Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heblish: Other dialects edition

Back in my initial Heblish post, I noted:

One of the most fascinating aspects of this particular language is its vast number of dialects. In fact, every American-Israeli household boasts its own unique version.”

Yet (with one exception), most of the entries appearing in the Official Our Shiputzim Heblish-English Dictionary to-date have come exclusively from the dialect used here in TRLEOOB (=the real life equivalent of our blog).

Now, however, that’s about to change.

After all, as the following excellent reader-submitted (thank you, readers!) examples show, Heblish  is the tie that binds every Anglo home in Israel.

From Mother in Israel:

  • Turn the candle on/off: Hebrew source להדליק\לכבות את הנר. English definition – Light/put out the candle. Sample usage – “On Chanukah, we turn the candles on.”

From Miriam:

  • Drive to Shabbat: Hebrew source לנסוע לשבת. English definition – Go away for Shabbat. Sample usage – “She wasn’t here last week. Her family drove to Shabbat.”

From Sarah:

  • At…: Hebrew source  …אצל. English definition – To have. Sample usage – “The package is at him.”

From Malke:

  • Pass the subject: Hebrew source לעבור נושא. English definition – Change the subject. Sample usage – “There’s nothing more to say about this topic. Let’s pass the subject.”

From Miriyummy:

  • The honking: Hebrew source הציפצוף. English definition – The beep/tone. Sample usage – “I can’t come to the phone right now. Please leave a message after the honking.”


Thanks, everybody, and please keep those wonderful Heblishisms  coming!


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


  1. This was a good and funny idea.

  2. I agree with I-D. Will be sending more material, be-ezrat Hashem.

  3. MiI - Great! I look forward to it.

  4. I like to use the expression Cow-cow... meaning one step at a time... but I know it's heblish.

  5. Leah - !פרה פרה Intentional Heblish is very cool! :-)

  6. Ha! These are great. Thanks for including me--and if I come up with more, I will send them in! Shavua tov!

  7. Sarah - Thanks and shavua tov to you too!

  8. ok, I realize I'm a little late commenting here but I had to share this one: my 15 year old, in a parody of himself, has started using "reverse Heblish". For instance, the other day he said to me "I have no doubt mah kol kach ai paam (whatsoever)" Or we were discussing something and instead of saying "Fair enough" to concede the point, he said "maspik hogen." Or instead of referring to me as his "dearest mother" (no, not seriously) he will call me "Ima hachi tzvi." I have a feeling you had to be there, but it was actually quite fuinny.

  9. Malke - Very clever! :-)
    But there has to be a better name than "reverse Heblish". How about Engrew? Enbrew? Engbrew? Engebrew? Any other suggestions? :-)

  10. I came up with another one, and wasn't sure where to post it, so here goes. Hope you see it...

    Usage of the infinitive to ask a question, for example, "To read a book?" (?לקרו ספר)English translation: "Can/should I read a book?" Other examples: To wash my hands לשתוף ידיים, to help you לעזור לך, and I'm sure you get the idea...

    Does anyone else hear this?

  11. Thanks, Sarah! B"N, I hope to include it in my next Heblish post...

    Shavua tov and chodesh tov!

  12. My own darling daughters' version of Heblish (they were born here in Israel, English spoken at home) is to add the -ing suffix to Hebrew verbs:

    -- I am lelavoting her to the bus stop.

    -- I am mitlabeting over which shirt to buy.

    -- What are you mitkavening to do about it?

    And then there's the literal Heblish. My daughter used to say "it fell me" (nafal li) when she dropped something.

  13. Miriyummy - LOL about "it fell me"! And "conjugating" Hebrew infinitives in English is classic. For instance, livateired/livateiring/livateirs/will livateir...


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