Questions tagged [hebrew]

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19 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is Reuben spelled with an "eu"?

Reuben is most commonly spelled as such in English and in English only. The digraph "eu" as far as I know never represents /uː/ in English nor in any other language, and surely not in any ...
Enrico Bianchi's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

English equivalent of מסגרת, used to describe a person who gets along in a routine with a rigid routine, responsibilities, etc

My native tongue is Hebrew, and we have a word that I just don't know how to effectively translate to English. My American-Israeli friends tell me that they just say it in Hebrew because they can't ...
Ram Rachum's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
139 views

Why do 120 or so geographical region names end in a and ia?

The web contains lengthy lists one with about 120 names of major geographical regions that end in a and ia. Is there any merit to the idea that this might go back to the Hebrew words raqa and raqia? (...
Bob Enyart's user avatar
17 votes
7 answers
11k views

Word for not being able to focus on one task

In Hebrew, my native language, we have a word describing the inability of one to focus on a certain task and instead thinking or doing one or many related/unrelated things. This word roughly ...
yotabyte's user avatar
  • 173
6 votes
1 answer
763 views

Why is the transliteration of names so strange at the beginning of Genesis?

Many names in the Old Testament are transliterated and used today. The names from later books -- such as Jonathan (Yonatan), Samuel (Shemu'el), and Joshua (Yehoshu'a) -- all seem to follow basic rules ...
SophArch's user avatar
  • 935
4 votes
2 answers
13k views

Why do American English speakers pronounce both syllables in "challah" equally?

I live in the US, and I've noticed that "challah" seems to be generally pronounced by Americans as something like /hala:/ (or possibly /ha:lə/), with either equal stress on both syllables or a slight ...
Maroon's user avatar
  • 515
6 votes
1 answer
11k views

Etymology: The root of the words 'real' and 'reality'

I wish to identify the oldest known root from which we derive the words 'real' and 'reality', et cetera. I got as far as determining the origin of the English words real and reality is Latin res, ...
inspirednz's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
956 views

Is "chutzpah" used by non-Jewish English speakers?

Chutzpah is a term common to both Hebrew and Yiddish, and has been imported into English, at least for Jews. It means approximately audacity, nerve, insolence. Is chutzpah also used by non-Jewish ...
Scimonster's user avatar
  • 1,514
4 votes
5 answers
2k views

Resources that discuss "Jewish" English (English influenced by Yiddish grammar) [closed]

I'm looking for some resources that discuss English spoken with the influence of Yiddish/Hebraic grammatical structures. For instance, things like: You want I should... "Do you want me to..." I ...
James's user avatar
  • 123
17 votes
5 answers
17k views

Come on, don’t be such a nimrod!

According to the OED, the word English Nimrod is derived from the Hebrew, where in Genesis 10:8–9 he is described as ‘a mighty one in the earth’ and ‘a mighty hunter before the Lord’. It is ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 134k
12 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why Abraham and not Avraham?

In the Hebrew scriptures Abraham's name is Avraham and not Abraham (אַבְרָהָם). Is has a v and not a b. The same goes for Rebecca, who is called Rivka in Hebrew. Both v and b sounds are represented by ...
SIMEL's user avatar
  • 1,339