For the first time in its history, the Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled. But hopefully only this year. Many other events, both global and local, were also cancelled, all because the Coronavirus.

How do we say “to cancel” in Hebrew, in the present? How about in the past? And what army radio comm talk breached the divide and made its way to civilian slang?

Guy explains the root ב.ט.ל.

New Words and Expressions:

Bitul ha-hofesh ha-gadol – Cancellation of the summer school holiday – ביטול החופש הגדול

Va’ada – Committee – ועדה

“Kabel/kabli bitul” – Scratch that, abort – קבל/קבלי ביטול

Kabel bitul al ha-kafe, tsats mashehu – Abort the coffee, something came up – קבל ביטול על הקפה, צץ משהו

Kaftor bitul – Cancel button – כפתור ביטול

Mediniut bitulim – Cancellation policy – מדיניות ביטולים

Dmei bitul – A cancellation fee – דמי ביטול

Bitulim – Cancellations – ביטולים

Levatel et ha-hafsakot – To cancel school breaks – לבטל את ההפסקות

Slicha, ani tsarich/tsricha levatel – Sorry, I must cancel – סליחה, אני צריך/צריכה לבטל

Ani rotse/rotsa levatel – I’d like to cancel – אני רוצה לבטל

“Be-chol 64 shnot kiyum ha-eurovision, me-olam lo butla tacharut” – “During the entire 64 years of conducting the Eurovision, never before was the competition cancelled” – בכל 64 שנות קיום האירוויזיון, מעולם לא בוטלה תחרות

Ha-eru’a butal – The event (m.) was cancelled – האירוע בוטל

Shnehem butlu – Both were cancelled – שניהם בוטלו

Mevutal, mevutelet, mevutalim, mevutalot – Cancelled – מבוטל, מבוטלת, מבוטלים, מבוטלות

Ha-tacharut mevutelet – The contest is cancelled – התחרות מבוטלת

Ha-kenes butal lifnei kama yamim – The conference was called off a few days ago – הכנס בוטל לפני כמה ימים

Ha-kenes hitbatel biglal ha-corona – The conference got cancelled because of the Coronavirus – הכנס התבטל בגלל הקורונה

Hitbatel li mashehu, az yesh li zman – Something got cancelled for me, so I have time. – התבטל לי משהו, אז יש לי זמן

Hitbatla li pgisha – A meeting was cancelled for me – התבטלה לי פגישה

Hitbabtlu li pgishot – Meetings were cancelled for me – התבטלו לי פגישות

Hitbatel li tor la-rofa – A doctor appointment was cancelled for me – התבטל לי תור לרופא

Hitbatlu li kama torim la-rofa – A few doctor appointments were cancelled for me – התבטלו לי כמה תורים לרופא 

Lehitbatel – To chill, to slack – להתבטל

“Ha-boker hashavti lehitbatel” – “This morning I planned on doing nothing” – הבוקר חשבתי להתבטל

Ma at osa? Mitbatelet be-kef – What are you doing? Nothing, just chilling – מה את עושה? מתבטלת בכיף 

Hu ma-ze mitbatel befnei ha-boss shelo – He really caves in front of his boss – הוא מה-זה מתבטל בפני הבוס שלו

Muvtal – Unemployed – מובטל

“Hu kitsets be-daka shlosha mif’alim” – “He axed within a minute three factories” – הוא קיצץ בדקה שלושה מפעלים

“Ve-400 ish hafchu muvtalim” – “And 400 people became unemployed” – ו-400 איש הפכו מובטלים

Avtala – Unemployment – אבטלה

Ledaber le-mishehu be-bitul – To talk to someone dismissively – לדבר למישהו בביטול

Playlist and Clips:

Bitul ha-hofesh ha-gadol (KAN TV)

Bitulim – Rakevet

Ha-tacharut butla

Gusto – Hashavti Lehitbatel (lyrics)

Tislam – Partsufa Shel Ha-medina (lyrics)

Tamuz – Holech Batel (lyrics)

Previous Episodes

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