Photo: Mendy Hechtman/Flash90

In Hebrew, מלא (malé) means full, just like how we feel after eating too many french fries. So what does the phrase מודה בפה מלא, literally, I admit with a full mouth, mean?

On this episode, Guy explains the root מ.ל.א

New Words and Expressions:

Malé, mele’ah – Full – מלא, מלאה

“Ani zocher be-leilot shel yare’ach malé” – I remember, on full moon nights – אני זוכר בלילות של ירח מלא

“Ani makpida lehagid she-ani shmena, ani lo mele’a, o mele’a ba-mekomot ha-nechonim” – I insist on saying that I am fat, I am not chubby, or full in the right places.” – אני מקפידה להגיד שאני שמנה, אני לא מלאה במקומות הנכונים

Bachur malé – Chubby guy – בחור מלא

Bachura mele’ah – Chubby girl – בחורה מלאה

“Banot pashut hayu yoter mele’ot” – Girls simply used to be curvier – בנות פשוט היו יותר מלאות

“Ve-ze nechshav la-yofi ha-ultimativi” – And it was considered the ultimate beauty – וזה נחשב ליופי האולטימטיבי

Mele’im ad efes makom – Filled to capacity – מלאים עד אפס מקום

Ha-ganim ha-leumiyim mele’im ad efes makom – The national parks are filled to capacity – הגנים הלאומיים מלאים עד אפס מקום

Tfusa mele’a – Full occupancy – תפוסה מלאה

Modé be-fe malé – I fully admit – מודה בפה מלא

Ledaber be/im pe malé – To speak with your mouth full – לדבר ב/עם פה מלא

Asita malé ta’uyot – You made lots of mistakes – עשית מלא טעויות

Hayu sham malé anashim – There were lots of people there – היו שם מלא אנשים

Ani save’a/sve’ah – I am full (food) – אני שבע/שבעה

Ani malé/mele’ah – I am full (food, coll.) – אני מלא/מלאה

“Slicha, ani ma-ze malé/mele’ah, lo mesugal/mesugelet” – Sorry, I am so full, I just can’t – סליחה, אני מה זה מלא/מלאה, לא מסוגל/ת

“Yashavnu ve-achalnu, hitmaléti chips” – We sat and ate, I filled myself with chips – ישבנו ואכלנו התמלאתי צ’יפס

“Al titmal’u, tash’iru makom la-ochel” – Don’t get too full, leave some room for the food – אל תתמלאו, תשאירו מקום לאוכל

“Al titmal’u yoter midai, yesh harbe ochel” – Don’t get too full, there’s a lot of food – אל תתמלאו יותר מדיי, יש הרבה אוכל

“Yow, ma-ze hitmaleti” – Wow, I am so full – יואו, מה זה התמלאתי

Ha-otobus hitmalé – The bus became full – האוטובוס התמלא

Otobus Ha-shabat – The shabbat bus – אוטובוס השבת

Playlist and Clips:

Knesiyat Ha-sechel – Hayinu Osim Ahava (lyrics)

Ani lo mele’ah – KAN TV

Mele’im ad efes makom – Filled to capacity

Ishai Ribo – Ha-nisayon ha-ze (lyrics)

Sarit Avitan – Lo Mat’imim (Lyrics on youtube)

Shalom Hanoch – Tiyul Le-Yafo (lyrics)

Otobus ha-shabat – KAN TV

Previous Episodes

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.

2 comments on “Sorry, We’re Fully Booked

  1. Guy,

    Another great show. Can’t wait for Part 2 of Mal-eh.

    In Ulpan, I learned that L’hitakaish means to insist. You translate “Ani Makpeda” also as to insist. So, I went to my (five-volume) Alcalay dictionary and it said that Makpeda means to be strict. Obviously, it is the same universe of meaning, but when do I (properly) use each of them, or are they interchangeable?


  2. Guy Sharett says:

    Toda for the question, Seth

    See here:

    I translated “Ani makpida” in its context, but of course, semantic fields are never clear cut.

    See different cases here:

Leave a Reply

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

Listen on your favorite podcast app

Join our weekly newsletter

Receive Our Latest Podcast Episodes by Email

(and not a thing more)