Word of the Day Tilaykeku: Share the Like

If your Hebrew-speaking cousin sends out some cute post on Facebook, he wants you to like it, not lick it.

Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster
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Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster

Do you like your Cousin Shmulik’s “Would Somebody Please Teach Cupid to Aim” page on Facebook? You do (or say you do)? So, says Shmul, click the “Like” icon. Actually, if he was talking with his Israeli friends, what he said was, “tilaykeku.”

That word is a variation of the infinitive, “lelaykek”, which is the only slightly forced marriage of the Hebrew verb form with the English word “like.” The letter “k” is doubled to conform with the rules of Hebrew grammar when the root word is short on letters.

Hebrew words are typically based on three-consonant roots. In this case, the recently coined word possesses just two consonants – “l” and “k.” The rule in such cases is to double the ultimate consonant, and thus we get something like “likek.”

"Tilaykeku" is the plural form – You, plural, like my page (imperative, not wheedly).

Whatever you do, don’t confuse lelaykek with “lilakek," which means to lick, as in, say, ice cream cones. The confusion could be unfortunate.

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

When you implore your friends like to like something on Facebook, you say 'tilaykeku.'Credit: AP

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