Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Beautiful Etymology of The End

One of those idiosyncrasies that one gets used to as an expat over time is the adoption of various parts of the vernacular by all foreigners. I actually think that on some kind of psychological level, it's this kind of behaviour that sits at the core of integration into any foreign society. 

In Saudi Arabia, it is not uncommon to hear people who aren't Muslim or Islamically inclined say things like Inshallah (If God Wills It), and Alhamdulilah (Praise be to God) in parts of their every day speech. We are also not exempt from using Arabic words in our everyday language - and this is especially true for quasi-colloquial words like Khalaas

Very rarely will one encounter a word that is as flexible, versatile and malleable in any language. Etymologically speaking, the word Khalaas خَلَصَ‏ comes from ḵalaṣa, meaning “to be pure”. As an every-day common word, Khalaas can mean a wide array of things, depending on the context.  

As a noun, it can convey settlement, deliverance, receipt, payment, riddance, liquidation and even liberation - under which, it can mean any of the following:

Thank you.
It's done.
There's nothing left.
Like this.
Let's go.
It's over.
Stop it.
It's finished.
I'm finished.
The end.

Of course, among the expats, the word Khalaas is often used to convey whole sentences and entire conversations - provided that it is said with the correct intonation. In the lives and minds of non-natives, it could mean any of the following:

Ok, Agreed?
Is it done/over/finished ALREADY?
Who ate all the food?
Fuck off. 
Are you done?
Are we done?
Stop what you're doing.
Shut up and take my money.
Get away from me.
You're talking too much.
Whatever, I still want it.
Whatever, I still want to go there.
Get away from me with your dragon breath.
I don't owe you anything, do I?
Keep the change.
I had enough to eat.
I had enough to drink.
I had enough of your shit.
Thanks again.
I don't want to hear any more of this.
That's it, I'm done!
I don't get it, what are you even talking about?
He's / She's dead?
Ok, I'll go to the....
Ok, I'll do it...
Let's get the hell out of here.
Why did you have to do that, now I'm going to have to eat it off the floor.

Beautiful, isn't it?


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, even "Fuck off" - LOL!

    2. Damn, that word IS bendy, versatile and malleable, all right!

  2. My favourite is how they use it to end an argument. Quite amazing, and I wish more people in the world could just cut conflict short like that and move on.

    1. LOL! Yes, they use it to end a conversation too. Like "enough of this" = "Khalaas Kida". Yes, it makes everything so much easier.