street arab

Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to street arab: street urchin

street Arab

(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) literary old-fashioned a homeless child, esp one who survives by begging and stealing; urchin

street′ Ar`ab

(or ar`ab),

usage: This term, though not used as a deliberate slur, is sometimes perceived as insulting because of its reference to the nomadic Arabs.
Sometimes Offensive. urchin; gamin.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.street arab - (sometimes offensive) a homeless boy who has been abandoned and roams the streets
derogation, disparagement, depreciation - a communication that belittles somebody or something
guttersnipe, street urchin - a child who spends most of his time in the streets especially in slum areas
References in classic literature ?
He gave a shrill whistle, on which a street Arab led across a four-wheeler and opened the door.
Holmes," cried a small street Arab, running up to us.
"It's the Baker Street division of the detective police force," said my companion, gravely; and as he spoke there rushed into the room half a dozen of the dirtiest and most ragged street Arabs that ever I clapped eyes on.
hubins , bootblacks, thimble-riggers, street arabs, beggars, the blear-eyed beggars, thieves, the weakly, vagabonds, merchants, sham soldiers, goldsmiths, passed masters of pickpockets, isolated thieves.
`They may be all right--I'm not saying they're not--but no London street Arabs for me,' I said.
Now, as these street Arabs of Rome, more fortunate than those of Paris, understand every language, more especially the French, they heard the traveller order an apartment, a dinner, and finally inquire the way to the house of Thomson & French.
This approach allows Berman to reveal the extent to which the American imaginary is transcultural and transnational, to juxtapose American representations with their Arab referents, and to show how American and Arab cultural imaginaries shape one another--as, for example, when he shows how the figures of the Moor, the Bedouin, and the Street Arab are tropes of American, not Arab, identity (American arabesques); or how notions of Arab identity for writers like Ameen Rihani, Adonis, and Abdelfattah Kilito are likewise products of a transnational imaginary derived from contact with Europe and the U.S.
(26) Alger's novel, as so many other books about urban poverty, thus turned an economic issue into a cultural one, transforming the poor into an exotic race and exhibiting a poor, homeless American boy as a curious street arab, an invented urban savage.
It highlights the increasing rejection of the "street Arab" and specifically the peddlers, who were often Syrian.
It was not easy being what they called "a street arab".
"The children were taken away from the back streets of Birmingham because they were seen as 'street arabs' or 'gutter children', " says Professor Chinn.
Prof Chinn said: "The children were taken away from the back streets of Birmingham because they were seen as 'street arabs' or 'gutter children'.