Urban dictionary – Tel Aviv Slang – Part 1

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]et’s face it, almost everyone you run into in Tel-Aviv speaks English, probably better than you, but there are few phrases that anyone roaming the streets of the city should be up to speed on. I’ll give you the masculine and the feminine here, but really if you’re going to use some of these words you’re going to have to conjugate on your own…we don’t have all day. Without further ado I’m going to break them down for you (in no specific order), what they mean, how to say them, and when.

[toggle title_open=”Sababa סבבה ” title_closed=”Sababa סבבה ” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”] (pronounced just like its spelled ) adj/verb/noun- okay, cool, all good, whatever, no problem etc. You can use this one for pretty much everything.

Ex. -How was the movie? -Sababa!

Ex. -What does he look like? -Sababa…

Ex. -I pick you up at 8:00. -Sababa.

Ex. – Sorry I broke your bong, man. -it’s all sababa …you get the point.[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Walla ואללה” title_closed=”Walla ואללה” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”] (literally translated “everything’s honey”) Walla ואללה (another one that’s pronounced just like it’s spelled) adverb- really? , oh really…? Used in excitement or as a sarcastic answer. It’s also the name of and Israeli website…kind like yahoo ( Walla can also be used as a response to walla, or just as an opener to a conversation.

Ex. -I just bought us two front row tickets to the concert! -WALLA?! -walla, walla…

Ex. -You really should just do what I tell you to do. -walla..?

Ex. -Hey! What’s up? -Walla, everything’s cool. …get it? It’s all in the tone[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”*synonym- HA KOL DVASH” title_closed=”*synonym- HA KOL DVASH” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”](literally translated “everything’s honey”)[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Chazak(masc.)/a(fem.) חזקה(Ha-zak)” title_closed=”Chazak(masc.)/a(fem.) חזקה(Ha-zak)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]adj. – awesome, amazing, sweet etc. (actually means- strong) Used when referring to something you’re totally enthusiastic about. Do yourself a favor and get your “CHET” sound down before using it.

Ex. – Im flying to Europe…first class. -HAZAK!!!

Ex. – How’s that new song? -HAZAK!!!

..pretty straight forward[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”*synonym- Esh אש (actual meaning- fire)” title_closed=”*synonym- Esh אש (actual meaning- fire)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]This can also be used when describing a person

**said occasionally in English with a Hebrew accent.

*antonym- (See Halushes) INTERMEDIATE[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Shaboor (masc.)/Shboora (fem.) שבורה (SHA-BOOR/SHBOORA)” title_closed=”Shaboor (masc.)/Shboora (fem.) שבורה (SHA-BOOR/SHBOORA)” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”]adj. –wasted (high or drunk), exhausted, depressed (actually means- broken).

This lovely word can be used to describe yourself or others as completely wrecked from alcohol or ya know whatever else OR if you’re so tired you could fall asleep right then and there, or if your totally down in the dumps.

Ex. – My girlfriend just dumped me and I had to work all day and I went out last night…

-Oh man, that sucks! -Yea I’m so shaboor.[/toggle]
[toggle title_open=”Hores (masc.)/et (fem.) et HaBriut הורסת את הבריאות” title_closed=”Hores (masc.)/et (fem.) et HaBriut הורסת את הבריאות” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default”](HOR-ES et haBrEE-YOOT) adj. – Very charming, good looking, funny…pretty much anything good to describe someone (literally translated- health ruining) This is a fun one.

It’s mostly used to describe someone you just think is the bee’s knees in any kind of way. It can also be said to some, used like a verb/action if they, let’s say, are cracking you up (Ex. At/a hores/et LEE (my) haBriut).

This one folks is another one that should really be used by conversational Hebrew speakers. Ex. -OMG did you see that guy? -Yea he is Hores at a HaBriut * can be shortened to just “hores/et” [/toggle]

Lets converse… see what we have so far.

Ex. – I drank SO much last night


– Yea, I was SHBOORA!

– how are you now?

– sababa, you know.

…fun right?

*note: this is an exception to the rule of “BET”! (“B” sounds like “V” after another letter (same rule applies to the letter “KAF” which makes a “CHET” sound after another letter)).  Because this word is hardcore slang we pronounce the”B” sound.

Let’s move on to part 2 >