18Feb 2017


  • Head of the Department of Hebrew Language and Hebrew Literature, Arab Academic College of Education, Haifa
Crossref Cited-by Linking logo
  • Abstract
  • References
  • Cite This Article as
  • Corresponding Author

Ongoing contact between the Arabic and Hebrew languages in the Land of Israel has engendered interesting linguistic phenomena in diverse fields. Prominent among these is the penetration of words of Arabic origin into Modern Hebrew slang. Lexical borrowing and penetration from one language to another have existed since ancient times. However, the complex reality in Israel, particularly the phenomenon of bilingualism, has contributed to the enrichment of the Hebrew vocabulary, on all levels, with words drawn from Arabic. The use of slang words of Arabic origin is not the exclusive preserve of any specific population, but can be found among all Hebrew speakers, in both the written and spoken languages, in the media and on social networks. Most slang words of Arabic origin undergo changes in the semantic sphere, and some are employed in a metaphoric sense. These words are declined according to Hebrew rules, but their declension for gender, number, the construct case, and definiteness is usually irregular. The use of slang words meets linguistic functions required by speakers: they contribute to broadening forms of word formation and allowthe derivation of new values, the borrowing of expressions, extensions of meaning, and so forth. Regular morphology, alien sounds, borrowed consonants, an unusual social structure, and arbitrary patterns of definitenessare just some of the more prominent characteristics of slang words of Arabic origin in Modern Hebrew. Slang changes according to fashion, is influenced by its surroundings, and can be found in diverse forms in the language of politicians and statespeople, correspondents and interviewees, and all members of the language community.

  1. Achiasaf, A. et al. (1993). Lexicon of Hebrew and Military Slang. Tel Aviv:
  2. Almog, E. (1993). The GaleiTzahal Subculture – Youth Culture through the Prism of Their Language, Research Series on the Kibbutz at the Turn of the Century – Crisis. Ramat Efal: Tabenkin.
  3. Avidor, A. (2000). “A contrastive comparison of formulas of politeness and greetings in Arabic and Hebrew.” Journal of Arabic and Islam Teachers 23, 197-208.
  4. Ben-Amotz, D. & Ben-Yehuda, N. (1972). World Dictionary of Spoken Hebrew. Jerusalem: Epstein.
  5. Ben-Yehuda. N. (1984). Greetings and Curses. Jerusalem: Keter.
  6. Blau, Y. (1970).“Comments on Changes in Stress in Ancient Hebrew.”Shirman Book. Jerusalem, 27-38.
  7. Eldar, M. (1994). Military Slang. Tel Aviv: Prolog.
  8. Even Shoshan, A. (2004). Concise Even Shoshan Dictionary. Jerusalem: Magnes.
  9. Fischerman, H. (1997). “Yiddish in Israel: Image and Reality.” Huliyot 4, 209-20.
  10. Fischerman, H. (2004). “Reflection of English in Contemporary Hebrew.” HedHa’ulpanHechadash 90, 112-25.
  11. Granot, T. (1993). “Lexicon of Hebrew and Military Slang.” Letters 156, 50-62.
  12. Haramati, S. (2000). Hebrew is a Speaking Language. Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense, Laor.
  13. Koren, S. (2000-2001). “Words, Words, Words: On the Acquisition of Words in English as a Foreign Language through the Computer and Hypertext.” Helkat Lashon 29-32, 409-29.
  14. Marai, A. (2013). “Forms of Integration of Arabic in Israeli Slang.” HedHa’ulpanHechadash 100, 120-38.
  15. Muchnik, M. (1994). Foreign Influences on Contemporary Hebrew. Tel Aviv: Open University.
  16. Muchnik, M. (2001-2004). Language, Society, and Culture. Tel Aviv: Open University.
  17. Muchnik, M. (2004). “Not Just Slang.” LeshonenuLa’am 45(B), 65-74.
  18. Netzer, N. (2013). “What’s Up? Dragging On” – On Yiddish in Colloquial Hebrew. HedHa’ulpanHechadash 101, 29-34.
  19. Nir, N. (1999).Introduction to Linguistics, Units 1-3. Tel Aviv: Open University.
  20. Nir, N. (2007). Hebrew in Jeans: The Character of Hebrew Slang. Beersheva: Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
  21. N. (2003).Forms of Lexical Creation in Contemporary Hebrew. Tel Aviv: Open University.
  22. Ostrovsky, R. (2006). “Mirrors and Language.” Helkat Lashon 21, 51-60.
  23. Rosenblum, D. (1992). “The Slang Police.” Politika 46, 18-20.
  24. Rosenthal, R. (2005). Comprehensive Dictionary of Slang. Jerusalem: Keter.
  25. Rosenthal, R. (2007). The Lexicon of Life – Languages in the Israeli Arena. Jerusalem: Keter.
  26. Rosenthal, R. (2008). “Israeli Slang.” In: YirmiyahuYuvel (ed.), New Jewish Time. Jerusalem: Keter, 262-66.
  27. Rosenthal, R. (2013). “Sucker, Bimbo, and Slag.” HedHa’ulpanHechadash 101, 4-9.
  28. Sapan, R. (1963). Forms of Slang. Jerusalem: KiryatSefer.
  29. Sapan, R. (1966). Dictionary of Israeli Slang. Jerusalem: KiryatSefer.
  30. Sapan, R. (1974). “Israeli Slang and Foreign Languages.” Am Vasefer 23-25, 37-39.
  31. Schwartzwald, O. (1998). “The Weight of Foreign Influence in Hebrew.” Am Vasefer 10, 42-55.
  32. Shalev, Y. (1962). “On Sabra Slang.” Ha’uma3, 455-63.
  33. Yannai, Y. (1990). “Slang and Borrowed Words: Who Needs Foreign Imports?” Monthly Review: Journal for IDF Officers 4, 48-51.
  34. Yisraeli, A. (2005). Slang and More: Dictionary of Israeli Slang. Self-published, Tel Aviv.

[Thaier Kizel. (2017); LANGUAGES IN CONTACT: THE INFLUENCE OF ARABIC ON MODERN ISRAELI HEBREW SLANG. Int. J. of Adv. Res. 5 (Feb). 744-752] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com

Thaier KIzel
Arab Academic College of Education, Haifa


Article DOI: 10.21474/IJAR01/3210      
DOI URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.21474/IJAR01/3210