Israelis use the word “stam” (rhymes with mom) at every chance they get. Its root comes from the words for obstruction or clogging. It has no direct translation in English, but has various similarities in, such as:
No reason in … Continue reading →
Me’a achooz (Me’a = 100; Achuz = %, but pronounced “May-achooz) is a ubiquitous, multi-usage Hebrew slang term. It can be used to express agreement, understanding , or general well-being.
– OK, so I’ll come pick you up at 9.
– … Continue reading →
A common street greeting, often said in an excited voice and coupled with a strong handshake and/or hug, is ahalan. Ahalan is a shortened form of the Arabic greeting “Ahalan wasahalan” which means “family and easy” i.e. “You are like … Continue reading →
In Hebrew, a kartzia is a tick, as in the fat, round, blood-sucking parasite. It is used to describe someone who is annoying, or bugging someone else. It is often preceded by the ubiquitous Eizeh – “What a…,” or Al … Continue reading →
Partzoof Tisha B’Av
Partzoof Tisha B’Av means literally, a “Tisha B’Av face.” Tisha B’Av (9th day of the Hebrew month of Av) is the Jewish holy day on which we commemorate and commiserate over the destruction of both the first and … Continue reading →
Jewish culture often expects one to state that the situation is worse than it actually is, in order to not brag about one’s good fortune, thus inviting bad luck. There are numerous ways to express how terrible things are … Continue reading →
Hebrew slang is rich in words used to express surprise and disbelief, often in a sarcastic way. One of the most common is the Arabic word for “No” – Laa (pronounced like the word “lack” without the “ck,” but usually … Continue reading →
Israel is in the top 20 of per capita cellular phone ownership in the world. Cell phones are ubiquitous there, even in restaurants and movie theatres. In addition, Israel proudly trumpets its contributions to the cellular phone industry (Motorola developed … Continue reading →
Ototo is derived from Yiddish (at = here) and is classic impatient Israeli Hebrew. It means that something it just about to happen, right away, immediately, very soon, faster than you can blink, any minute now, etc.
When will your father … Continue reading →
Both of these words, which can be used interchangeably, translate as “I mean/it means” in Arabic. They are used as interjections in common speech as one would use “like,” “I mean,” “that is to say,” or “in other words” in … Continue reading →