Some ‘tasty’ Hebrew slang expressions

When thinking about slang words and expressions in modern Hebrew, most are military jargon that entered the mainstream slang. But did you know that except for the army, the kitchen is also an abundant source for slang? There are quite a few Hebrew slang phrases that were inspired by food products and eating. Let’s learn some of them:

חמולה

CHAMOOLA

A big family. Mostly used when the big family gets together or lives closely. The word expresses the power of the group.

יופי טופי

YOFEE TOFFEE

An expression of childish delight or cynical response, somewhat equivalent to “oh goodie”.

ג’ינג’י

JEENJEE

A nickname for redheads. the word is also used to described the special character attributed to redhead people – something between spicy and hot tempered.

אטרף

ATRAF

Excitement, a superb feeling, when someone feels so happy he almost goes crazy.

דוגרי

DOOGREE

A straightforward behavior. Especially used to describe people who talk in a painfully honest manner. It means “to tell one to one’s face”. This type of behavior is considered desirable among most Israelis.

לאכול את הראש

LE’ECHOL ‘ET HAROSH

When does one “eat your head”? When one goes on and on about something that sounds totally irrelevant to you and won’t leave you alone.

ראש גזר

ROSH GEZER

Given that ROSH is “a head” and GEZER is “a carrot”, you can guess – this is a nickname for redheads.

ראש כרוב

ROSH KROOV

Another nickname, but in this case it’s a sheer insult. The literal meaning is “cabbage head” and it means “not so smart”.

יופי טופי

YOFEE TOFFEE

An expression of childish delight or cynical response, somewhat equivalent to “oh goodie”.

בטטת כורסה

BATATAT KOORSA

Like many modern Hebrew slang expressions, this one is a loan from a foreign language. In English we can refer to people as a “couch potato”, and in Hebrew we use “a couch sweet potato”. Why? Probably because in Hebrew “potato” consists of two words – TAPOO’ACH ‘ADAMA – and slang expressions tend to be short.

יצא חומוס

YATSA HUMMUS

Despite the fact that most Israelis have hummus running through their veins, this slang expression is used to describe losers.

לעשות סלט

LA’ASOT SALAT

The literal meaning – “to make a salad”, might sound nice, but this Hebrew slang expression basically says “to make a big mess”.

לאכול את הראש

LE’ECHOL ‘ET HAROSH

When does one “eat your head”? When one goes on and on about something that sounds totally irrelevant to you and won’t leave you alone.