Israelspeak: How To Be Cool

Aleph Bet

Ten Israeli Expressions for Everyday Usage:

  1. Balogan: chaos, craziness, as in “Can you believe that meeting? What a balogan!”
  2. Dahuf: urgent, right now, as in, “I need those edits dahuf.”
  3. Yesterday: urgent, right now, as in “When do you need that article?” “Yesterday.”
  4. Yehiyeh Beseder: it will be alright, intended to sooth the listener, as in, “Don’t worry, yehiyeh beseder”
  5. Al ti dag/i: don’t worry (dag if you are speaking to a man, dagi for a woman), as in “Al ti dagi, yehiyeh beseder”
  6. Tagid/i li: tell me (tagid if you are speaking to a man, tagidi if you are speaking to a woman), as in “Tagid li, where’s the best place to eat in Ashkelon?”
  7. Erev: evening, also the night before (Jewish holidays begin at sundown, so you refer to the day before sundown as “erev…”), as in “When are you arriving?” “Erev Shabbat”
  8. Hag: holiday, as in, “When are you arriving?” “Erev hag”
  9. Motzei Shabbat: Saturday night, also known as “Motza”sh,” as in, “I’m leaving Jerusalem on Motzei Shabbat”
  10. Sababa: cool, can be used as a response to how are you, as in “Mah nishma?” “Sababa.”
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