Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Every tourist who goes to a country wherein the local yokels speak another language (like Canada) is advised to have a little handbook with a list of the words you are most likely to hear and that will help you in situations you're most likely to find yourself in.
Here's my suggestions of the most commonly heard terms in Israel that you should know.

Alimoot: violence

Atzabim: nerves, a case of the nerves

Balagan: mess, shambles, confusion

Boged: traitor, renegade, turncoat

Combina: artful manipulation or clever ruse, scam or Ponzi scheme

Dafuk: fucked up, non compos mentis

Hasata: incitement, sedition

Hotza'ah L'Fo'al: The Repo authority. Every town has one. Far north, out of the way Kiryat Shmonah is about it get one. If you need a bathroom nearby and quick just ask anyone on the street: Ayfo Hotza'ash L'Fo'al?

Ma'Am: no, not lady. Value Added Tax. It's 17% here. Suck it up, bucko.

Maatzar Minhali: Administrative detention

Mayseet - agitator, inciter, firebrand, instigator, troublemaker

Mesukan: dangerous

Mesukan me'od: very dangerous

Mesukan me'od me'od: extremely dangerous

Mesukan me'od me'od me'o-o-o-d: ultra dangerous (like sitting in a coffee house, for instance)

Mishtara: police

Oshek: Extortion

Overdraft: overdraught, overdraft

Pachad (guttural ch): fear

Pachad Mavet: something that scares you to death (like a knock at the door after you've posted Hasata)

Refurbished: an electric or electronic item sold as new

Shakran: liar

Shiga'on: insanity

S'tom!: Shut up! (masc. but the ladies'll understand too)
Terror: terror

Tzava: army

Tzava'a: will and testament
Va'adat Hasamah: The committee of social workers, and sometimes other pros, that met without legal mandate to do so and without informing you so that you couldn't be there to put in two words who are now informing you, with the full local Mishtara in force, that they are taking your children away to an undisclosed setting. No. No. It wasn't because you were abusive, or even that they think you are. It's because they need to meet the local quotas of kids to put up for adoption or institutionalize and you seem vulnerable because your Hebrew isn't that good.

That's it. That's all you'll ever need to know to feel like a real Israeli.