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A Compact Hebrew Slang Dictionary for Texting and the Web


It goes without saying that more and more of our lives are lived in the virtual sphere with each passing year. This is true throughout the developed world, and Israel is no exception. While it would be difficult to gauge exact numbers, there is no doubt that Israelis are communicating more via texts and chats than ever before. And, as is the case wherever people communicate via digital means, new Hebrew internet slang words have emerged. They’re characterized by the adaptation of words and expressions (both Hebrew and foreign) for use on the internet and social media, as well as by a penchant for brevity and immediacy to keep up with the pace of instant messages.

Even before the internet age, Hebrew was, in fact, already full of pithy, precision-aimed words and phrases fashioned for ease of utterance and immediacy. This is partly due to the fact that, Hebrew being an abjad, it’s easy to create acronyms and abbreviations by compounding consonants and playing with vowels to form new words. Moreover, with service in the IDF compulsory for all citizens, male and female, military lingo is also quite prevalent in the daily speech of most Israelis. Indeed, the IDF is a veritable factory churning out slang, usually in the form of abbreviated words and phrases to make communication more brief and efficient—crucial in military settings. However, the same features are clearly appealing to Israel’s fast-paced civilian population, which seems to run on a mixture of high-strength caffeine and pure gumption.

Various Slang Words and Phrases

Notwithstanding the influence of military slang on the shortening and condensing of Hebrew words and phrases, there is no doubt that the internet age has given rise to a whole new jargon that seems designed to update itself constantly. This comes much to the chagrin of parents, who often have no idea what their kids are talking about, and it poses a similar challenge to Hebrew language learners. Many students struggle to keep up with the barrage of slang streaming from the mouths and devices of young Israelis—slang that is nowhere to be found in any textbook.

Obviously, if you plan on spending any time in Israel or communicating with Israelis, it’s crucial to have at least some familiarity with internet, text, and social media slang, even if you don’t end up speaking pure code like a Hebrew millennial. 

And as always, HebrewPod101 has got you covered! To this end, we’ve compiled the top 30 Hebrew internet slang words and phrases. While some will seem totally foreign to you, rest assured that quite a few, derived as they are from English, should be wholly familiar to you. Let’s jump right in!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Slang Related to the Internet / Social Media
  2. Slang Verbs Related to the Internet
  3. Slang for Using or Describing the Internet / Social Media
  4. Slang Abbreviations / Acronyms for Using or Describing the Internet
  5. Internet / Social Media Slang from English
  6. Head Spinning at All the Hebrew Slang? Let HebrewPod101 Screw it Back on Straight for You!

1. Slang Related to the Internet / Social Media

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These first few Hebrew slang terms shouldn’t be too daunting, considering that most of them are similar in pronunciation to their English counterparts. Take a look. 

1. אינסטה
“Insta” (as in Instagram)

This one is pretty straightforward. Just as Instagram has merited a shortened form of its name in English, Israelis, too, sometimes refer to it by this abbreviation. Here’s an example sentence to illustrate:

  • ראית את מה שרותי העלתה לאינסטה שלה?
    Ra’it et mah she-Ruti he’eltah la-Instah shelah?
    “Did you see what Ruti put on her Insta?”

2. ווצאפ

The difference between the normal form (וואטסאפ, Whatsap) of this ubiquitous instant messaging app and this shortened form may be slight, but hey, every nanosecond counts! You’ll notice that the only change is the substitution of the letters ט (tet) and ס (samekh) with the single letter צ (tzadi). Here’s an example of how it might be used in a sentence:

  • אני תכף מתקשר אליך בחזרה בווצאפ.
    Ani tekhef mitkasher eilekha be-khazarah be-Whatzap.
    “I’ll call you right back on Whatsapp.”

3. פייס
“Face” (as in Facebook)

Here’s yet another abbreviated form of a popular social media platform, which Israelis definitely love using just as much as the rest of the world.

  • ראיתי בפייס שהתחתנת. מזל טוב!
    Ra’iti ba-Fays she-hitkhatanta. Mazal tov!
    “I saw on Face that you got married. Congratulations!”

