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