Saturday, January 16, 2016

שְׁאָט נֶפֶשׁ

Hebrew idiom for: disgust, repugnance, revulsion, repulsion, abhorrence, nausea, horror, aversion, abomination

Literally: disdain of the soul
Source: Biblical from the book of Ezekiel (25:15)
"כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה יַעַן עֲשׂוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים בִּנְקָמָה וַיִּנָּקְמוּ נָקָם בִּשְׁאָט בְּנֶפֶשׁ לְמַשְׁחִית אֵיבַת עוֹלָם." (יחזקאל כה טו).

Pronounced: Shih'At Nefesh

Friday, November 27, 2015

נכמר הלב

Hebrew literary phrase meaning: the heart breaks with mercy; heartfelt compassion; to be deeply touched/heart swells up, with mercy, compassion, sorrow, longing 

Literally: Heart cracks
Source: of the word Ni'Khmar (נכמר) is biblical (Lamentations 5:10- עֹורֵ֙נוּ֙ כְּתַנּ֣וּר נִכְמָ֔רוּ - our skin cracked like an oven)
Usage: used when the heart is poignantly touched by someone/something/story that invokes much heartfelt mercy/compassion/sorrow/longing
Pronounced: Ni'KhMar HaLev

Thursday, November 5, 2015

שוקק

Hebrew word for: bustling, teeming, lively 

Source: Biblical
Literally: N/A
Pronounced: Show-keck

Friday, July 17, 2015

למסמס

Hebrew idiom for: procrastinate, use delaying tactics, drag one's feet/heels, take one's time, play for time, play a waiting game, till the opportunity or issue fades away / dissolves / dissipates

Etymology: N/A
Literally: To dissolve / macerate
Pronounced: L'Mas'Mess

Saturday, July 11, 2015

להחזיר עטרה ליושנה

Expression meaning: to restore something to its original splendor

Literally: To restore a crown to its older state
Source: The expression appears in the Babylonian Talmud (Yoma, 69), but used commonly as a flowery expression in modern day Hebrew. Often used in Israeli media, by political commentators.
Pronounced: L'Hakzir A'ta'ra L'yosh'Na

Saturday, February 2, 2013

לך על זה

Hebrew idiom for: "Go for it"

Etymology: probably borrowed directly from English
Literally: Go/Walk on it
Pronounced: Lekh al Zeh (to female: Le'khee al Zeh)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

כאש בשדה קוצים

Hebrew Term for: Like wild fire

Usage: The news spread like wild fire
Literally: Like a fire in field of thorns
Etymology: Unknown
Pronounced: K'esh B'sde Kotzeem

Saturday, December 8, 2012

יתירות

Hebrew Term for: Redundancy

Etymology: From the Hebrew root יתר (Yeter) meaning -- the rest of, remainder, surplus, excess, the remains, more of
Pronounced: Y'tee'root

Sunday, December 2, 2012

ערש דווי

Meaning: Deathbed

Source: Book of Psalms
Pronounced: E'res D'vai
E'res is archaic for bed, Dvai archaic for sick, ill, dying
Despite the fact that the separate words that make up the idiom are archaic, the idiom itself made up of both those words is commonly used in journalistic and literary Hebrew

Sunday, May 23, 2010

חנון

Hebrew Slang for: Geek

Pronounced: Khnoon
Etymology: There's a whole Hebrew Wikipedia entry for the term: http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/חנון . Theory is that it maybe from the Hebrew term me'chu'nan literally meaning gifted/talented and is the Hebrew term used for precocious children

Saturday, May 22, 2010

ג'ינגול, לג'נגל

Meaning: To Juggle

Etymology: A corruption of the directly borrowed English word
Pronounced: jin-gool, l'jan-g'el
Usage: used in Hebrew in the context of multi-tasking, e.g., work tasks, or the need to juggle ones time between work, children spouses, life etc.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

לצאת לידי חובה

Common Hebrew idiom meaning: to do something just out of obligation (social or otherwise), without serious or sincere intention
Pronounced: la'tzet li'ydey chova

Saturday, March 27, 2010

ליכלוכית

Hebrew Term for: Cinderella

Etymology: Hebrew took cinder (from Cinderella) and associated it to the Hebrew word soiled/dirty and added a diminutive endearment suffix to it
Pronounced: likh'loo'kheet