4. פיפל
“people” (in an online community)

This one might seem totally foreign upon first inspection, but if you look a bit more closely and factor in the way most Israelis pronounce English vowels, you’ll see that this is simply the English word “people” pronounced as if it were a Hebrew word. This loanword is used in a way that linguists call “narrowing,” which is where a word with a broad definition gets used to express something more specific. In this case, Israelis use the word to describe people who form an online community of some kind, such as members of a Facebook group or a forum.

  • שלום לכם, פיפל. כולכם מוזמנים לאירוע שלנו בשבוע הבא. לחצו כאן לפרטים.
    Shalom lakhem, pipel. Kulkhem muzmanim la-eyru’a shelanu ba-shavu’a haba. Lakhatzu kan li-fratim.
    “Hi there, people. You’re all invited to our event next week. Click here for details.”

5. טוקבק
“user comments section/user comment”

This is another example of a seemingly unfamiliar word that’s really just English filtered through Israeli pronunciation. Tokbek actually comes from “talkback,” originating with early (relative to the age of the internet) online forums where users were invited to post feedback. In Israel, this word is used to refer to either the comments section or a specific comment on a webpage, social media account, or online group.

  • קראתי היום טוקבק שלפיו ראש הממשלה לא ישרוד עוד שנה עם כל האישומים נגדו.
    Karati ha-yom tokbek she-le-fiv rosh ha-memshalah lo yisrod ‘od shanah ‘im kol ha-ha’eeshumim negdo.
    “I read a user comment that says the prime minister won’t make it through another year with all the charges against him.”

2. Slang Verbs Related to the Internet

Graphic Depicting the Internet

Now let’s have a look at some verbs related to the internet. Remember that verbs are words that express actions or states. Hebrew is unique in that it almost seems to invite the formation of new verbs created from existing nouns, or even abbreviations and acronyms. This is thanks to its being an abjad, as well as to the fact that different verb forms (binyanim) inherently express a given sort of function or relationship. For instance, התפעל (hitpa’el) always expresses the reflexive, where a verb is acting on its own agent.

Here are the top Hebrew verbs you’ll need to navigate the Net. For a refresher on verb conjugation, check out this article.

6. לאנפרנד
“to unfriend”

This one is another loanword from English. Interestingly, despite its flexibility in many other areas, Hebrew has no inherent system for creating a negative form of a word. This may be why Israelis have opted to simply adopt this English word instead of forming a proper Hebrew word for the act of ending an online relationship.

  • נמאס לי מכל השטויות שניר מפרסם בפייס! אני הולך לאנפרנד אותו אם הוא לא מפסיק לקשקש לי שם.
    Nimas li me-kol ha-shetuyot she-Nir mefarsem ba-Fays. Ani holekh le’anfrend oto im hu lo mafsik lekashkesh li sham.
    “I’m sick of all the stupid stuff Nir posts on Facebook. I’m going to unfriend him if he doesn’t stop with the nonsense there.”

7. להטריל
to troll

Again, this one comes straight from English, although you can see from the vowels how the word was adapted to the הפעיל (hif’il) verb form. This form generally expresses a transitive action, as in one done by an agent to an object.

  • איזה מעצבן! אין לי מושג מי זה, אבל מישהו ממשיך להטריל אותי בטוויטר.
    Eyzeh me’atzben! Eyn li musag mi zeh, aval mishehu mamshikh lehatril oti be-Tviter.
    “This is so annoying! I have no idea who he is, but someone keeps trolling me on Twitter.”

8. ללייקק
“to like”

Not to be confused with the verb ללקק (lelakek), which means “to lick,” this is yet another loanword from English. It’s another example of narrowing, as it’s used in Hebrew only to refer to “liking” in terms of clicking “Like,” rather than general enjoyment or appreciation of something or someone.

  • ראית כמה אנשים לייקקו את התמונות שהעלית באינסטה שלך?
    Ra’it kamah anashim liykeku et ha-temunot she-he’elayt ba-Instah shelakh?
    “Did you see how many people liked the pictures you posted to your Insta?”

9. לגגל
“to Google”

Just as in English, the popularity of the search engine Google is such that it merits its very own verb. Don’t get this word confused with לגלגל (legalgel), though, which means to turn or spin something/someone around.

