The Hebrew Abbreviation Dictionary

2 min read
Yonatan Engler
Yonatan Engler

You could say a lot of good things about Israelis – we are warm, honest, and welcoming people. But one of the most notorious Israeli traits is… impatience. We honk the second the traffic light turns green, we cut in line, and we repeat everything twice to make sure it happens as fast as possible.

This attribute can also affect the way we speak! Instead of using full sentences, we tend to shorten a lot of what we say. One way we do this is by using a lot of abbreviations. Here are some of the most famous Hebrew abbreviations – or “Hebrew-viations,” as I like to call them – that Israelis use in daily.

Nap | (shnatz) | שנ”צ

The. Best. Thing. Ever. In Spain it’s called a siesta, the Germans call it schlafstunde, and Israelis just say שנ”צ, which is an abbreviation of two words in Hebrew – שנת צהריים (shnat tzo-ho-rah-im) meaning “afternoon nap.”

Weekend | (soh-fash) | סופ”ש

If you weren’t lucky enough to get some שנ”צים (naps) during the week, you probably can’t wait for the סופ”ש – an abbreviation for סוף שבוע (sof shavuah) which means “weekend.”

Tableware | (sah-koom) | סכו”ם

סכו”ם is basically a list of the three most common items of cutlery: סכין (knife), כף (spoon) ומזלג (and fork).

Disposable | (hah-dahp) | חד”פ

Speaking of tableware, here’s a term that unfortunately has become very common in Israel: חד”פ stands for חד פעמי, which literally means “single use.”

Schedule | (looz) | לו”ז

Everyone in Israel is always busy. If someone invites you to an event you don’t really feel like attending, you could always say, “I’m sorry, I have a crazy לו”ז!” This is an abbreviation for לוח זמנים which literally means “time board.”

Unpredictable Event | (bahl-tahm) | בלת”מ

Originally slang that was used in the army, this word is now used to describe any unplanned event that might compromise your לו”ז. An example of a בלת”מ (short for בלתי מתוכנן which means “unplanned”) is anything from your kid calling sick from school while you’re at work, a dash of rain on your wedding day, or a flat tire on your way to an important meeting.

Orange | (tah-pooz) | תפוז

You’d be surprised to learn that the name of one of the most common fruits in Israel is also an abbreviation! The word תפוז is an abbreviation of תפוח זהב – “golden apple.”

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