Word of the Day James Bond

And here you thought that was the name of a fictional master-spy.

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Let's hope that when the Dizengoff Center shopping mall security guard asks you to open your "James Bond" – you have none of 007's tear-gas-emitting pens or exploding-Rolex watches inside.

No idea what we mean? In Hebrew vernacular, a briefcase is called a "James Bond," based on the fictional cinematic personality who managed to fit endless world-saving gimmicks and gadgets in his tote while always looking timelessly elegant.

The "James Bond" isn't alone. There's another type of man-bag with a funny name in Hebrew.

Among the British Mandate's military legacy in Israel is the word "kitbag," a thoroughly un-Hebrew word that the Israel Defense Forces adopted in reference to a soldier's standard-issue canvas duffle bag. It might otherwise be called, in proper Hebrew: "tziudon" or "tik hafatzim."

You might encounter "kitbag" when you ask a redundant question, whose answer should already be obvious - known as a "she'elat kitbag" ("a kitbag question"). The term draws its name from those same soldiers-in-training who ask their commanders dumb questions like, "Sir, should we take our equipment with us during the troop movement?" and subsequently wind up doing 500 push-ups in the rain.

Shoshana Kordova is on leave. For previous Word of the Day columns, go to: www.haaretz.com/news/features/word-of-the-day.

Daniel Craig as James Bond, not a briefcase.Credit: AP

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