“Whoever eats alone chokes” – Arabic Proverb

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Jordanian
Age: 41
Occupation: Accounting Manager
Residence: Yorba Linda
Date of Performance/Collection: 5/3/2021
Primary Language: Arabic
Other Language(s): English, French


She learned this from her brothers in Jordan when they were young. They were trying to convince her to share her treats (she was the youngest and was spoiled), so they would tell her this proverb, hoping that she would give them some out of fear of choking.


Original Script: اللي بياكل لحاله بزور

Transliteration: Elly biakol lahalo bizwar

Translation: Whoever eats alone chokes


I’ve heard this proverb a couple of times, after I choked while eating alone. The proverb is meant to discourage people from not sharing their food, or eating by themselves, likely because Arabs usually eat as a family. This proverb focuses not on giving advice, but on protecting that family tradition.