Sunday, 14 April 2013


Arab, Arabic, Nomad, Wanderer, Bedouin,
Bedouin, by Berthe Worms (1868-1937)


Noun & adjective. Also Beduin, b-. Late Middle English.
[Old French beduin (modern bédouin) ultimately (through medieval Latin beduini plural)
 from Arabic badawi, plural badawin (from badw desert, nomadic desert tribes)]

A noun
1. An Arab of the desert. LME
2. A person living a nomadic life; a Gypsy. M19

B adjective
Of the desert or Bedouins; nomadic, wandering. M19

The Bedouin have long held a deeply romantic mystique in the English-speaking world - a proud and venerable people with flowing robes and penetrating eyes, looking down from atop the long, ponderous gait of loping camels or sitting cross-legged at the mouth of spacious, brightly-coloured tents. Their rootless, wandering lifestyle, with its whispers of freedom and adventure, starkly contrasts our own comfortably static existence with our fixed abodes and nine to fives.


  1. When I was younger, I once read a comic (with a very mediocre story) about a couple of kids looking for their uncle in the desert (he went to save a bedouin prince. It makes total sense to leave two 15 year old adventurous brats alone in an Arab town bordering the desert. There's no way they will buy a camel and go look for that prince on their own.)

    Anyhow, eventhough the story was kind of silly, the drawings were really pretty, and I was enchanted with the whole romantic and mysterious feel of it all. I'm sure life isn't as glamourous for a real life bedouin tribe, but it looked really good on paper.

    1. I think you're right, Bibi - the romance is likely far divorced from the reality of living in a very harsh environment.

  2. There's a wonderful drink called Kifir which was once a guarded secret of the Bedouin peoples. I drink it now and then and am totally refreshed. It is an amazing food. I usually blend frozen fruit (gathered from my grandmother's trees) with the kifir mix--add a bit of brown sugar and it is quite tasty.