Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hebrew slang dictionary

A.P. on a new best selling Hebrew slang dictionary in Israel:

..The language of Moses has also absorbed "blind date," "under control" and "hacker" (pronounced hah-cker), along with some 10,000 other words and expressions that have been compiled in a dictionary of Israeli slang, a best seller since it came out this fall.
The hefty hardcover tome reflects the onslaught of foreign words in the age of globalization and the struggle of modern Hebrew - revived as a spoken language just a century ago - to adapt an ancient vocabulary to modern times.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, for one, doesn't like the trend. A while back, on Hebrew Language Day, he complained that the once ubiquitous Hebrew farewell "shalom" has largely been replaced by "yalla, bye," an Arabic-English hybrid. He also chastised the satellite and cable TV companies "Yes" and "Hot" for choosing foreign names...

Yiddish, still a strong source of slang with about 1,200 words in the book, offers some of the juiciest insults, such as "freier" (sucker), "shtinker" (informer) and "nudnik" (pest). However, some of the words are fading away, or are now used only by ultra-Orthodox Jews...
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 4:12 PM

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