Photo: Zipa Kempinsky

In Hebrew, גנב (ganav) is a thief. Perhaps you already know its Yiddish pronunciation, ganef (גאַנעוו). But there are other, more exciting words that belong to the Hebrew root גנב, including several slang uses. Guy explains.


Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode


New Words and Expressions:

Ganav – Thief – גנב

Ganef – Thief (Yiddish) – גאַנעוו

Lignov – To steal – לגנוב

Ganav sidrati – Serial thief – גנב סדרתי

Al rosh ha-ganav bo’er ha-kova – On the head of the thief the hat is in flames – על ראש הגנב בוער הכובע

Gneva – Theft – גניבה

Gnevot ha-sisma’ot – The password thefts – גניבות הססמאות

“Ve-al tezalzelu bi-fritsa la-mail ha-prati shelachem” – And don’t underestimate a break in to your personal email – ואל תזלזלו בפריצה למייל הפרטי שלכם

Pritsa – Burglary – פריצה

Lifrots – To break in – לפרוץ

Ani megala she-ganvu li et ha-zehut – I realise that someone stole my identity – אני מגלה שגנבו לי את הזהות

Gnevat zehoot – Identity theft – גניבת זהות

Medabrim al ze harbe la-achrona – They talk a lot about it lately – מדברים על זה הרבה לאחרונה

Nignav – Stolen – נגנב

Nignav li ha-nayad – My cellular phone was stolen – נגנב לי הנייד

Nigneva la ha-zehut – My identity was stolen – נגנבה לי הזהות

Nignav li ha-oto – My car was stolen – נגנב לי האוטו

Nigneva li ha-mechonit – My car was stolen – נגנבה לי המכונית

Nignevu li ha-ofanayim – My bicycle was stolen – נגנבו לי האופניים

Nigneva lecha ha-mechonit? – Was your car stolen? – נגנבה לך המכונית

Ganuv – Stolen – גנוב

Rechev ganuv – A stolen vehicle – רכב גנוב

Sufgi, ya gnuva, ma at osa kan? – Hey donut, are you out of your mind? What are you doing here? – ?סופגי, יא גנובה, מה את עושה כאן

Ma, ata ganuv? – Are you out of your mind? Don’t be silly – ?מה, אתה גנוב

Lehagniv – To sneak something in – להגניב

Lehagniv ochel la-kolno’a – To sneak food into the cinema – להגניב אוכל לקולנוע

Magniv – Cool – מגניב

Lehagniv mishehu al mashehu – To excite someone about something – להגניב מישהו על משהו

Hu higniv oti al cuba – He got me excited about Cuba – הוא הגניב אותי על קובה

Hi higniva oti al sidra – She was raving about a TV series and now I am hooked – היא הגניבה אותי על הסדרה

Hitganev – He snuck into – התגנב

Hitganvut – Sneaking into – התגנבות

Gunav le-oznai she… – It was brought to my attention that… – גונב לאוזניי ש

Ganavti kama dakot, asiti siesta – I stole a few minutes and had a siesta – גנבתי כמה דקות


Playlist and Clips:

Lior Narkis – Ganavim (lyrics)

Ha-gneva ha-gdola beyoter

Gnevat zehut – Identity theft

Nignav li ha-telefon

Ya gnuva (Eretz Nehederet)

Previous Episodes


Join us on Patreon

Looking for the accompanying Hebrew episodes, to take part in our monthly Skype chats, and for other patron-only perks? Join us on Patreon and gain access to these and more.

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.

1 comment on “You Shouldn’t Steal

  1. Perele Shifer says:

    it’s fun for me to yell “ganavim! b’nai klavim!” at the people who sneak on the city bus through the back door without paying their fare. Well, I yell in a low voice….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Listen on your favorite podcast app