Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Heblish: Around the Dinner Table Edition

For many bloggers, conversations held around the dinner table frequently serve as an excellent source of blog fodder.

But when the blogger in question is an Anglo with an inexplicable need to chronicle her family’s Heblishisms, these discussions are like finding the mother lode.

Take, for instance, the Shiputzim family’s recent suppertime debate about school uniforms, which produced this gem:

  • Go with it: Hebrew source  ללכת עם זה. English definition – Wear it in public. Sample usage - “If my school has a uniform next year, there’s no way I’m going to go with it.”

Or how about these two family favorites:

  • To fall in the hagralah: Hebrew source ליפול בהגרלה.  English definition – To be chosen in a lottery. Sample usage – “I got to go first, because I fell in the hagralah.”
  • Maximum: Hebrew source – מקסימום. English definition – At most; worst case. Sample usage - “Maximum, I’ll take the test again on mo’ed bet.

And finally, we have the following, which veteran Israelis will no doubt recognize as the inverse of the classic new oleh mistakes “lakachat miklachat” and “lakachat mivchan” [sic]:

  • Make a break: Hebrew source – לעשות הפסקה. English definition – Take a break. Sample usage - “I got tired from all this studying, and so I made a break for five minutes.”



Previous Heblish editions are available here: Heblish I, Heblish II, Heblish III, Heblish IV, Heblish V, Heblish VI, Heblish VII, Heblish VIII, Heblish IX, and Heblish X.


  1. I am absolutely hooked on Heblish! As a potential new oleh, what is the correct thing to say if you're TAKING a shower or a test...?
    (from your post, I'm guessing oseh/osah = MAKING?)

    Before we went to Israel, I'd joke "ani mivreshet al ha'Ivrit," but I doubt that's really how one says she's "brushing up" on something. My Hebrew still leaves MUCH to be desired, even to get it up to new-oleh standards. :-)))

  2. Jennifer in MamaLand - Good guess! La'asot mivchan (literally, "to do/make a test") is, indeed, the correct way to say "to take a test." However, I believe that most people say lehitkalei'ach when they want to take a shower.

    LOL about "ani mivreshet al ha'Ivrit"!! :-)

  3. We had a good one this past Shabbat when one of my kids asked if we could please pass the subject (la'avor noseh) (in normal English: change the subject)

  4. oh, i so love these! indeed fodder for oh-so-very much! i'm thinking start a notebook, have everyone you can think of add to it and turn it into a book!! one of my personal faves (not heblish, but definitely falls into the different sayings bit) is: "touch wood." like "knock on wood"-- but you probably already knew that!! fun post :)

  5. Minnesota Mamaleh - I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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