What are the most Israeli words?

The Academy of the Hebrew Language has picked one word for each of the country's seven decades.

April 16, 2018 17:43
1 minute read.
Flashcards with Hebrew words, including the word "Tapuach," meaning "apple". (Illustrative)

Flashcards with Hebrew words, including the word "Tapuach," meaning "apple". (Illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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In celebration of Israel’s upcoming 70th birthday, the Academy of the Hebrew Language has offered up its ranking of the most Israeli words of all time – one for each of the country’s seven decades.

After inviting the public to suggest and then vote on selections, the academy published on Monday its full list of seven words plus a whole host of also-rans.

The word chosen for the first decade is, aptly, atzma’ut, meaning independence.

The second decade is represented by mitun, which means recession, reflecting the hard times in the country during that period.

The word selected by the public for the third decade was mahapach, which means revolution or reversal and refers to the Likud Party taking control of the government in 1977 in a surprise landslide victory.

The fourth decade, said the academy, is represented by shekel, the currency. In 1980, the shekel replaced the lira as the national currency, and in 1985 the shekel was replaced by the new shekel.

For the fifth decade of the state, the years 1988- 1998, the public voted on the word taklitor, the Hebrew word for CD.

The sixth decade was also represented by a tech word, this time misron, which means SMS, or text message.

And it should come as no surprise that decade number seven, 2008-2018, continued this trend, with yisumon, the Hebrew word for app, or application – and from Waze to Viber to Gett, Israeli apps have left their mark on the world.

The only problem is the majority of Israelis still refer to them as applicatziot. But the Academy of the Hebrew Language won’t give up that fight.

In fact, it has created its own app that serves as a plug-in to swap out foreign words that have seeped into the vernacular with their Hebrew alternatives.

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