StreetWise Hebrew

What’s the ‘biggest’ word in Hebrew?

Gadol, ‘big,’ and its root, g.d.l, have made a huge career in written and spoken Hebrew. Let’s meet the family today; from mustaches and fast food chains, to towers and plastic surgery.

Don’t worry, I have Ksharim (Connections)

For this Israeli Independence Day, we talk about ksharim (connections). Having ksharim means having people in different places help you to get stuff done quickly and efficiently. This word’s root has a huge family that we should definitely get to know.

Don’t lose your head

Israelis are obsessed with their head, rosh, in Hebrew. There are so many words and expressions with rosh, and today we talk about a few of them. Have a listen and find out what ‘rosh gadol’ and ‘rosh katan’ mean.

Sho’a (Holocaust)

The word Sho’a, holocaust, used to be a sacred word. Not anymore. Like many loaded words, we used and reused it. Now you can hear people using Sho’a in totally different contexts.

The elixir of life: Israel’s cafe culture

Coffee culture is everywhere in Israel. Get your caffeine fix with StreetWise Hebrew.

Why, what happened?

Lama ma kara can be literally translated as “why what happened.” What do we mean by this expression and how do you use it?

Weary, bleary-eyed and spent

How do you say I’m tired, beat, drained, knackered, and the like in colloquial Hebrew? And what do you say when you crash on a Tel Avivi couch?


Elohim means God in Hebrew. Why does it have a plural suffix at the end? Is it really plural in Modern Hebrew? How do we use elohim in Israeli slang, and what did we borrow from Arabic?


Ayin means eye in Hebrew. How do we say ‘eyes’? What happens in Arabic? What do you call the evil eye? And how do you say ‘The apple of my eye’ in Hebrew?


Tachles: another way to cut to the chase in Hebrew.