“Sababa”

The Hebrew language is loaded with Arabic slang, and has been for many years. The original pioneers thought that the Yiddish was not an appropriate language to be used in the Middle East, and preferred to cull the harsh sounds of Arabic for slang. “Sababa,” which seems to come from literary Arabic and means “ardent love,” is a positive catch-all response to just about any question and is one of the most commonly used slang words in Hebrew.

Use it as a positive response to a question:

  • Do you want to go to the movies? Sababa!
  • How do you feel? Sababa!
  • Will you come to my party? Sababa.

Use it as a positive reply to any statement:

  • I’ll meet you at 6. Sababa.
  • The guests have arrived. Sababa.
  • Here’s your drink. Sababa.

Note that it can be used in an exclamatory manner, as one would use “Awesome!” in English, or in a calm manner – the equivalent of “Fine.”

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