13 of the Best and Worst Hebrew Cliches

Archive | 2 min read
Yonatan Engler
Yonatan Engler

Sometimes a good cliché describes the situation best. Here are some of our favorite Hebrew clichés!

1. לִקְפּוֹץ מֵעַל הַפּוּפִּיק

“To bite more than you can chew” or “to get way in over your head.”

Direct Translation: To jump above your belly button!

Transliteration: leek-fotz meh-al hah-poo-peek

2. לְכָל סִיר יֵשׁ מְכַסָּה

This Hebrew phrase means something like, “everyone has a perfect match out there.”

Direct Translation: Every pot has its lid.

Transliteration: leh-kol seer yesh meech-seh

3. יוֹשֵׁב לִי עַל הָרֹאשׁ

You know the feeling when someone just won’t leave you alone or you can’t get a thought or feeling out of your system? This Hebrew cliché best describes these situations. It means something like, “it’s been sitting on my mind” or “they’ve been nagging me.”

Direct Translation: Sitting on my head.

Transliteration: yoh-shev lee al hah-rosh

4. שְׁטוּיּוֹת בְּמִיץ עַגְבָנִיּוֹת

This Hebrew cliché is perfect for when you just want to yell “bu!!-$#it.”

Direct Translation: Nonsense in tomato juice.

Transliteration: shtoo-yot beh-meetz ag-vah-nee-yot

5. הַכָּל דְּבַשׁ

This phrase is similar to saying, “everything is just dandy” in English. When you’re feeling down, don’t forget life is sweet.

Direct Translation: It’s all honey.

Transliteration: hah-kol dvash

6. הָעִיקָּר הַבְּרִיאוּת

This Hebrew cliché means something like, “at least you have your health!”

Direct Translation: Most importantly, your health.

Transliteration: hah-kol dvash

7. פָּרָה פָּרָה

“Slowly slowly, don’t get ahead of yourself.”

Direct Translation: Cow, cow.

Transliteration: par-ah par-ah

8. אִם כְּבָר אָז כְּבָר

This Hebrew cliché means something like, “If you’re already this deep into something, just go for it” or “I might as well.”

Direct Translation: If already, then already.

Transliteration: eem kvar ahz kvar

9. דַּקָּה תִּשְׁעִים

A Hebrew cliché to describe doing anything last minute. It’s so popular that even last-minute flights have been nicknamed Daka-90.

Direct Translation: 90th minute.

Transliteration: dah-kah tee-sheem

10. חֲבָל עַל הַזְּמַן

The literal translation may sound bad, but this Hebrew phrase means something like – “it was so good, it’s a shame it’s over.”

Direct Translation: Shame on the time.

Transliteration: chah-val al hah-zman

11. עַל הַפָּנִים

We use this phrase in Hebrew to say something is “horrible” or “awful.”

Direct Translation: On the face.

Transliteration: al hah-pah-neem

12. מֵת/הָ עָלֶיךָ

This Hebrew cliché is similar to English phrases such as “I’m obsessed with you” and used as a term of endearment that is purposefully dramatic.

Direct Translation: Dying on you.

Transliteration: met (male) / meh-tah (female), ah-leh-kha (male) / ah-lie-eech (female)

13. קָטָן עָלֶיךָ

We use this cliché in Hebrew to encourage someone by saying something like, “this challenge will be no biggie for you.”

Direct Translation: Small on you

Transliteration: kah-tan ah-leh-kha (male) / ah-lie-eech (female)

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