“Should I buy a stroller with a bathtub?”
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That’s the headline of a Hebrew parenting article that explains the pros and cons of buying a baby stroller that comes with a bassinet, or as Israelis call it, an ambatya (ahm-BAHT-ya, which comes from the Greek and means “bath”).
There are other words for cradle (arisa) and crib (mitat tinok, or “baby bed”), but somehow it’s “bathtub” that has become the go-to word for that stroller bassinet, even though giving a baby a bath while pushing him or her around the park would almost certainly not be as much of a time saver as one might have naively hoped.
While you’re wandering around with that stroller – water hopefully not included – peering into backyards might net you a glimpse of children jumping up and down on a trampolina, which, of course, means “trampoline.”
Just keep in mind that this is very much not what people have in mind when they talk about a trampolina for babies, which is a good thing, considering that most infants don’t come into the world standing up, let alone jumping. What Israelis are actually referring to is a bouncy chair, which is totally different from a trampoline yet strikingly similar once you recognize that a baby bouncer is as close to a trampoline as a baby is likely to (safely) get.
Parenting is a condition that causes a lot of definitions to change, like “sleeping late,” which I used to think meant 10 or 11 A.M. but nowadays means I got to sleep in until as late as 7. So maybe it shouldn’t be too shocking that bathtubs and trampolines morph into something else as well, only vaguely resembling the original definition, once a baby is involved.
To contact Shoshana Kordova with column suggestions or other word-related comments, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For previous Word of the Day columns, go to: www.haaretz.com/news/features/word-of-the-day.