Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stick ‘em up

Israeli schoolkids tend to mark the passing seasons with new recess pastimes.

For instance, as spring gives way to summer, Israeli boys - with a final, loving glance – put their prized collections of marbles (aka gulot, for the Hebraically-oriented among you) away on the shelf.

Because now it’s time for… apricot pits. (Here in our neighborhood, they’re known as gogo’im, but apparently, they go by other names elsewhere. What are they called in your community?)

Yes, apricot pits.

As is always the case this time of year, elementary school boys across the country spend all their free time kneeling in the dust as they flick, roll, and toss gogo’im. (The objective and precise rules of the game continue to elude me. Please consult your local authority for details.)

<interesting cultural note> This is one of those charming and ironic anachronisms of Israeli life: Seeing as the Tzena (the Austerity period of the 1950’s) has B”H been over for some time, one would assume that most parents can now afford to purchase store-bought marbles – as evidenced by the fact that the boys play with them all winter. And yet, every summer like clockwork, the kids ditch the real thing in favor of the poor man’s ersatz substitute… </note>

Meanwhile, over on the girls’ side of a certain school yard, stickers (i.e. madbeikot  - not to be confused with stickerim, which generally refer to bumper stickers specifically) are currently the latest craze – especially in the younger grades.

Unlike gogo’im, which, let’s face it, are kind of dull to look at, madbeikot come in many different sizes, shapes, colors, and varieties.

Thus, the Our Shiputzim Editorial Board is very proud to present:

The Official Stickers Lexicon

Note: For full accuracy and authenticity, try deliberately mispronouncing each of the following in mileil (i.e. with the accent on the first syllable) instead of in the grammatically-correct milra (i.e. with the accent on the final syllable).

Pushtim: Classic, flat stickers. From the word pashut (פשוט) – i.e simple or plain.

Badim: Soft, almost fabric-like stickers. From the word bad (בד) – i.e. cloth or material.

Boltim: Puffy stickers. From the word boleit (בולט) – i.e. protrude.
According to my sources, boltim can be divided into 3 subcategories:

  • Kariyot: Regular puffy stickers. From the word karit (כרית) – i.e. pillow or cushion.
  • Klickim: Puffy stickers that make a “clicking” sound when one squeezes them.
  • Gulot: Small, rounded stickers that resemble, in the words of one expert, “half a marble.” From the word gulah (גולה) – i.e. marble (see above).

What do the girls do with their stickers?

Well, whether it’s during recess or after school, they can be found poring over each other’s sticker books as they engage in the time-honored ritual known as “trading” in English and “switching” in Heblish


Have gogo’im and madbeikot made their annual appearance in your neighborhood yet?


P.S. The latest Kosher Cooking Carnival is available here. Special thanks to Northern Lights for including my ganache-covered brownies.


  1. This is a favorite post for me! When my girls were in 1st grade I realized I needed to find what would help them socially, and stickers it was/is! Bought them each a photo album and some "starter stickers" and it is still going....

  2. I believe the reason that go-go-eem used to be so valuable is that the apricot season used to be very short and the fruit was a delicacy. Now of course that's all changed. (The kids who introduced me to go-go-eem are now grandparents themselves!)

  3. Ilana used to have an obsession with מדבקות יקרות. I don't know if that term describes the stickers that are puffy with beads inside only, or whether that name includes some other overpriced sticker categories. -Yaffa

  4. Safranit (Safra-knit) - Good thinking! A sticker album and a bunch of stickers also make an excellent birthday present.

    Risa - It's amazing how some things never change...

    Yaffa - some other overpriced sticker categories
    That description covers just about every sticker category... :-)


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