edited December 1969 in Random Issues
Hey guys, I had a quick question:

When you talk to a priest on the phone or through email, out of respect, do you say "Noqabil el ayady ya 2ods Abouna" or something else?

Thanks for your responses in advance.  Please pray for me.


  • i have no idea, i just say 'salaam ya abouna, izayyak?'
    which is almost as bad as english 'what's up, mate?'
    so i will watch this thread to see how to do it properly.
    i noticed the priests in my church call each other 'odsak' (your holiness) but it sounds funny to me and i haven't been able to do it yet without laughing, so i just say 'ya abouna' in order not to be too familiar.

    they know my arabic is bad so they let me off  ;)

    you can also say 'noufri', which also means, 'hey, how you doing?' but it's coptic so it sounds polite.
    i eagerly await the responses of the more educated posters...
  • Am not sure, but i do know that when priest's greet each other on the phone they say "Qabil el ayady ya abey".

    I've heard heaps of people say, "salaam ya ods abouna"

  • Simply, over the phone I just say Father, in person i say Abouna or Your Reverence or Kodsak, Email I say Reverend Father. I think simplicty with respect works best!
  • simplicity sounds good to me!
    i think what matters is having the right respectful attitude, rather than worrying too much about the words.

    on a language note, what do you mean by 'qabil el ayady' in this context?
  • Thanks for the responses guys.

    "Noqabil el ayady" literally means "We kiss your hands."  I've heard several people say it when they're on the phone with Abouna and it sounds a lot more respectful than "Hey, what's up Abouna" lol.  I just wanted to make sure.  I suppose because when you greet a priest, the first thing you do is kiss the cross and his hand, so because you're not physically in his presence at that moment, you say that as if you were, so saying that would be like kissing his hand because you obviously can't do that through the phone :D

    That's my guess at any rate.
  • I usually say:

    Hi Father, KYBH

    (Kissing your blessed hands)

  • [quote author=epchois_nai_nan link=topic=11550.msg139043#msg139043 date=1307371012]
    I usually say:

    Hi Father, KYBH

    (Kissing your blessed hands)


    LOL that would be the equivalent of what I'm saying in Arabic :)
  • What! Since when was there a special way to greet Abouna?!!!  ??? I always just say Hi Abouna whether I'm calling or emailing or talking to him.
  • You must have heard your parents talk to abouna over the phone, lol. They shower priests with compliments. Your priest is your father, address him accordingly. There is no need for a routine or unnecessary comments. Speak to him with simplicity, respect, and love. Remember that the clergy do not like all these compliments. They do not need an ego boost and in many cases it increases pride. I am not saying not to compliment them, but if it is insincere why do it?
  • I just say "hey man, wassup" hahaha
  • why is it 'ayady, and not 'ayadak?
    isn't 'ayady 'my hands'?

    language lesson please  ;)
  • [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=11550.msg139100#msg139100 date=1307478557]
    why is it 'ayady, and not 'ayadak?
    isn't 'ayady 'my hands'?

    language lesson please  ;)

    Online Tasbeha.org Arabic University for Dummies.
  • [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=11550.msg139100#msg139100 date=1307478557]
    why is it 'ayady, and not 'ayadak?
    isn't 'ayady 'my hands'?

    language lesson please  ;)

    "Ayady" is the plural of "eed"
    "My hands" would be "idaya"

    Correct me if I'm wrong...
  • [quote author=GODlovesme link=topic=11550.msg139107#msg139107 date=1307488702]
    [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=11550.msg139100#msg139100 date=1307478557]
    why is it 'ayady, and not 'ayadak?
    isn't 'ayady 'my hands'?

    language lesson please  ;)

    "Ayady" is the plural of "eed"
    "My hands" would be "idaya"

    Correct me if I'm wrong...

    Idaya is the street language word.
    Ayady is the proper arabic word.

    Lol, funny now: Isn't the plural for eed, eedat? :P I'm kidding, the plural for eed is ayad. There you go, My dad taught me full arabic by force by the belt.
  • Is a form with -ak wrong, though?
  • i am sorry to hear about the belt, khas.
    i think punishment is needed when we do things wrong (hit our sister, refuse to go to school etc.)
    but it is not good to punish someone for not speaking good arabic  :(

    maybe it's more usual to say 'i kiss the hands' instead of 'your hands'.
    in some languages, you don't use possessive adjectives in informal speech as much as we use them in english.

    i am attempting to answer my own question!
    yes some of us speak bad arabic, but we are not embarrassed!
  • sometimes we get too caught up with titles, and forget what we need to talk about...

    have you ever chatted with someone, and said "*sigh*"? so when people talk on the phone, they cant kiss the priest's hand, so they say "noqabel el ayady" (we kiss the hands)... same as you saying an emotion while chatting...

    then they proceed with qodsak (your reverence) to priest
    or nieftak ( your grace) to bishop
    or nieftak again (your Eminence) to a metropolitan
    or qadastak (you Holiness) to the pope

    and these are the titles you should always use, even when you speak to them in person... but again, don't get caught up in how to address them, just focus on your discussion... this reminds me of once I was talking to a clergy, and I kept on addressing him with the wrong title... so he said, " call me abouna, brother, yalla, walla, it doesnt matter... I'm a God's servant in the end"

    neshkor Allah, akhadna el baraka...
  • hahaha nice response SuperMan!
  • what exactly does nieftak mean?
    then again, what does eminence mean?
    in anatomy, it's a bony bit that sticks out, and is a bit knobbly, like an old, thin man's knee.
    i sometimes email a metropolitan (a wonderful, hardworking, kind person) and i do sometimes call him 'your eminence' but i find it really hard to write a serious email after that, coz i am thinking of old men's knees!
    i hope he didn't notice from my emails that i was laughing while writing them...

    i hope that if someone speaks better english than i do and can tell me what it means, then i can control myself better when using the term  ;)
  • Well, I wouldn't say I know English better than an actual English person... ;)

    But I DO know words, and according to Etymology Online (a very nice website for these kinds of questions), "eminence" first appears c.1400 with the meaning of "projection, protuberance" (so, yes, just like the anatomical meaning!), by the 1500s extended to "high or exalted position", which was used with that meaning as a title for cardinals by 1650.

    So, there ya go. As with so many other things, it is a case of semantic extension:

    Bony, protruding bit > High position (by illusion to previous) > Title of respect

    I could think of stranger things to happen in the world of historical linguistics, but this one's pretty good.  ;)
  • thanks, yr english is better than mine!
    i see that emminence comes close in meaning to 'wonderful, hardworking, kind person' so i will think of it as meaning that and banish all thoughts of bonyness  ;)
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