kapara (kah-PAH-rah) listen


  • n. Sweetie (term of endearment).

  • interj. Atonement! (meaning the relatively minor mishap should be an atonement for my/our/your sins, rather than something more serious).

Example Sentences

  • "What's wrong, kapara?"

  • "We were set upon by a swarm of angry bees on the last afternoon of the hike. We were each stung multiple times... his first reaction after we outran them was 'kapparah!' It was a few weeks before Rosh Hashanah and I told him his words were doubly appropriate."

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Ladino
  • Arabic / Judeo-Arabic


  • Textual Hebrew כפּרה 'atonement', used with the definition above in Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, and Modern Hebrew

    • Who Uses This

      • Sephardim: Jews with Sephardi or Mizrahi heritage


      • North America


      • None

      Alternative Spellings

      kappara, kaparah, kapparah


  • Different usage from the Yiddish kapore 'scapegoat'. The most common scenario when this is used is at a family meal or communal affair when dishes or trays fall with a loud crash. Everyone says Kapparah! And it is usually followed by a laugh as people are reminded that this is something Sephardic Jews say. The different meanings are often pronounced differently: "You can ask God for ka-pa-RA, but if your taxi driver uses the word when he addresses you, with an affected affection rendered meaningless by indiscriminate use and repetition, he’ll be pronouncing it ka-PA-ra" (source).

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