estranged family headache

Bint

I had a lovely contact email a while ago from a fellow blogger. It was all quite pleasant but he did say something rather strange.

He asked me to stop referring to myself as ‘bint’, in none direct rather protective way.

It occurred to me that the term is not well known.

Here’s what yourdictionary.com says about the word ‘bint’

From Arabic بِنْت (bínt, “girl, daughter”), used to denote a patronym. … It is used as a derogatory slang word in the United Kingdom, meaning ‘woman’ or ‘girl’. Its register varies from that of the harsher bitch to an affectionate term for a young woman, the latter being more commonly associated with the West Midlands.

However, this was a term used down in Cornwall in England to just mean ‘female’ -especially amongst family members.

I know this, as I grew up in the South West of England and the term was not used in a negative manner – this is something which must have happened in the last couple of decades – for whatever reason.

From worldwideworlds.org –

The word is Arabic for a daughter, specifically one who has yet to bear a child. It was in common use as a slang term during the first and second World Wars among British and Allied servicemen stationed in Egypt and neighbouring countries.24 Mar 2001

But…

In Arabic, ‘bin’ literally translates to “son of” and ‘bint’ translates to “daughter of”. ( Bint literally means “girl” in Arabic)

I’m not sure why the term took off down in the southwest of England. I’m unsure as to why it’s not so popular now but that is language for you. I’m not Arabic, I’m British, cut me and I’d bleed true British blood, but to be British is a state of mind, not a birth right.

Whilst I love that someone finally contacted me, I’ve been blogging nearly two years and only ever had one message which wasn’t spam, it was a little disappointing that they were advising me that my name was derogatory and I shouldn’t call myself ‘bint’.

He seems like a lovely guy so this is all a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ – but worth a little article about how our perceptions can colour the filter we put on life. I live near London and have spent most of my life in UK. It is a hotch potch of different cultures – we have always taken words we like from those who surround us.

In Scotland (part of the UK) when they say , ‘she’s a silly bint’ , it’s kinda harmless banter and the term isn’t as harsh as calling someone a ‘silly bitch’, it’s more equal but less offensive than the term ‘silly cow’…but none of these things will mean anything unless you come from or have spent some time in The United Kingdom.

Our culture is built on blind faith and banter.

So, my blog name of unextraordinarybint just means ‘normal girl’…which is a bit of a stretch I realise, but hopefully most of you will get where I’m coming from.

To the blogger, thank you sincerely for your concern, you are proper gent.

To the rest of you, many thanks for reading, all comments welcome.

 

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