  • -מה היא עיר הבירה של סלובניה? -אין לי מושג. אני אגגל את זה.
    -Mah hi ‘ir ha-birah shel Sloveniyah? -Eyn li musag. Ani agagel et zeh.
    -“What’s the capital of Slovenia?” -“I have no idea. I’ll Google it.”

10. לאמ;לק
“to shorten/summarize (an online text)”

It takes a bit of analysis to get to the bottom of this one. The verb we see here originates from the acronym אמ;לק (AM;LK), which is once again from English, though this one has been properly translated. The English inspiration is the acronym TL;DR, which stands for “too long; didn’t read.” In similar fashion, the Hebrew אמ;לק stands for ארוך מדי;לא קראתי (arokh miday; lo karati), meaning “too long; didn’t read.” This verb is derived from the same, and it means to render something more easily readable by shortening or summarizing it.

  • למי שלא היה לו זמן לקרוא את המאמר המלא, אמ;לקתי אותו.
    Le-mi she-lo hayah lo zman likro et ha-ma’amar ha-male, im;lakti oto.
    “For anyone who didn’t have time to read the full article, I’ve summarized it.”

3. Slang for Using or Describing the Internet / Social Media

Hebrew Text slang

This category is somewhat of a mixed bag, but these are all popular Hebrew slang words or phrases that are used to describe either the internet or social media, or ones that are generally only used in that context. Note that the first three words have different meanings when used in other contexts, while the latter three are specific to netspeak.

11. צהוב
“juicy” (lit.: “yellow”)

While this word simply means “yellow,” it’s used online to describe particularly juicy gossip. Most likely, this usage originates from the term “yellow journalism.” Indeed, tabloids (which generally print yellow journalism) are known in Hebrew as צהובונים (tzehubonim).

  • וואו, זה עדכון די צהוב. חשבתי שהוא נשוי…
    Wow. Zeh ‘idkun dey tzahov. Khashavti she-hu nasuy…
    “Wow. That’s a pretty juicy update. I thought he was married…”

12. שיימינג

While this one can obviously have a different connotation in other contexts, when used online, this typically refers to the practice of shaming someone on social media via original posts referencing or tagging someone or through tokbekim (see above).

  • ראיתם שהיא פרסמה את ההודעה הקריפית שלו? איזה שיימינג!
    Ra’item she-hi pirsema et ha-hoda’ah ha-kripit shelo? Eyzeh sheyming!
    “Did you see that she published his creepy message? He’s totally shamed!”

13. טירוף
“craziness” (lit.: “madness”)

This word, used as an intensifier, could be considered to have entered the mainstream of Hebrew speech (at least among younger generations), but it’s certainly used frequently online.

  • שמעת את השיר החדש של דודו טסה עם האמן האמירתי ההוא? פשוט טירוף!
    Shama’t et ha-shir ha-khadash shel Dudu Tasah ‘im ha-oman ha-emirati ha-hu? Pashut teruf!
    “Have you heard Dudu Tassa’s new song with that artist from the UAE? It’s simply madness!”

*indicates laughing (c.f. “LOL”)

This one is pretty straightforward. Just as LOL is used to indicate that you’ve found something humorous, Hebrew uses the letter ח (khet) repeated—usually three times, but sometimes more—to indicate laughter online.

  • חחח… איזה קליפ אדיר!
    Kh… Eyzeh klip adir!
    “LOL… What a great clip!”

15. מואה
“mwah” (*sound of a kiss)

Similar to the word above, this is simply the sound of a kiss written out.

  • כמה שאני אוהבת אתכם, חמודים! מואה!
    Kamah she-ani ohevet etkhem, khamudim! Mu’ah!
    “I love you guys so much, cuties! Mwah!”

16. פחח
*indicates ridicule (c.f. “haha”)

This is another attempt to render in text what we would normally express vocally in a face-to-face or phone conversation. Obviously, the sounds that go with different emotions vary from language to language, so just roll with it!

  • פחח, איזה עלוב המורה שלנו.
    Pkh, eyzeh aluv ha-moreh shelanu.
    Haha, how lame is our teacher.”

