Lebanese Villages: Their Meanings & Roots – part 3

By Mabelle Kreidi Follow Mabelle on her blog Here. Part 1 / Part 2

Ever wondered what the name of your Lebanese hometown means? This article will help you discover the meaning of some Lebanese villages, the roots of their names, you may or may not be surprised because many come from Syriac Aramaic, Phoenician and Hebrew.


From Syriac ܒܶܝܬ ܣܰܠܘܩܺܝܬܰܐ “bet saluqita” meaning “The Place of Ascension”

Bet Lahya

Bet ܒܝܬ means house/village. Lahya ܠܗܝܐ comes from Leha ܠܗܐ which means fatigue/exhaustion. Lahya is a female form of the word, so Bet Lahya translates to The House/Village of the tired lady.


Kawkaba ܟܘܟܒܐ means planet, it’s the double form of ܟܒ (kab) which means round object. It is the only village in Hasbaya district that looks straight at Mt. Hermon.


Kfar means City/Village. Houna comes from “ahouné” ܐܰܚܳܘܢܶܐ meaning young siblings, thus “The Village of Young Siblings.


Just like Machghara, comes from Aramaic “shegher” שגר meaning “The place where water emerges from”. It is split between “Lower Chouaghir” and “Upper Chouaghir”


From Syriac “parzla” ܦܰܪܙܠܰܐ meaning “Iron mine”. It can also come from Aramaic “feraza-el” פרזא אל. meaning “God’s haven” or “God’s district”.

Kherbet rouha

Kherbe in all semitic languages means ruins. “Rouha” ܪܳܘܚܰܐ means the wind, or “rawha” ܪܰܘܚܰܐ means wide/spacey.

Rab Tlatin

The pronunciation & make-up are Syriac ܪܰܒ ܬܠܰܐܬܺܝܢ meaning “The Guardian over the 30″, It could go back to mean that it was a farm that had 30 workers.


Syriac “ramshaya” ܪܰܡܫܰܝܰܐ meaning “nightly” or “sun-set”. It can also be “remis” ܪܶܡܝܣ (the calm), or ram Ishay -> the hill of Ishay (a Phoenician/Hebrew first name).


From syriac “qarna d ila” ܩܰܪܢܰܐܕܐܻܝܠܰܐ meaning “The Summit of God”.


From syriac ‘Asquta ܥܰܣܩܳܘܬܰܐ meaning “The Rough and Insubordinate Land”, Keserwan as a whole was used to be known as “العاصية” or “The Insubordinate”.


Syriac “baggé” ܒܰܓܶܐܵ means Gardens, “bagga” ܒܰܓܰܐ means water streaming, “paggé”ܦܰܓܶܐ means non-ripe fig. In Aramaic pagga פּגא means sour grapes, it can be either.


From Syriac “bayta d’awé ܒܝܬܐ ܕܥܘܝ “The Howling Place” or Phoenician beyta d’i ביתא דעי “Ruined house from war” or Hebrew עי “the ruins”, other possibility de’ah דעה “Place of Wisdom”.

Jeb Jannine

From “gub gannin” ܓܘܒ ܓܢܝܢ meaning “Basin of Gardens”. The word (Jeb) גב is a common Semitic word meaning something in the sort of precipitation/water well.


From نطع) נטע) meaning planting. Or it can be from Syriac yawnta ܝܘܢܬܐ meaning “Dove/Pigeon”, yonta יונתא in Aramic also means Pigeon/Dove.


From Aramaic שׁפעא shif’a meaning water flow. Or from Syriac Sab’a ܣܒܥܐ “satiety & abundance” or from Hebrew shib’ah שׁבאה meaning “Seven”.


From habbusha ܚܒܘܫܐ meaning prison or bet habbusha, “The prison place” or “The place of religious isolation”.


dar ܕܪ means residence, 2nd part can be either dekhayya meaning pure (The pure residence) or dar “dghayya” (The residence of happiness and beauty)


From old Aramaic bet kasin בית כסין “the place where cups are made”, or from Syriac bet ksin ܒܝܬ ܟܣܝܢ “place of the hidden”.


From Syriac “bet yuqné” ܒܝܬ ܝܘܩܢܝ “Place where coins or icons are forged”, originally from Greek “eikon”, either the face printed on coins or the icons of siants”.


From Syriac “ram hala” ܪܐܡ ܚܠܐ , which translates to “Sand Hill”.


From ܦܠܘܓܐ Palugha, meaning “The distributor”.


bet zammara ܒܝܬ ܙܡܪܐ meaning “House of the Piper” or “House of the Pipe (musical instrument)”.


From “tur tag” ܬܘܪ ܬܐܓ meaning “Mountain of the Crown”, or from “tur tawga” meaning “Mountain of snow patches” or from “tar taga” meaning “next to snow”.


From ܚܕܬܘܢ which is a smaller form of “hadta” meaing New.

There are probably way more villages with names rooted in Syriac/Aramaic/Phoenician and even Hebrew, if I missed your village/area let me know! And if you’re interested to know about more Lebanese villages with Syriac/Aramaic origins check “Le lexique des localités libanaises” by Anis Freiha.

Special thanks to @LBMaronites (Twitter account) for shedding light on most of this information and on Lebanon’s Syriac Aramaic heritage.