How to Say “Annoying” in Arabic: Formal and Informal Ways, Tips and Examples

When it comes to expressing annoyance in Arabic, it’s important to understand the cultural context and the different variations of the language across regions. Arabic is a rich and diverse language spoken by millions of people worldwide, and its vocabulary can vary based on dialects. In this guide, we will explore how to say “annoying” in Arabic, including both formal and informal ways. Let’s dive in!

The Formal Way to Say “Annoying” in Arabic

Formally expressing annoyance in Arabic can be done using the word “مزعج” (muzayyaj). This word is widely understood across Arabic-speaking regions, making it an appropriate option in most formal situations. It can be used to describe annoyances with people, situations, or things. Here’s an example of how it is used in a sentence:

المواعيد المتأخرة في العمل أمرٌ مُزَعِجٌ. (Al-mawa’id al-muta’akhira fi al-‘amal ‘amrun muzaij.)

Translation: Late appointments at work are annoying.

The Informal Way to Say “Annoying” in Arabic

Informally, Arabic speakers often use a variety of colloquial expressions to convey annoyance. These expressions may vary depending on the region and dialect. Here are a few common informal ways to express annoyance:

1. Egyptian Arabic:

  • “مزعلك” (miza’alak) – This phrase is commonly used in Egyptian Arabic to mean something or someone is annoying you. It can be used to address someone directly or describe a situation.
  • “متكعبلنيش” (matab’leni-ish) – In Egyptian Arabic, this phrase is often used to say someone is irritating or bothering you.


الضوضاء عند الجار متكعبلنيش. (Al-dawda’ ‘ind al-jar matab’leni-ish.)

Translation: The noise from the neighbor is annoying me.

2. Levantine Arabic:

  • “زعلان” (za’lan) – In Levantine Arabic, this term is frequently used to express annoyance or frustration.
  • “بيرفع الضغط” (bey’rif’ad-dagh’t) – Literally translated as “raising the pressure,” this phrase is commonly used to describe something that is raising your temper or getting on your nerves.


الزحمة بتبيّض وجهي وبتزعلني. (Al-zhama btabyad wajhi w b’tza’lini.)

Translation: The crowd is making me pale and annoyed.

Regional Variations

Arabic is a language with many regional variations and dialects. Here are a couple of additional variations:

1. Gulf Arabic:

  • “متضايق” (mutdaghayyeg) – This term is widely used in Gulf Arabic to describe annoyance, irritation, or distress.
  • “تطفشني” (ta’tfashni) – In Gulf Arabic, this phrase is used to express that something or someone is irritating or bothering you.


عيشة الشارع وسط الضجيج تطفشني. (Eeshat ash-shaari’ wasat ad-dajeeg ta’tfashni.)

Translation: Living on the street amidst the noise is annoying me.

2. Maghrebi Arabic:

  • “مقلق” (maqlaq) – In Maghrebi Arabic, this term is commonly used to express irritation or being disturbed by someone or something.
  • “مسيّخ” (mesyikh) – This word is often used in Maghrebi dialects to describe something or someone that is bothering or annoying you.


هاد الضوضاء مسيّخاني. (Had-dawda’ mesyikhani.)

Translation: This noise is annoying me.

Summing Up

Expressing annoyance in Arabic can be done formally or informally, depending on the context and dialect. Understanding the different regional variations enhances your ability to communicate effectively with Arabic speakers. Remember that while the formal term “مزعج” (muzayyaj) is generally understood, informal expressions can vary greatly across regions like Egyptian, Levantine, Gulf, and Maghrebi Arabic. Use the respective phrases mentioned in this guide to convey your annoyance appropriately. Keep in mind that cultural sensitivity is crucial when using informal expressions, as some can be considered more informal and possibly even rude in certain contexts.

Now that you have learned various ways to say “annoying” in Arabic, you’re equipped with the vocabulary necessary to express your annoyance effectively. Practice using these terms in a cultural context to enhance your fluency and understanding of the Arabic language.

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