StreetWise Hebrew

A bite-sized podcast that discusses Modern Hebrew language gems. From slang to etymology, textual graffiti, Biblical idioms that are still around, influences from other languages, and other linguistic phenomena, host Guy Sharett shows us what we can learn about the Israeli psyche, society, and culture through its language.

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A bite-sized podcast that discusses Modern Hebrew language gems. From slang to etymology, textual graffiti, Biblical idioms that are still around, influences from other languages, and other linguistic phenomena, host Guy Sharett shows us what we can learn about the Israeli psyche, society, and culture through its language.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-08-20 18:52
last episode published
2019-08-20 09:14
publication frequency
7.28 days
TLV1 Radio author  
TLV1 owner  
Number of Episodes
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Society & Culture Education Religion & Spirituality Judaism Language Courses



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Six Is a Beautiful Number

This week we celebrate our podcast’s sixth anniversary. Can you believe it? Six years, שש שנים. It's a good excuse to talk about שש, six, and its family of Hebrew words. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Expressions: Kvis...

#266 Don't Scare Me Like That!

How would we say, “you really scared me,” in Hebrew? How about a horror film? A coward? This week, Guy doesn't share his deepest fears but rather explains the Hebrew root פחד and its many words and phrases. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Epis...

#265 Wait, I Need to Exchange Currency

So you're on summer holiday. Do you stay at a hotel or go for a house swap? Will you exchange currency? Who is filling in for you at work while you're gone? The Hebrew root חלפ is the focus of this week's episode. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of th...

#264 What a Disappointment

There are times in life when we are left disappointed (me’uchzavim) and it would be helpful to know how to express this disappointment in Hebrew. On this episode, Guy covers this special four letter root אכזב and checks Twitter to see what disappoints ...

#263 Does It Come with a Side Dish?

Ok, so you know how to order schnitzel in an Israeli restaurant. But what about asking for an extra plate? For a non-spicy dish? Extra parsley? Or maybe you need to notify the kitchen of a food allergy. This is serious stuff. Guy delivers the #Hebrew l...

#262 Making a Profit

The word revach רווח means profit, gain, benefit, and a few other things. You'll benefit greatly from learning the root רוח, we promise. Learn phrases like “chill on the sofa,” “beware of the gap,” and “make sure to leave a margin of safety.” Listen to...

#261 Mm Hm, That's Exactly Right

How do we agree with someone in Hebrew? How do we say, I hear you, totally, yeah, right, spot on, exactly? Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Expressions: Bool ma she-amart/amarta - Exactly what you’ve said - בול מה שאמרת ...

#260 This Cake Is “End of the Road”

In Hebrew, סוף סוף (sof-sof) means at last. Sof-sof can also mean finally, but not in all situations. Confusing, right? And how would we say final and infinite in Hebrew, which are derived from the word סוף, end? On this episode, Guy is going to clarif...

#259 Shalom Stranger

How do we greet a stranger in the elevator, in Hebrew? How about a neighbor from our building? Could we perhaps just look down and not say anything at all? Guy presents a concise guide to Israeli elevator etiquette 101. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version...

#258 Hold on Tight and Don't Let Go

Letting go of someone or something can be a difficult thing to do. How do we let it all go, in Hebrew? Guy explains. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Expressions: Lo ozev et ha-ir - I am not leaving town - לא עוזב את העי...

#257 The City That Never Stops

Guy noticed that even his most advanced students have problems with the Hebrew words for city, town, and municipality, so he decided to dedicate this episode to these words, once and for all. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words...

#256 Zero Is the New Hero

Reflecting on the recent decision in Israel to go to elections again only months after the last, US President Trump said that Israeli politics are messed up and that the country needs to “get its act together.” One Hebrew translation of Trump’s quote r...

#255 You Can't Fire Me! I Quit!

There is a small yet significant difference between the Hebrew words פוטרתי and התפטרתי which share the common root פ.ט.ר. The former means “I was fired” and the latter means “I quit.” On this episode, Guy covers all things פ.ט.ר, including the words f...

#254 Come On, Don't Be Irritating

In order to say “that's irritating” or “I'm irritated” in Hebrew, we first need to learn the root ע.צ.ב, which gives us the word עצבים (nerves). Now imagine this scenario... you're at the office, hard at work. You ask a colleague to grab you coffee fro...

#253 Hung Out to Dry

The Hebrew root ת.ל.ה gives us the words לתלות (to hang), תלה (hung), and תלוי (hangs). So why does זה תלוי mean “it depends”? On this episode, Guy won't leave you hanging as he explains all things ת.ל.ה. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episod...

