halevai

Pronunciations

halevai (hah-leh-VAI) listen

Definitions

  • interj. If only.

  • interj. "Would that it be so." (Steinmetz, Yiddish and English)

  • interj. I wish!

Example Sentences

  • "In a few years we'll celebrate at your son's bris." "Halevai!"

  • "Halevai it snowed and I wouldn't have to go to English today." (Weiser)

  • "You're making it sound like just seeing tzitzit automatically makes someone think about the mitzvot. Halevai!" (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Aramaic
  • Yiddish
  • Modern Hebrew

Etymology

  • הלוואי

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

      Regions

      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa

      Dictionaries

      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      halivai, alevay, halevay, halvay, halavai, alevai

Edit     Something missing from this entry? Inaccurate? Feel free to suggest an edit.