Of Course I Speak A Little Hebrew:
Hebrew Loan-Words in English

I speak English pretty well, so that means that I also speak a little Hebrew. To begin with, from amen to Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament), there are many Hebrew-English words that are Biblical or religious -- Satan, Sabbath, rabbi (a Jewish clergyman or teacher), Messiah, jubilee, hallelujah, cherub, cherubim, seraph, and seraphim (these last four are all names of different kinds of angels), Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Israel, Beelzebub (another name for Satan), and Armageddon (a term that means something like "the final battle between good and evil at the end of the world"). Another area in which English has borrowed Hebrew words is names for animals -- behemoth (a huge animal mentioned in the Book of Job whose name is used in English to mean something or someone that is really very large), elephant, gopher, camel and leviathan (an animal from the Old Testament often depicted as a creature like a nightmare version of a whale). Besides the Bible and beast words, there are many other miscellaneous Hebrew-English words -- abacus, bedlam (loud noise and confusion), cider, cinnamon, coral, gauze (a kind of very light and loosely woven cloth used in bandaging wounds), Jew, jockey, jot ("to write a few quick words," as in to jot down), jug, sapphire and, unfortunately, sodomy (a nasty practice invented in the ancient city of Sodom). Obviously, to speak English well means to also speak a little Hebrew.
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