sayings and quotes in the Hebrew language

In this Hebrew tutorial, we will learn about Hebrew sayings that have words in them that refer to body parts in Hebrew. therefor the objective of this Hebrew lesson is to teach you popular sayings in Hebrew and review the names of body parts in Hebrew. So let’s start

 

An eye for an eye - עין תחת עין

In Hebrew the word ‘עין‘ means eye but the word ‘תחת‘ means ‘under’ or ‘bottom’ (In Hebrew the word ‘תחתונים’ means ‘underwear’).So actually there are two words that signify body parts. but in this case, the meaning of the word  ‘תחת’ actually means ‘instead’ or ‘in place of’ 

 

A tooth for a tooth - שן תחת שן

In this saying, we get the same structure but instead of the word ‘eye’ there is the word ‘tooth’ which is ‘שן’ in Hebrew

Life and death in the hand of the tongue - חיים ומוות ביד הלשון

This saying means that your word and what you say carries serious consequences that can end up to matters of life and death.your life or death to be exact.There is no parallel example in English (at least as far as I know. If you know of one please write it in the comments below)life or death to be exact.        Life and Death – חיים ומוות ,At the hand, By the hand, In the hand – ביד. (In this case, it means that the tongue holds in its hand the power of life and death), The tongue – הלשון                                                                  

p;s: In this saying there are 3 prepositions (ו-and,ב-at/in,ה-the) if you are a beginner and want to learn more about prepositions in Hebrew go to this link.

 

                                  

                                                                   

  

a hand washing a hand - יד רוחצת יד

This saying is the Hebrew equivalent to the English “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours” but in Hebrew we use the word ‘hand’ – יד , and since in Hebrew the word hand is feminine we get the verb “to wash” – “לרחוץ“conjugated in his present feminine form – “רוחצת”

To go with your head in the wall -
ללכת עם הראש בקיר

This saying refers to someone that act to resolve a problem or to get something with brute force with unlikely chances  of success .(sometimes out of stupidity or from no other good chooses) In English, this is the closest parallel that I managed to find – “to go/up against the wall“.  (to go – ללכת, with – עם, the wall- הקיר, head – ראש)

 

from mouth to ear - מפה לאוזן

In the Hebrew language, this means information (rumors, the location of a good restaurant,.. ) that has been delivered and spread by informal manners by the people. The equivalent in English is “a word of mouth“. (mouth –פה , ear – אוזן)

 

(from) under your nose - מתחת לאף

Like in English this phrase means that something is in a place that you can see it clearly. Think of someone who is looking for his glasses while wearing them. In Hebrew can be referred to situations that you should be aware of but fail to see.           (bottom / under – תחת,nose – אף)

Bhind the back - מאחורי הגב

Unlike “under your nose” (מתחת לאף) in which you should be utterly stupid or gullible to not know what’s going on. In this saying “it’s o.k” not to know because it going on “behind your back“. (from behind – מאחור, back – גב)

straight to someone's face - ישר בפנים

A key phrase for understanding 50% of how people in Israel conduct themselves (in the other 50% we are just rude for no  apparent reason). like in English, the meaning of the saying is – To be honest with someone even if it seems rude. (straight – ישר, face – פנים)

shlomi@hebrewonthebar

[email protected]

Hebrew teacher, unemployed philosopher & a frustrated artist. love to cook and hate lose, especially in chess

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