The Ides of March: but the dagger is behind glass, and not in Brutus’s hand

Published: March 17, 2017 at 9:03pm




  • Antoine Vella

    Both TVM and the representative of Heritage Malta on television kept referring to the dagger as ‘sword’ (sejf) while the sword itself was called ‘sabre’ (xabla).

    I’m not surprised by TVM’s ignorance but, Heritage Malta should know better.

    Oh, and Muscat is no Julius Caesar.

    • I’ve always known the word for sword to be ‘xabla’. And while I know the word for dagger as ‘stalett’ (from stiletto), as in “stalett go daharu” and “daqqa ta’ stalett”, the Arabic for sword actually is ‘sejf’ – as in the name of Muammar Gaddafi’s most notorious son, Seif Al Islam (Sword of Islam).

      • Jozef

        Xabla would be sciabola, sabre and the common dagger pugnale; ‘pugnalato alle spalle’.

        The stiletto is a slender double bladed pugnale.

        The sword is both spada and gladio, both double bladed.

        The Maltese nisparaw.

  • Yes. Muscat is working out how much he could sell it for if he were able to.

  • I didn’t watch it. I didn’t want to make my view of his choices even worse than it is already.

  • He needs to change the way he speaks: the tone, gestures and approach make him come across like a sacristan who fiddles with children.

    • H.P. Baxxter

      Attakk fahxi fuq:
      1) Is-sagristani
      2) il-“Knisja”
      3) il-choirboys
      4) Noddy

    • Spock

      Honestly, Daphne, xerraqtni.

  • Eddie Preston

    The PM is again crossing his arms.

  • verita

    Is-sejf issa wasal u l-mannara ilha hawn.

  • Ray

    Why does Noddy remind me of a ferret?

    • Nemusa

      Ferret? I think an oversexed toothy hamster.

  • John Attard
  • KM

    What’s with Muscat and his folded arms lately?

    • Nemusa

      On the defensive.

    • Jozef

      Nipple rings.

  • Andrew Mizzi

    They seem so proud. Biggest achievement in 4 years.

  • Jozef

    Issa kieku nzommuha, nghid jien?

  • I remarked on that earlier myself. I saw a picture of him taken around the time of the general election, and he is completely unrecognisable.

  • You’re wrong. Sejf is Arabic for sword and stalett is from the Italian for a slim dagger. They are two completely different things.

  • The Sting

    Kemm ilu li Brian Tonna ammetta’ li Egrant hi tieghu, il Prim Ministru, Alla jbierku , donnu ha rruh hux? Ghajnejh qieshom m’ghadhomx jghumu fil-bahh. Anki daqxejn kulur donnu ha.

    Id-dnub pero la jorqod u lanqas ihalli il-min jorqod u mhux imhabba rimors imma mhabba bizá u nkwiet. Ahjar min imur imidd rasu bil kuxjenza safja.

  • EarthwormDave

    The “self-hugging intense rapture” thing is, as I am sure you know, the look of someone who knows they are being photographed. It’s to be expected of someone who spent some years in front of the cameras. It’s completely fake, just like everything else with which he’s associated.

  • Spa

    Dak is-sejf li semma Anglu Farrugia?

  • Manuel Camilleri

    She might as well contest the leadership, but Noddy will not go down without a fight. And it will be a first-blood fight. I wouldn’t be surprised that ED ZL, Chris HardONa and the insufferable Deborah Tad-Divorzju Schembri, will throw themselves in the mix.

  • Lillian Smith

    Yes, I have always know the word ‘sejf’ to mean a dagger in Maltese. In Arabic – it could have different meaning.

  • just me
  • L-argument

    Good boy, Joseph. Keep your hands crossed because that is not for sale.

  • Or a billboard.

  • Oh, no doubt. And different words are used by different groups of people. In fact, the word ‘sejf’ is never used where I come from. A dagger is a stalett (one l and two tt, as it comes from stiletto). I first heard the word ‘sejf’ in the Libyan revolution six years ago, when I wanted to know what Muammar Gaddafi’s son’s name meant.

  • H.P. Baxxter

    Half a million speakers and we can’t even agree on a simple fucking definition.

    • Pezza Kustjoni

      It’s fine, Bax, but we do agree that we have to get rid of this government at all costs.

  • We didn’t have MUSEUM teachers, H. P. Back in the dark ages of our childhood, MUSEUM was strictly for tar-rahal. We didn’t even know what it was. It certainly wasn’t compulsory or anything like that.

    • Lillian Smith

      I am surprised that you did not have MUSEUM in Sliema. Archbishop Gonzi must have put the town under special dispensation.

      Detested the place and the ‘santi’ they gave out as if they were some kind of reward.

      One of the most scary was the one depicting the ‘bad death’ with the poor sod being dragged to hell by horned devils, bed-sheets and all.

      Gave us poor children nightmares. Made a solid Atheist out of me.

      • No, it was completely unheard of for children to go to the ‘Muzew’. In fact, ‘tal-Muzew’ was a derogatory term used to mock the narrow-minded and dull.

      • Lillian Smith

        I am glad that we agree that the teachings of the Catholic Church are narrow-minded and dull. I did see one in St. Julian’s though when I was there last, so be careful as they are slowly but surely encroaching on Sliema.

      • Oh, everyone has to go now. They’ve even managed to boganise religion. But I’m safely out of that.

      • Lillian Smith

        Good for you!

    • J Sammut

      It was never compulsory.

    • john

      I remember an interview with Archbishop Cremona (Valletta born and bred) where he explained that in his childhood and youth he, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, used to go to the Muzew, because in those days THERE WAS NOWHERE ELSE TO GO (he is 70/71).

      The first I heard of the Muzew was when I went to university and encountered this odd student who wore a shirt buttoned up to the top, but without a tie. A friend explained that this fellow belonged to some outlandish society.

  • I think you just have to give up, H. P. Bear in mind that we’re talking about a language in which ‘slipper’ (singular) = tennis shoes and therefore tennis shoes = papocc.

  • Lillian Smith

    I am pretty sure that the Maltese used “sejf” to mean a dagger (not a sword). In fact ‘tal muzew’ used to give out “santi” of our Lady of Sorrows, which had a picture of the said dagger in the heart – so it was not hyperbole.

    I also heard this word from the old-timers recounting their youthful adventures, as meaning a small hidden dagger.

    However, since language evolves and is subject to change (as well as regional differences in meaning), I would not be surprised at all that it has now come to mean a sword.

    • Sejf is the Arabic for sword, which tells you that it was also the Maltese for sword. Bear in mind that Italian, and therefore ‘xabla/sciabola’ came several centuries later.

  • Lillian Smith

    But I thought that a ‘mus’ is a small retractable dagger with the blade folded in the handle and which is opened automatically by a spring – a switchblade.

  • Roberto Rizzo

    ‘Sciabola’ is used in Sicily for a pointed sword, the word is derived from the arabic word Xabla, hence ‘Carlos ix-Xabla Farrugia’. ‘Spada’ refers to an edged sword, including pole arms like the gladius. A dagger in italian is called pugniale (that we call sejf), the stiletto originates from medieval Italy, a narrower and longer version of the dagger (stallett).