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Egypt | 5 Funny Phrases You’ll Hear!

Egypt introduced me to the phrase ‘culture shock‘. When I visited Egypt in December 2012 it was my first across seas trip. It was the one of the first literal eye-opening adventures I have had. Egypt has had its issues throughout the past years though if you get the chance to visit I guarantee the trip to the country, which is so rich in history, art and breathtaking architecture, is well worth it!

While you venture through Egypt you’re bound to here these hilarious phrases …

If I’m missing any that you encountered let me know in the comments!

Good Price, Best Price!, Egypt, Cairo

Good Price, Best Price!

  1. Good Price, Best Price!: I quite often was approached by sales people coming out of their stores, they would often say this phrase in order to pique my attention and try and make a sale. If they caught/think they caught what you were looking at they would run around in their store picking up many different piece of that item to see if it is of interest to you. Most of the time they grab something I wasn’t looking at though, haha. It was always very interesting shopping in Egypt, there typically are no set prices for items and we were told to always barter which is handy if you’re good at it!

  2. I have everything you are looking for: While walking through the market, out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of a store owner. Suddenly they would speak up and say, “I have everything you’re looking for (typically combined with #1 as well). In Egypt after the revolution in 2011 times have been tough, as well as volatile. The tourism into the country has been cut off completely several times in the past few years. Some say it’s almost the best time to visit because there’s a significantly smaller amount of people at each site; though, there are a lot of locals desperate to make a sale.

  3. Canada Dry: This one only applies to Canadians, as you may have guessed. Every time I was asked where I am from or would hand over my passport I would get the response, “Ah! Canada Dry, Eh?” This phrase was typically followed up with “Vancouver … Toronto?” To which I responded Vancouver because it’s close to where I live. It was highly entertaining hearing this all the time, they always mean well. :)

4. 100 Camels for ____: Typically said when you’re traveling male and female; a male will approach you and try to make this trade. I stood there staring at the male who said this to my husband until I realized he actually just asked to trade 100 camels for me. It was quite hilarious but I found it a little strange, haha.

  1. Shakira: While walking around in Egypt when my hair and eyes were not covered I was typically bombarded by men yelling, “Shakira, Shakira!” I approached my guild to ask if the men there thought I was Shakira or if they called me that because they love Shakira. He responded, “Nope, men love women.” I got a good laugh out of his response and can understand that I do kind of stand out with my pale white skin and blonde hair.
Felucca, Nile, Egypt, Aswan, Luxor, Baksheesh, Arabic, Travel, Nile River

We literally had little kids in makeshift boats hand-paddle their way to our boat to ask for Baksheesh.

On another note, and not especially funny … From my personal experience the most common word of all that you’ll hear in Egypt is:

baksheesh

[bak-sheesh, bak-sheesh] (in the Near and Middle East)

noun

1. a tip, present, or gratuity.

verb (used with object), verb (used without object)

2. to give a tip.

Baksheesh is used when you have received a service (sometimes, whether you wanted the service or not) and the person feels as if they deserve a tip. Tipping is very much mandatory in Egypt and many countries in the region. The most unfortunate thing about baksheesh is that once you have given in and handed money over to the person asking they will proceed to ask for more … I don’t know of an easy way to win this battle; though, you could do what a lady I was traveling with did, cry! Yup, full-fledged sobbing tears of frustration and anger. That’s about the only way I know or have seen work in this case.

We, personally, have run into issues where we’ve stressed to a person we don’t need them and will not be tipping them; yet, they still seemed to tag along and ended up really upset when we would not tip (until eventually we gave in).

Some fellow bloggers of mine at Egyptian Sidekick (a tour company and bloggers within Egypt) can tell you exactly why Baksheesh is Bad, as well as some great points for your future adventures through Egypt!

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5 Funny Phrases


Have you ever encountered any of these or other phrases while traveling throughout Egypt?

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Dawn Kealing

Travel Blogger at Life, Love and Adventure
Hey! I'm a 20 something Canadian with backgrounds in Photography and Art. I'm here to bring you the most current information on travel and keep you up to date on the best adventure destinations around the world!

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One Response to “Egypt | 5 Funny Phrases You’ll Hear!”

  1. kathy Kathleen July 1, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    Nice post. It is funny and I enjoyed reading this blog. . I am planning to visit Canada this July and all arrangements are done by a local travel service provider citadeltours by the help of my brother who is staying there. Hope I will enjoy my trip to the fullest.

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