In Arabic

Nasreddin Hodja had just arrived from his trip to Arabia. All neighbors and friends gathered in the Hodja’s house to welcome him and to listen to the adventures of his voyage.

“Hodja Efendi, did you learn any Arabic?” they asked.

“I did learn some Arabic, yes indeed,” the Hodja boasted when in fact the only word he had learned was for sheep.

“So tell us, in Arabia, what they call an elephant?” the neighbors challenged.

“You asked for a very big one. I can’t be expected to know such big ones,” the Hodja dismissed.

“What do they call a flea?”

“That’s too small. I don’t know such small ones.”

“Then, what do they call a lamb?”

“They don’t call a lamb, they wait until it grows and becomes a sheep, then they call it khuruf.”