mha_chan (mha_chan) wrote in linguaphiles,

Help with a word that -might- be Hebrew. Or Yiddish. Or who even knows.

My friend is transcribing an interview about our city's (Newcastle, UK) Orthodox Jewish community for work, and she's utterly stumped by this bit:

Ok, I am totally stumped by this... "So each person probably has to make their own, what we call <XX> - meaning their own kind of calculation""

The <XX> sounds like "hedge bah," with the first consonant being an uvular fricative. I've been googling all the Hewbrewesque spelling variations I can think of and I'm drawing a blank. Trying to google a word with the meaning "meaning" is proving very tough as well.

I appreciate this is an impossible ask, but if anyone has any clue at all, we'd appreciate it!

I'm not sure if she could give me the audio - confidentiality of interviewee I think..
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December 6 2013, 17:06:36 UTC 4 months ago



December 6 2013, 17:14:05 UTC 4 months ago

Audio would help.


December 6 2013, 17:53:30 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  December 6 2013, 17:53:47 UTC

As would fuller context. Why for the love of ha-Shem cut off the transcription right before the definition of the word in question?

Two terms that occurred to me were "chuppah and ketubah, neither of which fits the described pronunciation perfectly.


December 6 2013, 17:58:48 UTC 4 months ago

No, "meaning" *is* the meaning. But I can't think of a Hebrew word for "meaning" that sounds anything like "hedge bah".


December 6 2013, 18:14:08 UTC 4 months ago


Couldn't be some munged version of מסביר, could it?


December 6 2013, 18:34:19 UTC 4 months ago

So is the context something like "Each person has to develop his own understanding of how to comply with the law?"


December 6 2013, 22:43:08 UTC 4 months ago

My friend's just clarified it - she missed a bit off! ><

"So each person probably has to make their own, what we call - meaning their own kind of calculation"


December 6 2013, 22:43:47 UTC 4 months ago

I thought meaning' was the meaning too, but then I rechecked just now and she's reposted it as:

"So each person probably has to make their own, what we call - meaning their own kind of calculation"


December 6 2013, 18:24:11 UTC 4 months ago

chagbah means grasshopper, but I'm guessing they don't want to make their own grasshopoper?


December 6 2013, 18:31:23 UTC 4 months ago

Also, "Chachbah" is like an obligation, or if spelled a different way in Hebrew, is like fondness. Would either of those work?

If it was about a song that's sung during passover, could you have heard "chad gadya?" And if you could upload the audio, that'd be awesome.


December 6 2013, 22:57:54 UTC 4 months ago

Oh, that changes everything... It's probably kheshbon חשבון, Hebrew for "calculation".


December 8 2013, 00:41:09 UTC 4 months ago

Yeah, I would also go with “cheshbon”.