Must-Know Hebrew Words That Originated from Other Languages

Bites | 1 min read
Yonatan Engler
Yonatan Engler

Hebrew might be one of the world’s oldest dialects, but it also borrows a lot of words from a variety of other languages. Here are 12 you should know:

1. לסמס (English)

Transliteration: leh-sah-mess
Meaning: to text message / send an SMS

2. אחלה (Arabic)

Transliteration: ahkh-lah

Meaning: awesome, great

3. תכל’ס (Yiddish/Hebrew)

Transliteration: tahkh-less

Meaning: bottom line, all in all, true (slang)

4. בלגן (Russian)

Transliteration: bah-lah-gan

Meaning: mess, disorder, chaos

5. טלפון (English)

Transliteration: teh-leh-fone

Meaning: telephone, mobile / cell phone, phone call

6. באסה (Arabic)

Transliteration: bah-sah

Meaning: bummer, disappointment

7. שלוק (German / Dutch)

Transliteration: shlook

Meaning: sip

8. הופה (Greek)

Transliteration: oh-pah

Meaning: declaration of celebration, excitement, being impressed or being surprised

9. צימר (Yiddish)

Transliteration: tzee-mer

Meaning: Bed & Breakfast accommodation

10. נו (Russian)

Transliteration: nu

Meaning: hurry up, So? Eh?

11. לגגל (English)

Transliteration: leh’gah’gel

Meaning: to Google / do a Google search

12. פדיחה (Arabic)

Transliteration: fah-dee-khah

Meaning: embarrassment, screw-up, mess-up

13. ביס

Transliteration: bees

Meaning: bite (of food)

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