Ars (slang)

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Ars (Hebrew: ערס`ars), or Arsim (the plural in Hebrew) is a derogatory Hebrew slang term for the Israeli stereotype of a low-class young man. The stereotype may also refer to attributes such as flashy jewelry and clothing. A woman fitting this stereotype is an Arsit (though this usually implies a certain manliness in the woman), the word formed by adding the Hebrew feminine ending "it" to the Arabic word "Ars" (Arabic: عرص‎, ʿarṣ). Another term used for women is Freḥa (פרחה), originally a female Moroccan first name popular in the 1950s and the 1960s, during the large immigration wave from Morocco to Israel. The Ars subculture traditionally was associated with young Jews of Middle Eastern origin, but in recent years has expanded to a broader range of ethnicities. In particular, "Freḥa" is used presently for intellectually shallow girls of all ethnicities, like bimbo or airhead in English.

The term is often considered offensive and racist towards Mizrahi youth, and is usually considered[by whom?] pejorative when said in person. Some[who?] criticize the term for stereotyping Mizrahi youth culture and for being inaccurate.

In Arabic the word ars has several meanings:[1]

  • A shepherd (literal meaning)
  • A pimp in general (common colloquial meaning, the "sheep" being his prostitutes). Cfr. "ro`e zonot" (literally "shepherd of whores") in Hebrew.
  • A cuckold, a man whose wife is unfaithful to him
  • A man who pimps his wife
  • A wicked or contemptible person, a "bad guy"
  • A bastard, an illegitimate child

A long form used sometimes is arsawwat.,[2] although the Arabic plural of "Ars" is "Arsat".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ayalon, David and Shinar, Pessah: Arabic Hebrew Dictionary of Modern Arabic, ed. Milson, Menahem
  2. ^ Israeli Hebrew Slang Guide