In Israel the word ‘patent’ (פטנט), prounounced ‘puh-tent’ has taken on a special new meaning. Usually it is part of one of these two sentences:
‘על תדאג, יש פטנט’ or ‘יש לי פטנט’.
These mean ‘No worries, there’s a patent’ or ‘I have a patent’!
Not only is פטנט a word to describe some type of patented technology, but in most cases is used to describe a trick, a specific product, a gimmick, or a special way of doing something. Every Israeli household has a few, every person claims to have or know a few, and basically this whole country runs on an incredible amount of ‘patentim’ (פטנטים). Even Uri Zohar, a famous entertainer, wrote a song called ‘The Patentim Song’ (שיר הפטנטים). It talks about the creative Jewish/Israeli mind.
A couple of classic patentim:
The shade creator – Using an unfolded cardboard box, Israelis place this on their dashboard to cover the front windshield and prevent the 40 degree Celsius sun from creating a sauna effect in their car. It especially prevents you from getting 1st degree burns when touching the steering wheel.
The nafnaf (נפנף) – a specially designed piece of plastic used for flaming the fire on your israeli bbq called a mangal.
I’m sure you all have a few patentim up your sleeves, so please feel free to share your patentim or patentim you’ve seen in Israel that made you crack up.