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Useful Hebrew Slang

Updated: Apr 28

As an Olah, new immigrant, I have learned new Israeli words, Israeli traits, and classic Israeli reactions daily. Even now, five years later, I am still constantly learning new things and finding a deeper appreciation for Israel each and every day. Here are a few other slang words that every new immigrant needs to know!

An Israeli passport in front of an Israeli flag
You've got your passport now it's time to learn Hebrew!

01: Hutzpah


A pretty well-known phrase, but important nonetheless. Hutzpah is used to describe someone who has audacity or cheek. This isn’t just a word in Israel, but rather a lifestyle. In order to survive in Israel, you need to have a little chutzpah and sometimes you need to be just a little pushy. So if you’re from the good ‘ol Midwest (like me), step outside of your comfort zone and start pushing a little. You’ll be amazed how much faster issues get solved.


02: Shtuyot Bamitz


This phrase is hands down my favorite. Literally translated as nonsense in juice, it is used as a way to describe something that is total nonsense. Like for example, Israeli bureaucracy, which I am sure we can all agree...is total nonsense!


03: Protexia


This means using a connection in your favor. (Lidugma (for example), using a personal connection to get a job.) I once used this word with my aunt who didn’t realize it was a Hebrew word and wondered how I also knew the word my grandmother uses all the time.


04: Achla


Awesome, great. It is also the name of my favorite hummus brand in Israel because Achla hummus is achla! (See what I did there?)


05: Davka


This word can’t really be translated to English. It is best translated as precisely or specifically. To use it in a sentence you can say davka this chocolate rugelah is better than any others I have tried (which is the best-baked good in Israel, no arguments)!


Pick one a week, and try using it in real life! Trust me, it's a pretty fun game

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