Word of the Day / Adashim עֲדָשִׁים

This versatile word, in masculine form, can be either healthy or dangerously sweet. In feminine form, it's the key to the quality of your eyesight.

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Parents do all kinds of funny things to get their kids to eat protein, like (my personal favorite) sneaking invisible lentils (adashim, pronounced ah-dah-SHEEM) into the rice, since those red ones become translucent and are camouflaged quite nicely (even if they aren't technically invisible) when dispersed amid a mix of whole-grain and white rice. (Warning: It doesn't work for all-white rice or other kinds of lentils.)

But such shenanigans are hardly necessary with an altogether different form of adashim, since that's also the name for M&M-style candies coated in a chocolate shell – or, as the food manufacturer Elite describes its adashim on the candy package, "colorful chocolate buttons."

As if it weren't enough that adashim, which has the masculine suffix of –im,can be either a source of protein that parents might try to trick their kids into eating or a source of dental appointments that parents might try to steer their kids away from, the root word adasha can also receive a feminine ending, resulting in adashot (ah-dah-SHOHT), or lenses.

You can have adashot for your matzlema (camera) or your mishkafayim (glasses). Then there are adashot maga, or contact lenses, which are often referred to simply as adashot. If you have imperfect vision but no spectacles, you should be particularly careful to keep your feminine and masculine suffixes straight, lest you find yourself unintentionally rambling on about how you shove lentils into your eyes every morning.

To contact Shoshana Kordova with column suggestions or other word-related comments, email her at shoshanakordova@gmail.com. For previous Word of the Day columns, go to: www.haaretz.com/news/features/word-of-the-day.

These adashim are a good source of protein, but your kids probably prefer the other kind of adashim.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

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