Questions tagged [hebrew]

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19 votes
3 answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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