Streetwise Hebrew

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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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Elohim

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?

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Ayin

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?

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Rakevet – train

Let’s talk about trains in Hebrew. What’s the root of rakevet, how is it related to horse riding, and what do we call the Jerusalem Light rail in Hebrew and in Arabic?

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Exploring Hebrew’s Mellowest, Sloppiest Corner

Careless improvisation is a well-developed art in Israel. The Hebrew word for it – itself an improvisation of sorts – is the focus of this episode.

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