Lonely Man of Cake

March 27, 2007

On Hebrish

Filed under: Academia,America,Hebrew,Hebrish,Israel — lonelymanofcake @ 4:06 pm

I was looking for literature on the penetration of Hebrew into the daily lexicons of English speakers in Israel (e.g., I need to get an ishur [permit] from the Iriyya [municipality] for the shiputzim [renovations] we’re doing on the mirpeset [deck/porch]), as I was mitlabet-ing (contemplating) a post on the subject.

I used “Hebrish” as my search term and came across a wonderful article from the JPost (from the year 2000, when said paper was producing better quality material) which discusses the converse of what I was looking for: the penetration of English terms into the Hebrew lexicon.

Call it the effects of globalization, the proliferation of the Internet in Israeli homes, or even a side-effect of post-Zionism, English has become a driving force in the modernization of the Hebrew lexicon, even to the extent that some English idioms have crept into Hebrew.  I hope to come back to this topic later in greater depth.



  1. great post. i think it is very interesting to study the etymology of various languages. the unfortunate thing about the anglicization of hebrew is that hebrew is a much more rich language than english.


    Comment by peter — March 27, 2007 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

  2. I think that Hebrew, as a historical language, without reference to any specific dialect, is indeed a rich language. In the post-Biblical period though, probably because of the influence of Greek in Palestine and the Hellenistic Diaspora and Aramaic in the Eastern Diaspora, the language becomes watered down, save for some very talented liturgical poets who keep the poetic language alive.

    I feel at home in Hebrew, but I am much more comfortable expressing myself in English, which has a more subtle and descriptive lexicon than modern Hebrew.

    And I haven’t seen you comment since all the Temple Mount stuff was going on. Welcome back!

    Comment by lonelymanofcake — March 27, 2007 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  3. All I know is I was happy I got my hands on Hebrish.com
    I’ve started my own social network which I’d appriciate you taking the time to visit. http://hebrish.ning.com

    Comment by oren — April 17, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

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