Word of the Day / Livloa Tsfardea לבלוע צפרדע

Although its literal meaning is to gulp down a slimy amphibian, in Israeli slang, this term means to do something you'd simply rather not.

You wouldn't swallow a frog anyway, dear reader, would you? Frogs aren't kosher.

Or would you? If you're taking out the garbage even though it isn't your turn, or helping dear tremor-afflicted Uncle Stanislav trim his nostril hairs, you're "swallowing a frog," as they say in slang.

Livloa tsfardea, literally "to swallow a frog," means to do something unpleasant. You are doing something you really don't want to do.

At least that applies to Hebrew. The English vernacular has a similar if rare application. But in contrast to common misconception, the origin of the Israeli expression is apparently not the French bouffer (or manger) la grenouille, which means to squander all one's money, or alternatively, skedaddle with ill-gotten gains.

Shoshana Kordova will resume enlightening and entertaining Word of the Day readers on October 9.