“A third of the kid is to his uncle” – Arabic Proverb

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Jordanian
Age: 51
Occupation: Restaurant Owner
Residence: Long Beach
Date of Performance/Collection: 5/3/2021
Primary Language: Arabic
Other Language(s): English, French


He heard it from his aunt in Jordan when he was a teenager. He says that the proverb means that a boy inherits a lot of his uncle’s traits.


Original Script: تلت الولد لخاله

Transliteration: Tult elwalad la khalo

Literal Translation: Third of the kid is to his uncle

Smooth Translation: A third of the kid is to his uncle


I heard this proverb for the first time only recently, and I found it funny how it kind of describes me: I spent a lot of time with my uncles as a kid, and I started taking after them a bit. What interests me is that the amount is ⅓, implying that the mom and dad are the other ⅔ of the child. This proverb shows how strong family ties are even outside of the nuclear family (from what I’ve seen, this holds true: the Arabic families I know are tightly knit).