Billions of people all around the world look up at the night sky in awe every single day, and it’s definitely no exception during Malta’s summers. In case you’ve been finding it difficult to find the proper names for the celestial bodies over the Maltese islands, we’ve got you covered.
Online Maltese dictionary-community Il-Miklem has been sharing weird and wonderful old Maltese words for a while now, and they shared a post, Għalm Is-Smewwiet, with old, “pure Maltese” astronomy terms, derived from Arabic.
1. Galaxy: Mixmex
This one’s amazing, not only because it’s interesting, but also because it’s extremely amusing to pronounce. Try it. Mixmex.
2. Meteor: Kewkba Feġġa
This one’s definitely going to come in handy during August’s beautifully intense meteor showers, especially seeing as this year’s edition promises to be a big one.
3. Eclipse: Kifsa
With words like tiksi in Maltese, you can definitely see where this one’s coming from. Still, we’re willing to bet there aren’t many people who see an eclipse and say, “Oh look, a kifsa!”
4. Constellation: Mħalla
Whether or not you take constellations that extra step and let them dictate your life choices with the zodiac, you’re bound to have learnt about the beautiful shapes you can make with the stars in the night sky… probably making a couple of your own in the process. So what mħalla were you born under?
5. Planet: Nattaqa
Sure, you can call a planet a dinja or pjaneta, but why would you when you can use nattaqa instead?
The Miklem post continues to point out other terms, such as natqa (orbit, which really puts nattaqa) and seħħieba (satellite). Also, in case you were looking how how to squeeze in the Maltese word for equinox in a conversation any time soon, it’s nfas.