A 2010 opinion column praising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for what it described as his craftiness in freezing settlement construction in an attempt to win over the United States so that it acts against Iran was headlined "Netanyahu, sihakta ota (see-KHAK-ta oh-TA)!"
The literal translation of the term is "you played it," and it means "you did it," "you pulled it off" or "you lucked out." It can sometimes connote a bit of maneuvering, or game playing if you will, and is perhaps most closely related to the English phrase "well played."
Lesahek ota, to use the infinitive form, can also mean "to pretend." This has an English corollary as well; you'll get the idea if you think of the term "playing hard to get" (lesahek ota kashe lehasaga) and extend that to other behavior.
For instance, you could lesahek ota adish, literally "play it indifferent," if people give you a compliment, as suggested by a Hebrew Facebook page that has managed to get 165 "likes" even though it has no content. Then again, maybe the silent page owner is just playing it cool.
To contact Shoshana Kordova with column suggestions or other word-related comments, email her at email@example.com. For previous Word of the Day columns, go to: www.haaretz.com/news/features/word-of-the-day.
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