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
2019-04-16 06:58
last episode published
2019-04-16 05:00
publication frequency
7.3 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

#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...

Shana Tova


#226 Gas Station Conversation

Full service or self service? Diesel or regular? When pulling up to the pump, what Hebrew words and phrases do you need in order to successfully navigate an Israeli gas station? On this episode, Guy tops off the linguistic tank. Listen to the All-Hebre...

#84 It’s About Time!

Do you have “zman” – time? This root, “z.m.n,” is used in so many words in Hebrew, it definitely merits an episode to itself. Guy also explains how it’s related to the Arab Spring and Tahrir Square in Cairo. “Zman” to press play… New words & expres...

Patron Chat: Discussing the News Story Playing Out on the Streets of Tel Aviv

On last month's patron Skype chat, Guy discussed the major news story in Israel happening right there and then, and reviewed the words and phrases associated with it. New Words and Expressions: People went out to protest - אנשים יצאו להפגין They arrive...

#225 Hamsa Hamsa Hamsa: Streetwise Hebrew Celebrates 5 Years of Podcasting

The Hamsa symbol, a hand with five fingers, is believed to bring good luck and keep away the evil eye. In Arabic, hamsa is the number five, which just happens to be the number of years we've been making our Streetwise Hebrew podcast! We celebrate this ...

#224 This Podcast Will Fly Off the Shelves

What do we mean when we say hu af al atsmo (הוא עף על עצמו), he flies on himself? How about oof li me-ha-einayim (עוף לי מהעיניים), fly off my eyes? On this episode, Guy explains all things la’oof, to fly. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episo...

#223 The Many Uses of Eich (איך)

Eich (איך), Hebrew for “how”, is a tiny word used very often in spoken Hebrew and in many different contexts. On this episode, Guy explains these uses through several examples from everyday life in Israel. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episo...

#222 Busy Beyond Belief

You're busy. I'm busy. We're all extremely busy these days. The Hebrew word for busy is עסוק. What would you say to your friend if you might not be able to make it to their party? Guy sets aside time from his busy schedule to explain. Listen to the All...

#221 Stuck in the Middle with You

Why do Israelis say, “hu taka li berez” (הוא תקע לי ברז), which roughly translates to, “he jammed a faucet on me”? And how do we say in Hebrew, “I'm stuck in the middle seat again”? On this episode, Guy explains the word litko’a (לתקוע), to stick into,...

#220 Happy Happy Joy Joy

Simha (שמחה) in Hebrew is happiness or joy, but it can also mean a happy event. How would you say “to make someone happy” in Hebrew? Guy explains all things שמח on this extra joyful episode. Listen to the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words ...

#219 Calling All Musicians!

In addition to calling and texting, your smartphone is also a fancy nagan-em-pi-shalosh (נגן אם-פי-3). What's that? Well, without this capability you wouldn't be able to listen to this podcast on the move! Today's episode is all about the root נ.ג.נ, o...

#218 Could You Turn it Down a Bit?

There are several ways to ask an Israeli taxi driver to lower the volume on the radio that won't result in nasty looks. Today, Guy discusses these sayings and other words related to radio, like the Hebrew word for podcast. Listen to the all-Hebrew vers...

#3 “Be Well” and Other Sign-Offs

Tihye bari means “be well”. When do we use it, and what are the other ways to sign off a message in Hebrew? Click here for the all-Hebrew version of this episode.   New Words and Expressions: Tihye bari (m.)/Tihyi bri’a (f.)/Tihyu bri’im (pl.) - All th...

#217 Sharing Is Caring

The Hebrew word for partner or flatmate is שותף, and its root ש.ת.פ is especially relevant when trying to get your social media posts to go viral. On this episode, Guy shares his linguistic expertise on all things shareable. Click Here for the All-Hebr...

#216 Some Assembly Required

Most furniture from Ikea comes with assembly instructions. On this episode, Guy provides us with an instructions manual for the root רכב, which can be found in the word להרכיב, to assemble. No assembly required on this podcast! Click Here for the All-H...

#215 It's Complicated

Many things in life are complicated, including some people's relationship status on Facebook. How do we say “it’s complicated” in Hebrew? And what saying do we use as something gets more and more complicated? Bonus: we've included a short clip from the...

#214 I Want to Improve My Hebrew

How do we say “I want to improve my Hebrew” in Hebrew? How about “improvements”? And what's the connection to the popular supermarket chain Shufersal? Guy explains. Click Here for the All-Hebrew Version of this Episode   New Words and Expressions: Lesh...

A Eurovision Victory

Israel has just won the Eurovision Song Contest thanks to Netta Barzilai and her incredible song Toy. Guy walks you through parts of the song's Hebrew lyrics and reviews some of Israel's past Eurovision winners. Click Here for the All-Hebrew Version of...