Sunday, March 11, 2007


Hebrew letters are fascinating characters, each having a distinct personality and appearance. Take, for example, the seventh letter, Zayin (ז). An American-born Israeli told me the other day that, ahem, it resembles a certain part of male anatomy.

In contemporary Hebrew slang, a Zayin can be used to replace existing letters to create a new, juicier meaning of the original word.

The example given to me was as follows. The word for friend is ידיד pronounced "yedid".

Replacing the second and fourth letters (from right to left) with a Zayin yields יזיז

This new word, "yeziz", means "friend with benefits". I thought that was quite clever, actually, even if I'm not partial to the concept.

If anyone thinks that there are no young Zayinists in Israel, they're wrong.

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