#252 Anyone Seen the Remote?

Shlita (שליטה) means control. So why do some people graffiti שולט or שולטת on walls? And how do we say, “where's the remote?” in Hebrew? Guy takes control of the situation and explains. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and E...

#251 Drink Up

Shtiya means drinking, but it could also means beverages. In the last Israeli elections, political pundits spoke about shtiyat kolot, ‘votes drinking.’ What does it mean, and how did this saying make the jump from army slang to civilian slang? Listen t...

#192 Something Like That

How do you say “about 30 people” in Hebrew? How about “around the 7th or the 8th” of the month? Or perhaps “he’s about 50-60 year old?” Guy discusses the Hebrew words for around, about, and those other tentative things. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version...

#250 Setting a Good Example

In Hebrew dugma (דוגמה) is “an example,” and ledugma (לדוגמה) means “for example.” This root, d-g-m, is quite handy and from it we derive words and phrases like fashion model, sample, and the perfect husband. In this episode Guy provides many examples ...

#249 High Heels and Social Media Followers

How many followers (עוקבים) do you have on Facebook? What about Instoosh? Twitter? And what do high heels (עקבים) have to do with social networks? Well, not much except that they share a common Hebrew root. Follow closely as Guy talks about followers, ...

#248 Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

We're getting ever closer to elections day in Israel. So over the past few weeks, every time we turned on the news we would hear politicians calling one another a liar. How do we say liar in Hebrew? How do we say white lies? Guy tells the truth, the wh...

#247 Let's Talk About Our Feelings

It's time we talk about our emotions, our feelings. On this episode, Guy sets aside his feelings to talk about the Hebrew root r-g-sh. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Expressions: Regesh, regashot - Emotion, emotions - ...

#246 Pulling It All Together

The Hebrew root מ.ש.כ (mashach) pulls together seemingly unrelated matters like gravity, ATMs, and the act of stalling for time. Mashach is highly resourceful and provides plenty of interesting uses and meanings. As always, Guy provides some serious sl...

#245 Coupons & Cupcakes: Foreign Words in Hebrew

How does the Hebrew language integrate foreign words into its vocabulary? And how do we Israelis manipulate English words, like coupons and cupcakes, in order to make them sound natural alongside native Hebrew words? Guy explains. Listen to the All-Heb...

#244 Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat (שבת) in Hebrew means Sabbath. In a religious context, it’s the time span between Friday afternoon and Saturday evening. In secular terms, it's Saturday, the day of the week. So how do we tell them apart? It depends whether you've been invited ...

#243 Together or Separate?

Lehipared (להיפרד) means ‘to break up’ but can also be used to say goodbye. The root פרד is your foundation for the words you'll need to request the salad dressing on the side or to explain that you and a friend are paying separately. Listen to the All...

#242 What a Hunk!

Lachtoch (לחתוך) means ‘to cut,’ like when we cut onions. But in slang, this word and its root ח.ת.כ can be used in many ways to mean many different things. From ‘breaking up’ to ‘you clean up nice,’ or ‘a hunk‘ and ‘a hottie.’ Listen to the All-Hebrew...

#241 That'll Teach Them a Lesson

What’s the difference between lilmod and lelamed? What’s the difference between limud and limudim? And how could we have possibly missed the Hebrew root ל.מ.ד on a podcast meant to teach Hebrew?! Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New W...

#4 Polish Mother

Polish mother or Jewish mother? What does Ima Polanyia mean in contemporary Hebrew? Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode New Words and Expressions: Ima Polanyia - Polish Mother - אמא פולנייה Polania ze kan - Poland is here - פולניה זה כאן L...

Buenos Aires Listener Meetup

Podcast listeners in Buenos Aires: let's meet for drinks on Tuesday 5.2.19 at 18.30! We'll speak Hebrew, English, French, Spanish & more. Details:

#144 Master of Slang You Will 'Become'

Repeat the mantra: I will become a fluent Hebrew speaker. But how do we say 'become' in Hebrew? 'Nihya,' which is passive of Hebrew verb 'lihyot,' or 'to be.' TLV1's language Jedi Guy Sharett explains. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode N...

#240 How Embarrassing!

“Eize bushot” (איזה בושות) is what we Israelis say when we witness an embarrassing event. Remember the time your mother commented on a Facebook photo of you? איזה בושות! Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Expressions: Lama...

#142 WhatsApp with your Hebrew!?

