sabra

Definitions

  • a prickly pear, "tough and prickly on the outside, tender and sweet on the inside--a description that many say fits citizens of the Jewish state." (JPS)

Example Sentences

  • "I don't like that guy; he's so standoff-ish." "Oh, don't worry about that. He's Israeli, he's a real sabra."

Languages of Origin

Modern Hebrew

Etymology

from Heb צבר tsabar

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

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).

Notes

So chosen because prickly pears are thorny on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside.

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