Friday, March 26, 2010

להוסיף חטא על פשע

Hebrew Idiom for: "adding insult to injury"

Literally: "add sin to crime"
Pronounced: l'hosif chet al pe'shah

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

זוגרים

Term for: Cohabitation
Literally: the union of the words זוג/zug meaning couple and גרים/ga'reem meaning dwelling
Pronounced: Zoo'Ga'reem

קצרו המילים

Idiom for: Words can't describe/express

Literally: Words are too short
Pronounced: katzru ha'milim

Friday, March 5, 2010

לרתק

2 different usages:
In art and media its often used to describe some object/person/event that riveted attention
Also means confine
Pronounced: l'ra'tek

Saturday, December 12, 2009

רוח גבית

Hebrew Idiom for: Tail Wind

Literally: back wind
Pronounced: ru'akh gabit

Friday, November 13, 2009

אבן-נגף

Meaning: Stumbling Block, Obstacle, Hinderance

Literally: Obstacle/blocking stone
Pronounced: Even, Ne'Gef
Source: Biblical, Isaiah 8:14- וְהָיָ֖ה לְמִקְדָּ֑שׁ וּלְאֶ֣בֶן נֶ֠גֶף , And he shall be a sanctuary and a stumbling stone...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

מגדר

Meaning: The modern Hebrew term for Gender
Pronounced: mig'dar
Derived from: the word fence/railing
It appears like a conscious attempt was made when choosing the word for it to have some resemblance in sound to the English word Gender

Saturday, February 21, 2009

ישורת אחרונה

Meaning: is the Hebrew idiom for "home stretch" as in the the last part of something, like a journey, race or project
Pronounced: y'shoret ach'roe'na
Literally: Last straightaway
Most likely borrowed and translated directly from the English metaphor

נטל

Meaning: burden, load, onus
Pronounced: ne'tel

נטל ההוכחה

Meaning (and literally): burden of proof
Pronounced: ne'tel ha'ho'cha'cha

Saturday, February 14, 2009

אווילי

Meaning: silly, foolish, inane, goofy
Pronounced: eh'vee'lee

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

נהנתנות

Meaning: hedonism
Pronounced: ne'hen'ta'nut
This word is an inflection of the Hebrew word for pleasure, in this form it indicates a principle/primary focus on pleasure

Saturday, February 7, 2009

מרומם

Meaning (and literally): uplifting
Pronounced: m'roe'mem

Similar: התרוממות רוח
Literally: uplifting wind/spirit
Meaning: elation
Pronounced: heat'roe'me'moot ru'ach

לחטוא לאמת

Literally: to sin/transgress/miss the truth
Pronounced: la'chtoe, la'emmet
Other forms: חוטאים לאמת
Used when commenting on a missing or poorly constructed analogy, commentary, point in case, that sins/transgresses/misses the truth, if you will

Friday, February 6, 2009

רעש וצילצולים

Can serve as the Hebrew for: Brouhaha, sis-boom-bah, fanfare,
Literally: noise/pandemonium (רעש) and ringing/tintinnabulation (צילצולים)
More often used used in the negative connotation like in someone making too much of a fanfare
Pronounced: ra'ash v'Tzil-Zulim, the latter being an onomatopoeia

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

מפלט אחרון

Meaning: Last resort
Literally: last refuge/shelter/escape (all translations for the work מפלט)
Origin: most likely borrowed as is from the English
Pronounced: Mif'Lat A'kha'rone

Saturday, January 31, 2009

על הפנים

Literraly "on the face" a term used when descrbing a dire, lousy, unfavorable or messed-up situation, one would say "the situation is 'on the face'" and Hebrew: ha'matzav al ha'Panim
המצב על הפנים
Pronounced: al-ha pa-nim

מאתגר

The Hebrew word for challenging most likely borrowed and translated as is from the English
Pronounced: m'at'ger

אינו בוחל באמצעים

Literally "one who doesn't loath any means" is the Hebrew expression for one who justifies any and all means to an end.
Pronounced: ay'no boe'chel b'em'tza'im

Used often in the context of terrorists groups that use loathsome means to justify their goals: from bombing of innocent civilian; using schools, mosques, hospitals for launching rockets and or caching weapons; other examples include using their own civilians, children, women, and elderly as human shields.

