Do you hate it when you miss something someone says and when you ask her to repeat it, she says “forget it”? Well, it’s even worse in Hebrew, where the equivalent is “azov” (ah-ZOHV, in the masculine) or “azvi” (ahz-VEE, in the feminine), the command form of la’azov, “to leave.” In other words, don’t just forget it; get outta here.
- Word of the Day / Pa’am Shlishit Glida
- Word of the Day / Al Hapanim עַל הַפָּנִים
- Word of the Day / Stam
- Word of the Day / Avdu Alekha
- Word of the Day / Gingi
- Word of the Day / Dakik
But have no fear. “Leave!” as the equivalent of “forget it” or “drop it” is not a literal suggestion to exit the room. It can be seen as implicitly advising the speaker to leave the matter alone rather than leave the premises.
The satirical sketch comedy “Eretz Nehederet” went one step further, coining the phrase “Azov oti b’imashkha,” for a more forceful “Leave me alone!” The phrase incorporates a distortion of “b’ima shelkha,” so the whole phrase can be translated (overly) literally as “Leave me alone in your mother.” But it is not intended as a crass innuendo so much as a rough equivalent of “Leave me alone, for Christ’s sake.” This may be tied to the preexisting use of “b’ima sheli,” which can literally mean “in my mother,” but is used as a shorthand for “I swear,” much like “on my mother’s grave” in English.
So next time someone tells you to forget it, just be thankful they haven’t brought your mother into the picture.