Definition of mene mene tekel upharsin in English:

mene mene tekel upharsin

noun

  • The words written by a bodiless hand on the wall at Belshazzar's feast (as recounted in the biblical Book of Daniel).

Origin

Late 17th century (in an earlier sense). From Aramaic mĕnē mĕnē tĕqēl ūp̲arsīn (Daniel 5:25) from mĕnē numbered, mina + tĕqēl weighed, shekel + ū- and + parsīn, plural of pĕrēs divided, Persia, half-mina, half-shekel. The phrase is an elaborate piece of wordplay, relying on the fact that each word can also denote a different coin, and the third word can also be interpreted as ‘Persia’.

Pronunciation

mene mene tekel upharsin

/ˈmɛneɪ ˈmɛneɪ ˈtɛkl juːˈfɑːsɪn//ˈmiːni ˈmiːni ˈtɛkl juːˈfɑːsɪn/