Word of the Day / Hatikha

This word applies whether you want a piece of cake or a piece of that hottie you just spotted.

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If ever you're served a slice of cake by a particularly attractive woman, it's probably best not to exclaim "What a hatikha!" since the word applies equally to that piece of cake and to that piece of [insert three-letter synonym for tushy to complete the sexually objectifying description of your imaginary hostess].

At least that objectification cuts both ways (literally, in fact: hotekh, the verb that describes what you do to a dessert in order to generate a hatikha). The masculine form of the noun, hatikh, is a male hottie. It's not so different from the term "hunk," as in either a hunk of meat or whoever today's version of Fabio is, except that in English the term is a single-gender epithet only.

Hatikha (kha-tee-KHA) also has another colloquial meaning, though. When used to modify other words or phrases, it can become an intensifier and, especially when used with an insult, can create a similar structure as the English "What a," in the sense of "What an idiot!" (hatikhat idyot). This applies to other contexts also. Thus, though hatikhat avoda literally means "piece of work," in Hebrew it can mean "quite a job" or "a lot of work," as in "Wow, that's hatikhat avoda, I don't know if I'll be able to finish it by tomorrow morning."

If your boss is a piece of work who just gave you a piece of work (and right before the weekend too!), you might want to consider giving her a piece of your mind. Then again, if you're scared of losing your job, perhaps you ought to just eat a piece of humble pie.

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.

What's your name, hot stuff? This 'hatikha' makes for a tasty treat.Credit: Wikipedia

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