Coming to Israel? Well then it’s time to brush up on your Hebrew / Israeli slang! We’ve put together 14 of the most commonly used and easy to remember phrases for you, so here it goes:
Meaning: Cool, chilled, great, right on
Example: Hanging out on the beach in Tel Aviv is “Sababa”
Meaning: Literally translates to “on the face” but in slang it means you don’t feel good or something is old, tired, not great or tasteless
Example: Yesterdays tuna sandwich now tastes “al ha panim” or after going out last night I feel “al ha panim”
Meaning: The Israeli equivalent of these types of people – “Frecha” is for a female, “Ars” is for a male.
Example: think fake tan, extra long bedazzled nails, animal print, muscle tops, and diamond jewelry for men
Meaning: Something “under the table” or “off the record” or acquired only through connections. Also means using an item for something other than it’s purpose ie. making a “make-shift” arrangement.
Example: Your uncle is the president and he gives you a high profile job in the government as soon as you get out of high school, that would be a “combina”, or using your ipad as a door stopper would also be a “combina”
Meaning: Come on already
Example: “Nu Kvar!” You still haven’t been on a Birthright Israel trip…
Meaning: Literally, “to eat movies”, but in slang it means someone is behaving like a drama queen, they’re being crazy, or imagining issues when there aren’t any.
Example: Your sister is crying because you hacked her Facebook, you say “at (you) ochelet sratim”
Meaning: Chaos or mess
Example: The party ended up being a complete “balagan” or I can’t find my keys in all this “balagan”
Meaning: Literally “living in a movie”, in slang it means someone is being unrealistic
Example: What, a free trip to Israel? “Ata chai b’seret”!
Meaning: Kinda like, that totally annoying and unnecessary “like” that we like put in sentences and stuff.
Example: Do you like, know what I mean?
Meaning: Names you call your guy friends: Achi – brother, Gever – man, Chabibi – dude
Example: Hey, what’s up achi?
Meaning: Names you call your other half : “Motek” means sweetheart, “Mami” means baby, “neshama” mean soul
Example: Bob – “Hey Mami, want to go to dinner?”
Sandy – “Why, yes Motek, I do.”
Bob – “Ok, I will make reservations Neshama.”
Example: He is an “achla” gever, or a night out in Jerusalem is “Magniv”
Meaning: Literally, “waste of time”. But in slang it means the best thing EVER!!!
Example: 10 days in Israel is “chaval al hazman”! You will climb Masada, float in the Dead Sea, experience the best night life in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, catch a tan and swim in the warm waters of the Red Sea, explore the ancient cobbled streets of the Old City… and so much more. It’s seriously chaval al hazman!
Meaning: Let’s Go!
Example: Yalla! It’s time to register for that Free 10 day trip to Israel with Israel on the House