The End - 2000 to 2009

Merriam-Webster adds “Haram” to the dictionary

I wouldn’t be surprised if some Islam haters start complaining about how “sharia has invaded the English language”. Hahaha.

The irresistible power of the digital revolution to transform everything in its path has been confirmed, lest anyone still doubts it, by one of the arbitors of the English language itself.

Merriam-Webster, the revered publishing house known for its texts on American English, released today a sample of more than 100 new words it has granted entry into its Collegiate dictionary this year. Fully a fifth of them relate to technological innovation.

The entry:

Items, usually foods, forbidden under Islamic law

Source (via ChillYoIslamYo)

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  • 13 Responses for "Merriam-Webster adds “Haram” to the dictionary"

    1. Jawaad Ahmad Khan July 16th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

      Lol, I wonder if they’ll add in Halaal…

      Watch Haram become a new slang word… “yo that movie was so whack…nah bro, that was straight up haram!”

      *and I laugh at myself..


    2. Amatullah July 16th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

      ^Haram is actually a slang word in some places. So is “wallahi”

      I’ve heard both used by non-Muslims..thought it was quite funny.

    3. Abdullah July 16th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

      you think they would add the word halal first since you see it more often (restaurants, meat products etc.) but guess not.

    4. Ikram Kurdi July 16th, 2009 at 11:34 pm

      That is interesting. 🙂

    5. Ayoub July 17th, 2009 at 12:27 am

      This is not the first time English adopts arabic words.










      list goes on and on…

    6. Zookeeper July 17th, 2009 at 2:42 am

      That’s pretty cool, but like brother Ayob pointed out…looks like they adopt a whole lot of words.

      Ive heard non muslims say Wallahi too but those guys hung out with wayyy to many lebanese ppl lol

    7. Anonymous-NoVA July 17th, 2009 at 10:09 am

      “haraam” and “halaal” are Islamic terms but like Ayoub mentioned there are so many words that made their way into common language through the introduction of new technology to the Christian Europeans through Muslims of Spain and/or Middle East:

      Alcohol (Al-Kohl)
      Algorithm (Alkhwarizmi, the great Mathematician who wrote Al-Jabr Wal-Muqabala)
      Baccalaureatte (Bi-haqq al-riwayati, Ijaza, the right to teach on someone’s behalf, equivalent of modern day degree. The term baccalaureatte appears in the system of degrees in the University of Paris in 1231. There are Ijazas from 1147 and 1198 that mention “Bi-haqq Riwaya”:
      Cipher (sifr)
      Camera (qamara, dark chamber)
      Candy (qandi)
      Coffee (Kahva, kawa, caffe)
      Cotton (qutun)
      Crimson (qirmazi)
      Jasmine (yasmeen)
      Lute (Al-Uud, forerunner to guitar)
      Mattress (matras, the Crusaders slept on floor, they learned about it from Muslims)
      Nader (nadeer, parallel)
      Gauze (qazz)
      Orange (Naaranj)
      Safari (safar)
      Sash (shaash, wrap)
      Sherbat, sorbet, syrup (sharaab, drink)
      Sofa (suffa)
      Sugar (sukkar, introduced to Christian Europe after Crusades)
      Tangerine (from Tangier’s oranges that were imported into Muslim Spain)

    8. Stranger July 17th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

      I can’t non-Muslims saying haram or wallahi as slang. Muslims yes, but if I heard a non-Muslim say something like that, I’d probably start laughing.
      They’ve put in a nice concise definition for it though, at least from the point of view of someone who’s not Muslim it’s adequate.

    9. hamida July 18th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

      I found the word Baraka used in the French translation of “A times traveler wife”. The word carried the same meaning in Arabic; unfortunately the book is not with me so I can quote. I Google it and the word only appears in the French translation and not the original (English). The dialogue in the book has slang to give it a more realistic feel to it, so Baraka must be used in a lot of French communities in Europe, not in Canada since I never heard of it. Generally speaking, it’s a common thing I guess, languages do evolve and you can retrace so many languages to their language family. The more interesting part is that different languages borrow different words, so it might be haram in English and Baraka in French. Since globalization, study show that language has evolved more rapidly to a point that some languages are in the verge of extinction (i.e. see “English killer language“) reference upon request

    10. Stranger July 18th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

      Funny, I just read in my geography book that the word monsoon is originally from the Arabic word ‘mawsim’ meaning seasons. Finding out things like this makes me want to switch my major to linguistics, I think the whole using words and adapting them from another language thing is fascinating.

    11. hamida July 19th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      Hands down linguistics is the most fascinating subject i ever took. I took it as an elective ended up changing my major to linguistics. Personally, it got me closer to Allah. Subhanallah , the funny thing is in the beginning i though: here’s your brain— here’s what produces language and there you go, you can speak . Its complicated ….so complicated that theres rigorous debates over everything;critical period, universal grammar, bilingualism . Which is pain when you’re righting a paper

      Here’s a few gems

      – do you know that babies are born multilingual , they can produce all sounds known to mankind fluently like native speakers. Well of course devoid of meaning. The interesting part is that babies lose that ability by mimicking you. So when your using baby talk you are hampering your child’s development. Language development starts way before a baby is born some study show , that
      newborns are already tuned to their mothers language .

      – Does language create your concept are is it your concept that creates your language
      Ex: we have green and blue in the English language. Our conception of those colors are that they are completely different from each other. As an English native speaker , you can easily distinguish one from the other. But as a Greek native speaker both colors are identical , there both one color called “xxx”, they cant tell them apart. So does languages create your concept or is it the other way around.

      -There are a lot of things researchers cant explain, in the same realm as the “the great leap forward and big bang”,

      If any of you are interested in reading up on it , i have some fantastic articles on sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, children’s language development and bilingualism anything pertaining to linguistics.

    12. David July 21st, 2009 at 11:09 pm

      I use it sometimes. And “haram harem”

    13. Ummkulthum September 19th, 2009 at 4:06 am

      Just give it a bit of time- Ignorant bigot will definitely complain about how ‘Sharia Law is invading our lands!’
      Lol, they are so weird.

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