See also: کلهand گله


Etymology 1Edit

From Northern Kurdish gule – equalling Central Kurdish گولە(gule), Persian گوله(gōla), کله(kula), گوی(gōy), گلوله(golūla), Urdu گولی(golī) / Hindi गोली (golī), all meaning more or less small balls or bullets, from the Proto-Indo-European root *kʷel- (to turn). A word omnipresent in Syria except in the Southwest area bordering Lebanon including Damascus where one uses for the sense “marble” دَحَل(daḥal), نَحَل(naḥal) and also pronounced gulle, gull, gill, gille, kille.


كُلَّة (kullaf (plural كُلَل(kulal))

  1. bombshell, cannonball, shot, dot
  2. marble to play
    Synonyms: بِلْيَة(bilya), تِيلَة(tīla) (Gulf Arabic), بَرَجُون(barajōn) (Ḥijazi), دَحَل(daḥal) (Southwest Syria, Lebanon)

Etymology 2Edit

From the root ك ل ل(k-l-l).


كُلَّة (kullaf (plural كُلَل(kulal))

  1. delay, retardation


كِلَّة (killaf (plural كِلَل(kilal))

  1. condition, state
  2. bluntness, dullness, dimness
  3. fine veil of a woman, curtain, mosquito net and the like

Etymology 3Edit

From Malay kuala (confluence), or from Malay Kedah or from Malay Kelang.

Alternative formsEdit

Proper nounEdit

كَلَة or كِلَة (kala or kilaf

  1. The meaning of this term is uncertain. Possibilities include:
    • c. 950, أبو دلف مسعر بن مهلهل [ʾAbū Dulaf Misʿar Ibn Muhalhal], Kurd von Schlözer, editor, De itinere Asiatico commentarium[1], published 1845 WC GB, pages 18–19:
      فخرجت إلى الساحل أربد بكلة وهذا أول الهند ومنتهى مسير المراكب لا يتهيّأ لها أن يتجاوزها وألا غرقت قال فلما وصلت إلى كلة رأيته وهي عظيمة عالية السور كثيرة البساتين غزيرة الماء ووجدت بها معدن الرصاص القلعي لا يكون إلا في قلعتها في سائر الدنيا، وفي هذه القلعة تضرب السيوف القلعية، وهي الهندية العتيقة … وأهل هذه القلعة يمتنعون على ملكها إذا أرادوا يطيعونه إن أحبوا ورسمهم رسم الصين في ترك الذبائح وليس في جميع الدنيا معدن الرصاص القلعي إلا في هذه القلعة وبينهما وبين الصين ثلثمائة فرسخ وحولها مدن ورساتيق وقرى ولهم أحكام وحبوس وخبايات وأكلهم البر والتمور وبقولهم كلها تباع وزنا وأرغفة خبزهم تباع عددا ولا حمامات لهم بل عندهم عين جارية يغتسلون فيها ودرهمهم يزن ثلثي درهم ويعرف بالفهري ولهم فلوس يتعاملون بها ويلبسون كأهل الصين الإفرند الصيني المثمن وملكها دون ملك الصين ويخطب لملك الصين وقبلته إليه وبيت عبادته له.‎‎
      And I went off to the dusty shore of Kala, which is the first and ultimate end of India for vessels, as nobody even dares to imagine to pass by it since he would drown. When I arrived at Kala, I conned it and it is large and has high walls, many gardens and plenty of water, and I found mines of tin not found in the rest of the world but in Qalʿa, and in this Qalʿa one forges the Qalʿaite swords, the excellent Indian ones, and the populace of this Qalʿa withstands its king when it wants and abides by him when it lists, and their tradition is like the tradition of China, refraining from slaughtering beasts, and there aren’t in all the world tin mines but in this Qalʿa, and between them two and China are three-hundred parasang, and there are towns, rural districts and villages, and they have jurisdiction, jails, and corbans, and their food is wheat and dates and all their vegetables they buy by scales, and their bread is bread-rolls they buy by count. They have no baths but a running spring in which they wash, and their dirham weighs as a third-dirham and is known as Fahrī, and they have fulūs with which they commerce, and they dress like the people of China in dear Chinese silks, and their king is subordinate to the King of China, reports to the King of China, his praying direction is to him, his place of sacrifice is towards him.
    1. Kuala Kedah (a port town in Kedah, Malaysia), which connects Alor Setar to the west coast of the Malacca peninsula and had a monopoly on the trade of elephant tusks, black pepper, and tin as of the 18th century
    2. Klang (a port city in Selangor, Malaysia), Port Klang being the largest port of Malaysia and heavily affected by tin mining


  • Behnstedt, Peter (1997) Sprachatlas von Syrien. Kartenband, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, →ISBN, pages 815 seqq.
  • Freytag, Georg (1837) , “كلة”, in Lexicon arabico-latinum praesertim ex Djeuharii Firuzabadiique et aliorum Arabum operibus adhibitis Golii quoque et aliorum libris confectum (in Latin), volume 4, Halle: C. A. Schwetschke, page 50a
  • Kazimirski, Albin de Biberstein (1860) , “كلة”, in Dictionnaire arabe-français contenant toutes les racines de la langue arabe, leurs dérivés, tant dans l’idiome vulgaire que dans l’idiome littéral, ainsi que les dialectes d’Alger et de Maroc (in French), volume 2, Paris: Maisonneuve et Cie, pages 918b–919a
  • Steingass, Francis Joseph (1884) , “كلة”, in The Student's Arabic–English Dictionary[2], London: W.H. Allen, page 891b
  • Wehr, Hans; Kropfitsch, Lorenz (1985) , “كلة”, in Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart (in German), 5th edition, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, published 2011, →ISBN, page 1113a and 1114a
  • Michael, Streck (1978) , “Kalah”, in Encyclopaedia of Islam. Second Edition, volume 4, Leiden: Brill, pages 467b–468a