I have greatly enjoyed (slowly) getting to know the Arabic language and the idioms and phrases that are used by my students. One that I love is the "yuma*."
"Yuma" is most commonly used as an interjection by my students. For example, last year, in my 7th grade class, we read the teleplay for "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" then we watched the Twilight Zone episode. I had no idea what a hit the old '50s TV show would be! They loved it, and the simple plot lines and language were right on their comprehension levels! So for our reward party days, I downloaded a bunch of episodes and they begged to watch!
I laughed every time the scary pig-faced people were revealed or the creepy guy popped up unexpectedly in the back seat because 5 girls would simultaneously whimper and call out, "YUMA!"
"Yuma" means "Mommy." So when my girls are startled, they call out for their mommies!
I get the mental picture of Daffy Duck suspended in mid-air over a deep ravine or off the edge of a skyscraper, eyes wide staring at the camera for a second and quietly crying "mother" before disappearing from the shot.
I love it.
The Mister says the boys do the same thing. I think it's hilarious.
*No, this is not where the Native Americans of Arizona got the name of the town. This is just the transliteration of the word.
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