Monday, January 12, 2015

Hebrew words in English

HEBREW LANGUAGE WEEK: Hebrew words in English you didn't even know you knew. How Bugs Bunny forever changed the meaning of an ancient Hebrew word and six-winged chimeras morphed into cherubs. (Elon Gilad, Haaretz).
It's Hebrew Language Week in Israel, which is an apt time to consider Hebrew words you didn't even know you know – because they have become embedded in the English language.

Most regular PaleoJudaica readers will be familiar with most of these, but here's one I didn't know and had always wondered about:
Nimrod: This has meant "moron" since the 1940s, before which it meant "mighty hunter," from the name of Nimrod, a biblical character reputed to be a great hunter. For that one can thank Bugs Bunny, who called the inept Elmer Fudd “poor little nimrod.” Fudd’s two attributes – fool and hunter - got confused in the minds of viewers, forever changing the meaning of the word.
More on the word "cherub" in English here.