Israelis love WhatsApp groups. It's how journalists receive the latest news updates, it's how sports teams arrange lifts for upcoming matches, it's how school parents communicate about homework, and, of course, it's how friends plan their weekend get-t...

#239 It's as Simple as That

The word פשוט (pashut) means “simple” in Hebrew. Knowing that, how would you attempt to say “simplify”, “simplicity,” or “simpleton”? Guy explains all the complexities behind the seemingly simple root פשט. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episo...

#42 'Yalla,' Let's Go!

One of the most used words in Israeli slang is actually from Arabic. Yalla is used to encourage someone to do something, but with the right intonation you can deliver an array of different notions. Yalla, press ‘play!’ Listen to the All-Hebrew Version ...

#238 Learning from Israelis' 2018 Music-Listening Habits

What can we learn from the music-listening habits of Israelis in 2018? Lots of interesting uses of Hebrew words and phrases! The internet music service Spotify just published data on the most popular music listened to by Israelis in 2018. We take a loo...

#175 Don't You Dare!

How do you tell someone not to do something in Hebrew? Use 'al' (that's A-L), which means 'don't.' On this episode, Guy explains how to use this little word, and how to say 'just don't.' Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   Words and expr...

#237 The Fixture Needs Fixing

Dropped your phone? Did the screen crack? The phone needs fixing! The Hebrew word you'll need to know is tikun, from the root תקנ. Use it when something needs to be fixed. Tikunim (plural of tikun) also means corrections, amendments, alterations. Not f...

#236 The Streetwise Center for Hebrew Learners

Gather = lerakez. Center = merkaz. Concentrated = merukaz. Coordinator = merakez. All these words share a common Hebrew root: רכז. Put aside all possible distractions because today's episode is laser-focused on the root RKZ. Listen to the All-Hebrew Ve...

#79 Conversing 'Au Naturel'

Making your Hebrew sound truly conversational is an important but tricky skill. How do you start a new topic, for instance? How do you urge someone to get to the point? What sounds do you make when you nod attentively? And how do you show shock, excite...

#235 Explaining Common Mistakes in Spoken Hebrew

We often hear the same errors made over and over again by those learning to speak Hebrew. Some sound worse than others. But once pointed out, they'll be easy to fix. On this episode, Guy explains some of these common mistakes — why they happen and how ...

#234 Love Me, Love Me Not

Did you know that “I loved her” in Hebrew can be expressed using only a single word? On this episode, Guy talks love. “Loving”, “in love”, “falling in love”, “love me, love me not”... he covers all the bases. We're pretty sure you're going to love this...

#233 Side to Side

In Hebrew, צד is side. And what about its plural צדדים, sides? It's a bit of a mouthful. Today Guy explains the different sides of צד, as well as useful expressions like, “fine by me” and “there are two sides to every story.” Listen to the All-Hebrew V...

#232 Spoil Yourself Rotten

In Hebrew, mefunak is spoiled (as in a spoiled kid) while lefanek is to spoil. On this episode, Guy explains how to spoil someone rotten and how to deal with spoiled brats. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Expressions: M...

#231 Ewww, That's Gross

The word mag’il in Hebrew means disgusting. And even though we're keeping it clean on the podcast, the topic of disgust might not be for everyone. That said, knowing how to say eeew gross in Hebrew is critical! We think you'll be fine as long as you're...

#230 Oh, You Poor Thing!

What do we say to a friend who's in bed with high fever? And to someone who got a minor scratch? And to that one person who keeps on complaining but has no right to complain? Oy misken! Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and E...

#229 Don't Get ”Fed Up” With Learning Hebrew

In Hebrew, “Nim’as li kvar” means I just can’t take it anymore, I am so fed up. The root, mem-alef-samech, is an interesting one and can be used in all sorts of ways, like in the translated sentence, “Are you fed up with ’butterflies’?” What does that ...

#140 “Kacha”: The Perfect Answer to Difficult Questions

One of the first words Israeli children learn is "kacha" - "like this" - especially when they keep asking "lama?" - "why?" - and their parents don't have the strength to answer. You may even have been told "kacha" by your Hebrew teacher when you asked ...

#228 Overstressed and Under Pressure

We talk a lot about lahats (stress, pressure) in Israel. You'll often hear, “ma ata lahuts?”, why are you stressed, and “ein lahats”, there’s no pressure, just as your stress level is hitting its all-time high. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this ...

#227 Going Back and Forth

How do you say rehearsal in Hebrew? And what do the Hebrew words for tax-refund and rabbi-preacher have in common? A root, of course! Guy returns for another Streetwise Hebrew lesson. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Exp...