Klmatic Monologues: BRAND NAMES AS WORDS

Klma = Word. Klmatic Monologues is a semi-regular series on words in Moroccan Arabic (Darija). Note 1: I am neither a linguist nor a native speaker, so this should be taken as amateur antics. Note 2: Darija is not a standardized written language, like Modern Standard Arabic (FusHa) or Standard English, so my Latin letter transcriptions are subjective. In other words, spelling will always be questionable.

For more Klmatic Monologues, go here.


This post is not about any specific word. Instead, I’m going to write a quick blurb about the phenomenon of generic trademarks in Moroccan Darija. Also known as proprietary eponyms, these words are trademarks or brand names that have become the general words for products.

English has them too. Some examples: Band-Aid. Google. Thermos. Aspirin. Chapstick. For Native English speakers learning Darija, some of the generic trademarks can be funny-sounding—but we have to remember that we have just as many! They’ve just become normalized to us.

And some are crossovers. For instance, in English, we use “Kleenex” as a general word to mean “tissue.” However, in Darija, there isn’t even another word for “tissue”! The word “klinix” means “tissue.” Safi.

Here are some other brand names that are Darija words:

  • “Teed” (aka TIDE) = laundry detergent
  • “Danoon” (aka DANNON) = yogurt
  • “Poulet Kentucki” (aka KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN) = any fried chicken
  • “Indomie” (aka INDOMIE BRAND RAMEN) = any ramen/instant noodle package
  • “Pay-say” (aka PC) = computer
  • “Sinial” (aka SIGNAL) = toothpaste

In our opinion, these words make it infinitely easier to learn some aspects of Darija! Instead of a complex Arabic word with no common cognates with English, we get some words with easy-to-remember associations. Yay!

And so the language adventures continue along with all of our other adventures. 🙂

Yours Truly,

Robert & Julie


2 thoughts on “Klmatic Monologues: BRAND NAMES AS WORDS

    • Julie Feng says:

      Thanks, Sanchia! 🙂 You absolutely should! Although fair warning–you’re unlikely to find any Darija textbooks since it’s not a written language. I’ve found one slightly inaccurate dictionary so far, haha. (And when I showed my students, they were shocked, SHOCKED, that a Darija dictionary even existed!) Still, it’s such a fun language. I hope it helps me learn Modern Standard Arabic next! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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