Want to learn Hebrew slang?

Did you know that even beyond what we see in the army, there are numerous sources for slang expressions in Hebrew?

July 18, 2019 03:22
1 minute read.
Want to learn Hebrew slang?

THE AUTHOR dives deep into the meaning of biblical Hebrew words.. (photo credit: LUKE JONES/FLICKR)

When thinking about slang words and expressions in Modern Hebrew, most of the vocabulary items that come into mind are military jargon that entered the mainstream slang. But did you know that except for the army, there are numerous sources for slang expressions in Hebrew?

Let’s learn some of them:

סבבה / SABABA

The Hebrew version of “cool”. Most of the time it is used for positive feedback and reassurance, but sometimes when it is uttered with the intonation of a question it can carry a cynical tone.

חמולה / CHAMOOLA

A big family. Mostly used when the big family gets together or lives closely. The word expresses the power of the group.

יופי טופי / YOFEE TOFFEE

An expression of childish delight or cynical response, somewhat equivalent to “oh goodie”.

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ג’ינג’י / JEENJEE

A nickname for redheads. the word is also used to described the special character attributed to redhead people – something between spicy and hot tempered.

אטרף / ATRAF

Excitement, a superb feeling, when someone feels so happy he almost goes crazy.

דוגרי / DOOGREE

A straightforward behavior. Especially used to describe people who talk in a painfully honest manner. It means “to tell one to one’s face”. This type of behavior is considered desirable among most Israelis.

לאכול את הראש / LE’ECHOL ‘ET HAROSH

When does one “eat your head”? When one goes on and on about something that sounds totally irrelevant to you and won’t leave you alone.

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