Zero: slang

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by airelibre, May 7, 2013.

  1. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    In English there are many slangy ways of saying zero or nothing. (nought, zilch, nil, nowt etc.) It seems to me that Yiddish might have many words like this but have any filtered through to Hebrew and are there any slang words with this meaning from other sources?
    By slang I mean familiar/low register, not niche.
  2. anipo

    anipo Senior Member

    Spanish (Arg)- German
    "גורנישט" from Yiddish, "nada" from Spanish. But both are familiar and nobody would use them in writing or in a speech or class.
  3. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    The usual Hebrew word for zero, אפס (efes), went the other way: into Yiddish. (It's in several places in the Bible, such as Isaiah 29:20, so it couldn't have gone from Yiddish to Hebrew.) From Yiddish it made its way into English. One English use, which is not confined to Jews or to people from areas with large Jewish populations, is baseball's eephus (or ephus) pitch: a very slow pitch ("with nothing on it," in baseball terms) that is thrown high enough that it drops to the correct height as it crosses home plate. Few pitchers can throw a good ephus pitch consistently. When it is thrown well, it is difficult to hit.
  4. Tararam Senior Member

    That's really nice, thanks Egmont.
  5. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Many thanks for the answers :)

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