4. Slang Abbreviations / Acronyms for Using or Describing the Internet


Though we’ve already seen some abbreviations and acronyms, this category is exclusive to these. While we’ve provided pronunciation for these, note that they are generally reserved for written communications and are therefore not spoken out loud. Also note that while acronyms in Hebrew tend to feature a double apostrophe between the penultimate and ultimate letters, these are often omitted in online settings—once again, in the interests of expediency. 

All that said, here’s some common internet slang in Hebrew in the form of abbreviations and acronyms. 

17. בלת”ק = בלי לקרוא תגובות קודמות
BALTAK = beli likro teguvot kodmot
“without having read previous posts”

  • בלת”ק, נראה לי שמי שפרסם את זה לא יודע בכלל על מה הוא מדבר.
    BALTAK, nireh li she-mi she-pirsem et zeh lo yode’a bikhlal ‘al mah hu medaber.
    Without having read previous posts, it seems to me that the person who posted this doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.”

18. אמ;לק = ארוך מדי; לא קראתי
AMLEK = arokh miday; lo karati
“too long; didn’t read”

We saw the verb form of this previously. As we mentioned, this is the Hebrew equivalent of English’s TL;DR.

  • אמ;לק אבל נראה לי מעניין.
    AMLEK aval nireh li me’anyen.
    TL;DR but looks interesting.”

19. חיב”ס = חי בסרט
KHAYBS= khay/ah be-seret
“lives in a movie” (i.e. “dreaming”)

The phrase חי בסרט (khay be-seret) is used quite commonly in Hebrew to refer to someone who is dreaming, as if imagining life as a movie. This acronym, which carries the same meaning, is used strictly in posts and texts.

  • היא באמת חושבת שיש לה סיכוי איתו? היא פשוט חיה בסרט.
    Hi be-emet khoshevet she-yesh lah sikuy ito? Hi pashut khaya be-seret.
    “Does she really think she stands a chance with him? She’s just dreaming.”

20. משו
*short form of משהו (mashehu) – “something”

There isn’t much to say about this one except that young people in Israel must really be in a rush if they deem the omission of one letter to be a worthy gain in terms of time or effort. But, as we’ve seen, they certainly do!

  • תן לי להגיד לך משו: אתה חי בסרט.
    Ten li lehagid lekha mashu: atah khay be-seret.
    “Let me tell you something: you’re dreaming.”

21. חש = חושב את עצמו/חושבת את עצמה
KHASH = khoshev et ‘atzmo/khoshevet et ‘atzmah
“think he/she is”

This particular phrasing never has anything but a negative connotation, as we’re implying that a person believes him/herself to be something he/she is not.

  • מה היא חש? מלכת הפייס?
    Mah hi KHASHA? Malkat ha-Fays?
    “Who does she think she is? The queen of Face?”

5. Internet / Social Media Slang from English

Text Bubble with American Flag

We’ve already seen quite a number of loans from English, but this last category should contain words and phrases that you can easily recognize from their resemblance to (if not their mirroring of) their English counterparts.

22. גאד, אומייגאד
gad, omaygad
*from “oh my God/OMG”

It’s funny that Hebrew culture forbids taking the Lord’s name in vain, but apparently not if you do so in English! This one should be simple enough to identify.

  • אומייגאד! איזה מכוער יצאתי בתמונה הזאת!
    Omaygad! Eyzeh mekho’ar yatzati ba-temunah ha-zot!
    OMG! How ugly I came out in this picture!”

23. וונאבי
*from “wannabe”

No, this is not the name of some ancient ruin site. Rather, it’s just the same slang word we know from English rendered in Hebrew!

  • איזה וונאבי אלכס! הוא בכלל לא יודע מה זה מטאל.
    Eyzeh wanabi Aleks! Hu bikhlal lo yode’a mah zeh metal.
    “What a wannabe Alex is. He doesn’t even know what metal is!”

24. יאפ
*from “yup”

This one shouldn’t be too hard to work out, though as we’ve seen, Israelis’ approximation of English vowels might throw you off the first time you hear this uttered.