In a lighter context it may be used to describe, politicians, or any greedy group or person who is unashamed of applying any means to achieve their desired goal

Saturday, November 15, 2008

מרקם

texture, fabric, web, grain, weave
Pronounced: mir'kam

Saturday, October 11, 2008

בעליל

obviously, clearly, evidently, expressly, saliently
Pronounced: b'a'lil

Friday, August 8, 2008

נשחק עד דק

wearing/wore thin

Saturday, July 5, 2008

חמקמק

Meaning: elusive
Pronounced: cha'mak'mak
From the word לחמוק which means to evade, slip away
Derivatives: חמקן used also for stealth technology e.g., a stealth plane which is
מטוס חמקן

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

טירוף מערכות

Meaning: haywire, utter confusion
Literally: “system insanity” or “system delirium”

Monday, May 12, 2008

נכסי צאן ברזל

inalienable rights/assets
rights/assets of permanent value
Literally: "iron sheep assets"

Friday, May 2, 2008

נוח לבריות

Meaning: affable, friendly, amiable, good-natured, benevolent

Pronounced: no'ach la'briyot

Saturday, March 29, 2008

סבבה

Slang: similar in some uses to the English slang use of the word 'cool'. Used for the affirmative, approval, confirmation, in a similar way that one would use 'cool' in those situations. Particularly popular with generation Y and X.
Pronounced: sa-ba-ba
Etymology: apparently from the colloquial Arabic (where many Israeli slang terms origin from), meaning 'great' or 'excellent'

Saturday, March 8, 2008

אמל"ח אמצעי לחימה

Used as a general term for weapons
Literally: means/methods of battle/warfare
Pronounced: am-lach

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

להקיש

to infer
also: to induce, to conclude
Pronounced: L'hakish

כיליון עיניים

anxiously waiting, bated breath, impatiently, yearningly, longingly
Literally: ending eyes (i.e., longing or yearning eyes)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

הרת גורל

Expression Meaning: Fateful, having momentous consequences, crucial, critical
Literally: impregnated fate
Pronounced: Ha'rat Go'ral

Sunday, March 2, 2008

לרושש

Meaning: to impoverish
Often used as in: a certain expense will not impoverish me, in English that would more often be rendered as: that is not something which is going to bankrupt me
Pronounced: l'ro'sheh

Friday, February 15, 2008

קיקיוני

ephemeral
Pronounced: keek-yo-ni

כתב-אישום

indictment, accusation, formal accusation

Thursday, February 14, 2008

שרוט\שרוטה\שריטה

Literally: scratched.
Pronounced: sa'rute (male), s'ruta (female), s'rita(a scratch)
Meaning: Is Hebrew slang for a soul/conscience/mind that has been permanently scraped like an old LP record that has been irreparably scratched. The term is used to indicate that the individual with this condition will have certain idiosyncrasies endearing or otherwise. In the strange world of Israeli culture, that can actually be considered cool in a certain situations.

להסיג גבול, השגת גבול

trespass, trespassing

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

מאזן האימה

Meaning: Balance of terror
Within the context of nuclear weapons in English it is also referred to as Mutual assured destruction.
(Wikipedia defines Mutual assured destruction (MAD) as a doctrine of military strategy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. It is based on the theory of deterrence according to which the deployment of strong weapons is essential to threaten the enemy in order to prevent the use of the very same weapons. The strategy is effectively a form of Nash equilibrium, in which both sides are attempting to avoid their worst possible outcome—nuclear annihilation.)

זדוני

adj. malicious, wicked, satanic, satanical, spiteful

זדון
malice, ill-will, evil, maliciousness, spite, wantonness, design

Pronounced: Z'doni

עוד חזון למועד

Meanings and English Parallels:
  1. The time has not yet come
  2. Premature, as in its premature to come to that conclusion
  3. When we reach that bridge/haven't reached that bridge yet
Literally: There'll still be a vision/prophecy for that time
Pronounced: Ode Khazon La'Mo'Ed