated, a reference to Western influence or interference. Rum is used in the Holy Qur’an and refers to Rome, as a matter of fact it is the name of a Surah, chapter. My suspicion is that they are using the word Rumi to refer to non-Islamic concepts.

Wa Salam

Welcome to the forum, eloiseplz. Please drop a line about yourself in the new members section :).
I never heard in darija the word roumi referring to a person. It only refers to thing. However, in Berber, we do use the word “aroumi” for foreigners. A foreigner is called in Darija: Nsrani, a word from MSA meaning Christian. There is also the word “gawri”.
I think that you are both right, considering the root of the word roumi, it seems to take its origins from “Roman”.
I think the best word to translate roumi is western, or foreigner… just as you stated, eloiseplz.

I didn’t bring up something new, I just confirmed what you stated :).

thanks a lot for your comments. i’ve heard nsrani and gawri too—any idea where gawri comes from? shokrane…

I read somewhere that the word gawri comes from the Turkish word “gavur” that refers to any non Muslim. I am not sure how much is this information relevant. [I hope that some Turkish speaking member will confirm at least the meaning of the word gavur. Zeynelabidin?]

Another version I read is that it comes from the Turkish word “gwer”, which means pig. I am not sure about this though. This would be insulting to non Muslims calling them pigs.

If anyone else has a better/clearer analysis of the etymology of the word gawri, we’ll be glad to learn.

Isn’t Gavur Kafir in Arabic? (Non believer).
Waiting for a Turkish confirmation!

Assalamu alaykum,

In Turkish “Rum” is nowadays used to refer to Greek Cypriots, but earlier it was used for any Greek-rooted people living under Muslim rule.

And “gavur” is used to refer to non-muslims, the Arabic equivalent would be “kafir”. But both of them sound a bit harsh and insulting, that’s why it is better to use the word “gayri müslim” (=non-Muslim).

I hope that helps.

i really would love to speak Turkish.:smiley:

[quote=SimplyMoroccan]Welcome to the forum, eloiseplz. Please drop a line about yourself in the new members section :).
I never heard in darija the word roumi referring to a person. It only refers to thing. However, in Berber, we do use the word “aroumi” for foreigners. A foreigner is called in Darija: Nsrani, a word from MSA meaning Christian. There is also the word “gawri”.
I think that you are both right, considering the root of the word roumi, it seems to take its origins from “Roman”.
I think the best word to translate roumi is western, or foreigner… just as you stated, eloiseplz.

I didn’t bring up something new, I just confirmed what you stated :).[/quote]
i have an other version…more whimsical!:unsure:

I don’t know if this word “gawri” is used in the whole arabico-islamic world. In France Arabes are used to be call Beurs (which look likes le word beurre = butter :^^:) in a popular language called Verlan.(more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verlan)

In response of that, arabes called non-arabic population les gours (yaourt, yoghourt) —> lgawri (masc. sing) —> [i]lgwar/i —> lgawria (fem. sing.) —> lgwirates (fem. pl.)

does someone have heard of that?

Interesting, but what about the poet Rumi? He’s not western…and you can see why I ask :wink:

The original question was about roumi, so perhaps these are different words with different meanings and not to be confused?

Interesting, but what about the poet Rumi? He’s not western…and you can see why I ask :wink:

The original question was about roumi, so perhaps these are different words with different meanings and not to be confused?[/quote]
Assalamu alaikum

I am well aware of who Jalaluddin Rumi, rahmatullahi alaihi, was. His influence, however, is not well documented in Maghrib, i.e. Morocco. When and if a Maghribi speaks of a Roumi (Rumi), I doubt seriously that they are referring to him. His influence is found mostly in Turkey, Iran and the Caucauses.

“gawri” , utilisé principalement au Maroc pour parler des Européens, vient sans doute de “gaulois” ,
de même qu’en Tunisie, on emploie plutôt “roumi”, romain.

salam, gavur in turkish as stated previously by zeynelabidin means non-muslim, however gwer doesn’t mean pig, domuz is pig, therefore we are not, in fact calling them pigs, we are too nice to do that :wink:

and rumi was magnificent, that is, jalaladdin rumi (Mevlana) :smiley:

[quote=maldoror]“gawri” , utilisé principalement au Maroc pour parler des Européens, vient sans doute de “gaulois” ,
de même qu’en Tunisie, on emploie plutôt “roumi”, romain.[/quote]
En fait, gawri ne désigne pas uniquement les européens, mais aussi des américains, des australiens… Bref, des étrangers. Je crois que “gaulois” n’est pas vraiment la source du mot.

[quote=MonPaysMarOc]salam, gavur in turkish as stated previously by zeynelabidin means non-muslim, however gwer doesn’t mean pig, domuz is pig, therefore we are not, in fact calling them pigs, we are too nice to do that :wink:

and rumi was magnificent, that is, jalaladdin rumi (Mevlana) :D[/quote]
Thank you for the confirmation. :slight_smile:

you’re most welcome :wink: it’s not always u that needs to confirm things for us hey, we gotta pay u back too :smiley:

What on earth has your holy Quran got to do with anything?! Irumien is what we Amazigh people say because we were under Roman occupation, your Saudi Arabian wasnt! Gawri comes from our old term for Greeks, because we had very close contact with Greeks. Arabs didnt.

You Arabised people are a mess. Before Arabs ever existed or came to our land, we used the term Irumien and Gawri’s. It has nothing to do with your Arab masters or your Islam, nor your Ottoman Turks. Please control your Stockholm Syndrome. :woman_facepalming:t2: