Rocket-slang and Shelter-speak: A Look at Hebrew Under Fire

What is this 'mamad' everyone keeps running to? And why are Hamas propagandists penning songs in Hebrew? Streetwise Hebrew explains.

Israelis hide in a large concrete pipe used as a shelter during a Palestinian rocket attack. Nitzan, July 10, 2014.AFP

Mamad is a protected room we Israelis got intimately familiar with during the operation in Gaza. What does it stand for? What do they call it in the safety instructions in Amharic and Russian? And last but not least, let’s analyze the Hamas Hebrew propaganda song.

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Words and expressions discussed:

Az’aka - אַזְעָקָה
Yesh azaka kan be-tel aviv – יֵש אַזְעָקָה כָּאן בְּתֵל אָבִיב
Liz’ok - לִזְעוֹק
Ata tsarich lehagi’a la-mamad – אַתָּה צָרִיךְ לְהַגִּיעַ לַמָּמָ"ד
Mamad, merhav mugan dirati – מָמָ"ד, מֶרחָב מוּגָן דִּירָתִי
Uga, ugat-, ugati – עוּגָה, עוּגַת-, עוּגָתִי
Mamak, merhav mugan Komati – מָמָ"ק, מֶרחָב מוּגָן קוֹמָתִי
Koma, komati –קוֹמָה, קוֹמָתִי
Miklat - מִקְלָט
Kolet - קוֹלֵט
Miklat tsiburi –מִקְלָט צִיבּוּרִי
Za’aze et bitchona shel Israel – זַעזֵעַ אֶת בִּטחוֹנָה שֶל יִשְרָאֵל
Lezaa’ze’ - לְזַעזֵעַ
Bitachon –בִּיטָחוֹן
Medinat chulsha ve-taatuim – מְדִינַת חוּלְשָה וְתַעֲתוּעִים