(Hmm… the same as in Yiddish - “greps”)
Meanwhile, Gavriel Zev was all excited one day recently, coming home from gan, to ask me, “what’s a plitzah?” Well, now we all know: it comes from the word lehaplitz / לְהַפְלִיץ, and it means “fart.”
There is a world of words like this out there and I admit, I’m jealous of the kids, because these are words that they’d never teach us in ulpan.
And Google Translate doesn’t always give you the right words, either, even if you look them up. For “burp,” it says gihuk / גִהוּק, but clearly, Naomi Rivka heard the other term from somebody. I have also seen this word for hiccup, though Google Translate offers a similar one: shihuk / שִׁהוּק.
In Pamela Druckerman’s book, Bringing Up Bébé, about raising a child in France, she mentions her daughter’s excitement at discovering the “starter” swear words that French children are permitted to use. Her main example is, “caca boudin,” or “poo(p) sausage,” an expression mainly used by children, that is considered cute and not at all obscene (sort of like the word sheet / שִׁיט here, which comes from the English but does not share the same negative connotations).
What strikes me again is that the author could have lived in France for years and never heard this term, because – again – this is the sort of thing they just don’t teach in language classes.
There are so many of these words that I don’t know!
In ulpan, we sort of scratched the surface when we talked about health and medical conditions – learning the proper names for bodily functions and even (gasp!) the word diarrhea (sheelshool / שִׁלשׁוּל). That was as wild and crazy as it got.
They didn’t even teach us the word for vomit (lehakee / לְהַקִיא), let alone any of its seemingly dozens of “fun” English synonyms.
I suppose the thinking is that you’ll learn as you go – but they don’t do that with other topics, like the bank or the post office. I may never need to receive or send a registered letter (michtav rashoom / מִכתָב רָשׁוּם), but they darn well made sure I know how to say it, order one, receive one, inside, outside, backwards, forwards… in my sleep.
If only they brought in a seven-year-old to guest-teach in ulpan, things would be very, very different.
So what’s your favourite bodily-function word in Hebrew? (And did you learn it in ulpan? I’m guessing no!)