Grab-bag from Brad

Brad writes in with some great insights into life in Israel (thank him by adding him as a friend on Facebook, he needs more Zabajnikim):

-Directly translating from Hebrew to English (or vice versa) often gets Israelis into trouble. For instance, when having a conversation with an Israeli in English, if he or she want to show agreement they might say “me either” instead of “me too”

-The Israeli word for any breakfast cereal is cornflakes

The Israeli word for potato chips is usually doritos

The Israeli word for snacks is munchies (like the stoner condition of being hungry)

-Although Israelis have a word for refrigerator – מקרר (mikarer) – many (especially older Israelis) will say frigedor

-If you order “nachos” in Israel, you will get tortilla chips with salsa…or possibly ketchup…but never with cheese

-Salsa is often called rotev salsa… which means “sauce sauce” in a Hebrew-Spanish combo

-The Israeli term for “last minute” is daka 90, which comes from soccer games being 90 minutes long

-“Bagel” means bagel and “bageleh” means pretzel

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    5 Responses to Grab-bag from Brad

    1. There’s no word in Hebrew for “either,” so most Israelis will say “or this or that” instead of “either this or that.”
      As for “bageleh,” this can refer to a donut/bagel shaped pastry, sweetened or topped with sesame or zatar. Pretzels picked up the name bageleh because of the most prominent of the pretzel manufacturers, בייגל בייגל; little do most people know that the name is actually pronounced Buy-Gull, not bay-gell.

    2. Paulus says:

      It is quite common for a family of products to be called after a brand name, so like many Israeli people call every cereal “cornflakes”, the americans call every photo-copier a Xerox. And in a similar way the word corn which originally meant any kind of cereal, now refers usually specifically to maize.

      Doritos is a name of a maize-based snack, and has no connection to potato chips, and no one calls potato chips Doritos. Both fried potato chips (french fries) and the snack (like Ruffles) are simply referred to as “chips”.

      The Hebrew word for snacks is חטיפים (chatifim), the word munchies refers specifically to a mix of very spicy snacks usually found at kiosks.

      Many Israelis refer to a refrigerator by the name “Frigidaire”, after the once-famous US appliance company. No one calls it a “frigedor”.

    3. YossiD says:

      In my 20+ years in Israel I have never heard anyone call potato chips Doritos. They are usually called “tapuchips,” which is quite pretty reasonable – “Tapu” from the Hebrew “tapuakh adama” for potato.

      One you missed, however, is “k’vaker,” which is the generic “Hebrew” word for oatmeal.

    4. AM says:

      “Salsa” doesn’t mean sauce!
      It means spicy!

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