I’m Fed Up With Hebrew… ‘Staaam’!

Photo: Zipa Kempinsky

The word סתם can mean many things in Hebrew: ‘for no particular reason,’ ‘just kidding,’ and it also has many more linguistic uses. Today we’ll learn the most common uses of סתם by ‘enlightened’ Israelis, and hear an advert where Rivka from Jerusalem calls China to ask how long she should boil her rice.

New Words and Expressions:

Stam – Just like that, for no particular reason – סתם

“Stam, hiyuch le-lo siba” – Just like that, a smile for no obvious reason – סתם, חיוך ללא סיבה

“Stam ki ba li ledaber” – Just cause I feel like talking – סתם כי בא לי לדבר

“Ani kan, ata sham, stam shney anashim” – I am here, you’re there, just two strangers – אני כאן, אתה שם, סתם שני אנשים

“Chodesh me-hayom nihye kmo chadashim” – A month from today we’ll be as good as new – חודש מהיום נהיה כמו חדשים 

“Ani kan, ata sham, stam shney anashim” – I am here, you’re there, just two strangers – אני כאן, אתה שם, סתם שני אנשים

“Stam, ratsiti lomar lach shoov” – For no reason, I wanted to tell you again – סתם, רציתי לומר לך שוב

“Stam, ba li” – Just like that, I felt like it – סתם, בא לי

“Stam masehu katan” – Just a small thing, nothing much – סתם משהו קטן

At stam blondinit – You’re just another blond – את סתם בלונדינית

”Stam, ze lo nachon, anachnu lo bamizrach hatichon” – Just kidding, it’s not true, we are not in the Middle East – סתם, זה לא נכון, אנחנו לא במזרח התיכון

Staaam – Just kidding – סתאאאאם

Stam yatsati me-ha-baiyt – I left home in vain – סתם יצאתי מהבית

“Achshav hakol nire nora stami” – Now everything seems so meaningless – עכשיו הכל נראה נורא סתמי

”Mi-kulam kibalti tshuva shlilit o kol miney tshuvot stamiyot” – I got a negative answer or vague answers from everybody – מכולם קיבלתי תשובה שלילית או כל מיני תשובות סתמיות

Stamiyoot – Vagueness, randomness – סתמיות

Be-stamiyoot – Without a clear intention – בסתמיות

Hu amar et ze be-stamiyoot – He said it without a clear intention – הוא אמר את זה בסתמיות

Stam echad – Just another guy – סתם אחד

Lo stam echad – That’s a special person – לא סתם אחד

Ze lo kara stam – It didn’t happen just like that, it happened for a reason – זה לא קרה סתם

Min ha-stam – Probably – מן הסתם

Playlist and Clips:

Achinoam Nini – Ha-hayim Yafim (lyrics)

Stam Ki Ba Li Ledaber – Commercial

Roni Dalumi – Stam Shnei Anashim (lyrics)

Liran Aviv – Stam (lyrics)

Lior Farhi – Stam Blondinit (lyrics)

Teapacks – Stam (lyrics)

Dudu Aharon – Kshe-tachzeri (lyrics)

Tshuvot Stamiyot – Channel 2

Previous Episodes

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