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Useful Hebrew Slang

Updated: 7 days ago

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 Hebrew slang words that every new immigrant needs to know!

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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 hutzpah 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!

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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 into English from Hebrew. 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".

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

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