Yalla: The Story of the Middle-East's Favorite Slang Word

In this episode of StreetWise Hebrew, we look at the Arabic expression which became one of the most popular words in Israeli slang.

Yalla! Photo by Ziva Kempinsky
Yalla! Photo by Ziva Kempinsky

One of the most used words in Israeli slang is actually from Arabic. Yalla is used to encourage someone to do something, but with the right intonation you can deliver an array of different notions. Yalla, press ‘play!’

Words and expressions discussed:
Yalla – יָאללָה
Ya Allah – יָא אַללָה
Yalla zazim – יָאללָה זָזִים
Yalla lech ha-bayita Motti – יָאללָה לֵךְ הבַּיתָה מוֹטִי
Az yalla – אָז יָאללָה
Yalla beitar – יָאללָה בֵּיתָ”ר
Yalla-yalla – יָאללָה-יָאללָה
Tov, yalla bye – טוֹב, יָאללָה בַּיי
Tov, yalla mmmmmmbye – טוֹב, יָאללָה מְמְמְמְמְ-בַּיי

Nancy Ajram – Yalla
“Yalla Now” Pepsi ad, Arabic
Sarit hadad – Yalla Lech Ha-bayita Moti
Lior Narkis – Az Yalla
Ariel Horowitz – Yalla Bye