  • -בא לך לראות סרט אצלי הערב? –יאפ. אני אביא את השתייה.
    -Ba lakh lirot seret etzli ha-’erev? –Yap. Ani avi et ha-shtiyah.
    -“Feel like a movie at my place tonight?” -“Yup. I’ll bring drinks.”

25. יולו
*from “YOLO (you only live once)”

  • -אז מה אתה אומר? צניחה חופשית בסופ”ש? -יאפ, יולו.
    -Az mah atah omer? Tznikhah khofshit ba-sofa”sh? -Yap, YOLO.
    -“So, what do you say? Skydiving this weekend?” -“Yup, YOLO.”

26. לאב
*from “love”

Obviously, Hebrew has its own word for love, אהבה (ahavah), but saying it in English is just so much cooler. Or, as we say in Hebrew, יותר קול (yoter kul).

  • לאב! התמונה הכי יפה שלך שראיתי אי פעם.
    Lav! Ha-temunah ha-khi yafah shelkha she-ra’iti ey pa’am.
    Love! The best picture I’ve ever seen of you.”

27. לול

As we saw previously, Hebrew has its own equivalent of this, but sometimes we just go ahead and use the original English version, Hebraicized, just for the heck of it.

  • לול! רואים שבאמת עשיתם בלגן במסיבה.
    LOL! Ro’im she-be-emet ‘asitem balagan ba-mesibah.
    LOL! You can see that you guys really made a mess at the party.”

28. נופ

Another pretty obvious one. You’d think Hebrew’s own word for no, לא (lo), would be short enough, but once again, it seems it’s just more stylish to use English slang.

  • -כבר התרשמת לסמסטר הבא? -נופ, אבל אני אעשה את זה מחר.
    -Kvar hitrashamt la-semester ha-ba? –Nop, aval ani a’aseh et zeh makhar.
    -“Have you already signed up for next semester?” -“Nope, but I’m going to do it tomorrow.”

29. סוואג

This word originates from the English verb “swagger,” but, as in English, the netspeak word “swag” refers to someone or something supremely cool.

  • אפילו אם הם מהאסכולה הישנה, הביסטי בויז הם עדיין הכי סוואג שיש.
    Afilu im hem me-ha-escolah ha-yeshanah, ha-Bisti Boyz hem ‘adayin ha-khi sweg she-yesh.
    “Even if they’re old-school, the Beastie Boys are still as swag as it gets.”

30. קיי
“‘kay” (shortened form of “okay”)

Last but not least, Israelis have adopted this monosyllabic version of English’s “okay” as an alternative to the unquestionably more syllabic בסדר (be-seder) that’s generally used to express the same sentiment.

  • -מה אתה אומר? יוצאים לבירה במקום הרגיל? -קיי, אני כבר יוצא לשם.
    -Mah atah omer? Yotzim le-birah ba-makom ha-ragil? –Key, ani kvar yotze le-sham.
    -“What do you say? Should we go out for a beer at the usual place?” -” ‘Kay, I’m heading there now.”

6. Head Spinning at All the Hebrew Slang? Let HebrewPod101 Screw it Back on Straight for You!

As you can see, Hebrew—like most languages these days—is inundated by slang, particularly slang related to the internet, social media, and texting/instant messaging. These are words and phrases you’d be hard-pressed to find in conventional dictionaries, so your best bet will always be to consult a native speaker for clarity on meaning, usage, and pronunciation. That’s exactly why all of our teachers at HebrewPod101 are native speakers, in addition to being professional educators.

We’re committed to teaching you not only “correct” textbook Hebrew, but also Hebrew as it’s spoken by native speakers. This includes a lot of slang, both from netspeak and from the military (among others), so there’s a lot to wrap your head around. But there’s absolutely no need to do it alone! Check out our numerous resources categorized by skill and topic, and you’ll see an abundance of lessons on slang of all types.

We hope you’ve found today’s lesson useful, but we know that there’s simply an endless stream of slang cropping up seemingly by the minute. So let us know if you’ve run into a slang word or phrase in Hebrew that you can’t figure out that we haven’t covered here. We’re always delighted to hear from our students, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Until next time, shalom!

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