One of the things I love about Israel and the Hebrew language is that there is a greeting for everything and everyone greets everyone (well mostly, remember the grumpy old men?)

There are regular, every day greetings, good morning (בוקר טוב – boker tov) and evening (ערב טוב – erev tov).

There are greetings for the beginning and end of the week, good week (שבוע טוב – shavua tov) said from the moment shabbat has ended to the end of Sunday and  shabbat shalom (שבת שלום) said anytime from Thursday through to the end of Saturday night.

Then there are greetings for High Holy days, usually happy holiday (חג שמח – chag same’ach) or the yiddish, gut yontiv (גוט יום־טובֿ – good yom tov). 

My favourite though, is an alternative to good morning. It is usually said as a response to someone who says good morning (boker tov) to you.

The greeting is בוקר אור (boker or) and literally translates to ‘morning light’.

It really does lighten up my day!


Did you know?

Today I found out that the word for pomegranate in Hebrew, rimmon רימון, is also the word for grenade.

I also found out that in a variety of languages, pomegranate and grenade are the same/similar word.

According to {Wikipedia}, its all the fault of the French.  They named the military grenade after the pomegranate (because of its shape) and the name seems to have stuck.

*image from Wikipedia
*image from Wikipedia

I resorted to Google Translate to test this out (keep in mind that Google Translate is not always the most accurate so please correct me if there are any mistakes).

  • In Afrikaans it is granaat for both words.
  • In Dutch it is granaat and granaatappel (grenade apple).
  • In French a pomegranate is a grenade, end of story.
  • In German it is granate and granatapfel (again, a grenade apple).
  • In Haitian Creole both are grenad.
  • In Hugarian a grenade is a gránát and a pomegranate is a gránátalma (once again a grenade apple).
  • In Latvian you have granātābols and granāta (you guessed it, grenade apples again).
  • In Norwegian can you take a guess? Granat and… granateple (in case you missed it that would be a grenade apple again).
  • In Polish you get a granat for both.
  • In Russian you have гранат for a pomegranate and граната for a grenade.
  • In Spanish they are granada.
  • In Swedish we have the ever original granat and granatäpple.
  • In Welsh they are grenâd and pomgranad (and are surprisingly easy to pronounce!).

There you have it, your useless fact of the day.