Don’t Fear the Fashla: How to Mess Up in Hebrew, Perfectly

‘Fashla’ and ‘fadiha,’ originally Arabic words, are used by Israelis to talk about embarrassing or awkward moments. Host Guy Sharett tells us not only how to avoid awful mess-ups, but also how to fry up the roots of these words in a sizzling Hebrew verb pan. They get juicy – want a bite?

New Words and Expressions:

Efshar lishol ma ata ose kan? – May I ask what are you doing here? – ?אפשר לשאול מה אתה עושה כאן

Mehake larakevet harishona – Waiting for the first train – מחכה לרכבת הראשונה

Efshar lirot teuda mezaha? – May I see an identifying document? – ?אפשר לראות תעודה מזהה

Betach –  Sure – בטח

Eich kor’im lecha? – What’s your name? – ?איך קוראים לך

Efo ata gar? – Where do you live? – ?איפה אתה גר

Ve-ma ata kotev? – And what are you writing? – ?ומה אתה כותב

Ani mechin tochnit la-shavu’a – I am preparing a plan/program for the week – אני מכין תוכנית לשבוע

Mamash lo inyancha – Really none of your business – ממש לא עניינך

Fashla, fashlot – Mess-up; embarrassing failure; flop – פשלה, פשלות

Ze lo fashla sheli – It’s not my mess-up – זה לא פשלה שלי

Fashla shel ha-hevra – Mess-up of the company – פשלה של החברה

Eize fashla – What a mess-up – איזה פשלה

Ani aluf be-lefashel – I am a champion in screwing up – אני אלוף בלפשל

Fishalt be-gadol – You (f.) blew it big time – פישלת בגדול

Fishalti, fishalta, fishalt, fishel, fishla, fishalnu, fishaltem, fishlu – פישלתי, פישלת, פישלת, פישל, פישלה, פישלנו, פישלתם, פישלו

Mi fishel po? – Who blew it here? – ?מי פישל פה

Mishehu fishel be-gadol – Someone blew it bigtime – מישהו פישל בגדול

Mefashel, mefashelet, mefashlim, mefashlot – Mess up (verb) – מפשל, מפשלת, מפשלים, מפשלות

Fadiha, fadihot – Awkward moment, ‘fashla’ – פדיחה, פדיחות

Fadiha shel ha-laif – Huge fadiha – פדיחה של הלייף

Asita li fadihot ba-schuna – You made fadihot to me in the neighborhood (lit.) – You embarassed me in the neighborhood (fig.) – עשית לי פדיחות בשכונה

La’asot fadihot le-mishehu – To embarrass someone – לעשות פדיחות למישהו

Ima, al ta’asi li fadihot – Mom, don’t embarrass me – אמא, אל תעשי לי פדיחות

Asita et ha-fadiha shelcha (Sounds like: ‘Asita ta-fadiha sh’cha’) – You’ve done your fadiha – עשית ת’פדיחה ש’ך

Lefade’ach mishehu – To embarrass someone – לפדח מישהו

Mefade’ach (mfade’ach) – Embarrassing – מפדח

Mefudach – Embarrassed – מפודח

Lehitfade’ach – To feel embarrassed – להתפדח

Ma-ze hitfadachti – I felt so embarrassed – מה זה התפדחתי

Ma-ze hitfadachti bishvilo – I felt so embarrassed for him – מה זה התפדחתי בשבילו

Fadhan, fadhanit – Someone who embarrasses others all the time – פדחן, פדחנית

Dai, ya fadhan – Stop it, you’re embarrassing me – די, יא פדחן

Fashloner – Someone who always blows it – פשלונר

Hu ma-ze fashloner – He always screws up – הוא מה-זה פשלונר

Looking for the monologue text? It’s available to our patrons at

Playlist and Clips:
Shaygetz – Aluf Belefashel (lyrics)
Hemi Rudner – Bo’i Nipared (lyrics)
Sarit Haddad – Melech Ha-rechov (lyrics)

Want to see more Hebrew gems? Like Streetwise Hebrew on Facebook and Instagram.
Want Guy to talk about a pressing Hebrew issue? Find him at or follow him on Twitter.

3 comments on “Don’t Fear the Fashla: How to Mess Up in Hebrew, Perfectly

  1. ezequiel kolker says:

    משתמשים איזה בושה = פדיחה באותו קונתכסת??

    1. Guy Sharett says:

      Sorry I didn’t reply to your comment, Ezequiel, I just saw it now. Please stay tuned for an episode about busha.

  2. Abigail says:

    נהניתי מאוד מזה!

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