Streetwise Hebrew

Shalom Stranger

How do we greet a stranger in the elevator, in Hebrew? How about a neighbor from our building? Could we perhaps just look down and not say anything at all? Guy presents a concise guide to Israeli elevator etiquette 101.

Hold on Tight and Don’t Let Go

Letting go of someone or something can be a difficult thing to do. How do we let it all go, in Hebrew? Guy explains.

The City That Never Stops

Guy noticed that even his most advanced students have problems with the Hebrew words for city, town, and municipality, so he decided to dedicate this episode to these words, once and for all.

Zero Is the New Hero

Reflecting on the recent decision in Israel to go to elections again only months after the last, US President Trump said that Israeli politics are messed up and that the country needs to “get its act together.” So on today’s episode Guy talks about the verb להתאפס (to get one’s act together).

You Can’t Fire Me! I Quit!

There is a small yet significant difference between the Hebrew words פוטרתי and התפטרתי which share the common root פ.ט.ר. The former means “I was fired” and the latter means “I quit.”

Come On, Don’t Be Irritating

In order to say “that’s irritating” or “I’m irritated” in Hebrew, we first need to learn the root ×¢.צ.ב, which gives us the word עצבים (nerves). There’s a lot of slang in this episode, so buckle up!

Hung Out to Dry

The Hebrew root ת.ל.ה gives us the words לתלות (to hang), תלה (hung), and תלוי (hangs). So why does זה תלוי mean “it depends”? On this episode, Guy won’t leave you hanging as he explains all things ת.ל.ה.

Anyone Seen the Remote?

Shlita (שליטה) means control. So why do people graffiti שולט or שולטת on walls? And how do we say, “where’s the remote?” in Hebrew? Guy takes control of the situation and explains.

Drink Up

Shtiya means drinking, but it could also mean beverages. In the last Israeli elections, political pundits spoke about shtiyat kolot, ‘votes drinking.’ What does it mean, and how did this saying make the jump from army slang to civilian slang?

Setting a Good Example

In Hebrew dugma (דוגמה) is “an example,” and ledugma (לדוגמה) means “for example.” This root, d-g-m, is quite handy and from it we derive words and phrases like fashion model, sample, and the perfect husband.