Up to Here

For some reason I’ve been thinking about ways to talk about having had enough of something. And not in a good way. I mean like when you want to stand up and shout “enough is enough” or in Hebrew, something that translates roughly into די!

די is a funny one because, as someone pointed out to me a few weeks ago, if you shout it at your kid in public in America you will likely find yourself arrested, or at least visited on occasion by a creepy lady from Social Services. In English we’d say “knock it off,” “cut it out” or “cool it” which all mean stop doing what you’re doing. But I was thinking about how there are so many Hebrew phrases that describe being tired of something or being emotionally worn down. There’s מיואש, גמורה, מחוק, שפוכה to name just a few. In English you say “sick and tired” which doesn’t mean you are ill or even sleepy, but just that you don’t have the emotional strength to deal with something anymore. And what’s funny is that I find myself resorting to Hebrew when I want to describe this state, because those Hebrew words just seem to do it so well. I wonder what that says about the mental state of our population. So without further ado, here’s a list of sick and tired phrases and words in English:

  • I’ve had it up to here – this can come with a hand motion where you motion just above your head, as if you yourself are totally full of whatever it is that you’ve had enough of and just can’t take any more.
  • Fed up – English being what it is, this, of course, has nothing to do with food. It means that you are tired of something and you can use it on its own “I am just fed up” and you can also specify what you’re tire of “I am fed up with your behavior.”
  • Disenchanted – This means that you used to have good feelings about something, or believe in it, but now you don’t anymore. “I’ve become disenchanted with the shuk since my wallet was stolen there while I was buying olives.”
  • Disgruntled – This means you’re really bitter about something and have trouble keeping it to yourself; you hear this word a lot in connection with people’s places of work. “The disgruntled employees gathered into the conference room to voice their concerns.”
  • Jaded – Jaded is when you used to be able to think the best about someone or something, or see the good in them, but you’ve been exposed to too much and now you are much more cynical and can no longer expect the best or see the good in a situation. I haven’t found a translation for this word in Hebrew. I thought for a while that it was צבוע but that turns out only to mean hypocritical, which means you act one way and feel another. “She was so jaded after the fourth startup closed down, that she started packing her desk the minute she saw the email from the CEO.”

Me, on the other hand, I’m quite sure that next week’s tips will be more uplifting. There’s got to be some optimism coming our way!


About rachel karlin
I can't claim to be an English language expert, but making a lot of mistakes in Hebrew and hearing a lot of mistakes in English gets me thinking. And thinking in my world translates into writing, which in this case means sharing some of my ideas.

One Response to Up to Here

  1. susanncodish says:

    Regarding language as being indicative of a the speakers’ state of mind: I always found it strange that Hebrew had to borrow the word for “fun” from Arabic – כיף – and had to borrow the word for “humor” from European languages – הומור – yet when it comes to sins we have a plethora to choose from: עבירה ,חטא, עוול, עוולה, עוון, פשע. Nor a very fun bunch of people, are we…

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