(Maybe urologists don’t have to stop and think about it. One would expect, after a certain number of years of specialization, they get the right one pretty much intuitively. (“Do you mean you want to check me in a lying down position??? Oh – you meant the other one.”))
In Hebrew, there are a few words like this, words I know well but mix up anyway, in situations that, here in Canada, are thankfully benign and mostly friendly, but which could lead to a great deal of confusion in an actual Hebrew-speaking place.
In what could be the first of an ongoing series, today’s sound-only-a-little-alike Hebrew words are…
- סַקְרָן / sakran = mischievous, curious, as in חוני הסקרן, Choni HaSakran, one Hebrew incarnation of Curious George.
- סַרְטָן / sartan = cancer, both the zodiac sign and the disease.
So tough to tell the difference!