Blachère (364) describes how Arabic expresses the “absolute superlative” — i.e., the uttermost degree of something, with no comparison:
Par des noms au cas direct indéterminé de valeur adverbiale dont le sens primitif est paroxysme, degré suprême, rendus en franç. par très, fort… [By certain nouns in undetermined accusative case with adverbial value whose primitive sense is paroxysm, supreme degree, rendered in French by “very,” “exceedingly”…]“Grammaire de l’Arabe Classique (1952)
The three adverbs cited are: [jidd(an)] “seriously,” [gaAya-t(an)] “extremely,” and [nihaAya-t(an)] “finally.” Blachère’s example is: [huwa kabiYr(un) jidd(an)] il est fort gros [he is exceedingly big].
A variant could be: [kaAna gaAya-t(an) fiY-l-kibri], literally “he was of an extreme limit of bigness.”
Since [gaAya-t(an)] shares a root with verb [gayyaY] meaning “to hoist a flag,” the barbarism “he was flag-hoistingly big” can be entertained, conveying a whiff of the affiliation between pushed limits and flags.
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