Hebrew Slang with Arabic Origins

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

The following words are in fact Arabic but have made their way into the popular Hebrew slang here in Israel. With two cultures living so closely together, they were bound to share with each other! Let's see how many will be a shock for you...


01 Fauda

Means chaos in Arabic. This term is a code word or slang for undercover soldiers. It is used to describe the situation when a soldier's cover is blown and is threatened with bodily harm.

02 Ahalan

Means hello in Arabic and in Hebrew it is used as an informal greeting like, 'hey'.

03 Achla

Not only is achla the name of one of Israel's hummus brands but it is an Arabic word that Israelis use to mean 'awesome', 'great', or 'fantastic'.

04 Fadicha

Is Arabic for 'shame' and Israelis use this term to describe an awkward or embarrassing situation. You may have heard an Israeli say, "Eiza fadicha!" (How embarrassing!)

05 Halas

Means 'that's it', 'it's done' or 'I'm done' in Arabic. In Hebrew it is used more to say 'enough!' or 'stop it!'


06 Walla

If you want to convey surprise or happiness just use 'walla!' It means 'by God' in Arabic, but in Hebrew slang, it's more like saying, 'wow!'

07 Yalla

This Arabic word is very common and is used to say 'let's go' or 'get a move on!' Another version is 'Yalla balagan' and can mean 'Let's party' or 'let's get crazy!'. It is normal for many people to also end their conversations with, 'Yalla bye'.

08 Sababa

The epic Hebrew / Arabic slang word means 'terrific' or 'awesome' or can even be used as another way of saying 'ok'.

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