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  5. "מלפפון מר."

"מלפפון מר."

Translation:A bitter cucumber.

July 14, 2016

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snommelp

I did some Biblical Hebrew way back in my seminary days, and it's weird which things are coming back to me. Or I guess not that weird; not too many cucumbers in the Tanakh, but there were definitely a few bitter people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hombresdays

Interestingly enough, cucumbers do get a shout out in the Torah, when the Israelites are complaining about having only mana to eat in the desert:

זָכַרְנוּ, אֶת-הַדָּגָה, אֲשֶׁר-נֹאכַל בְּמִצְרַיִם, חִנָּם; אֵת הַקִּשֻּׁאִים... "We remember the fish, which we were wont to eat in Egypt for nought; the cucumbers..." (Num. 11:5)

I think nowadays קישוא refers to a zucchini--though Wikipedia says that a synonym for מלפפון is קישוא הגינה ("zucchini of the garden")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snommelp

Ah, that would be why I didn't remember it -- both because it's a different Hebrew word, and because (I'm embarrassed to admit) I may have been skimming a bit when I got to Numbers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

https://www.haaretz.co.il/magazine/the-edge/.premium-1.2015430 is a short and deep study into קישוא and מלפפון in Hebrew. Seems that at the Chazal time קישוא was probably cucumber, and מלפפון was zucchini (or some squash, or in any case some variety that's usually cooked). But then at the late 19th century the first Hebrew-as-daily-language speakers picked these two words but crossed their reference. The learned linguistics tried for several decades to fix this, but in vain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Plasticcaz1

It was funny. I checked what the meaning of "mar" was, and I immediately recalled that Ruth asked to be called Mara, because she felt she had been dealt with bitterly. (Ruth 1:20)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeidiHoove

Me too, except it was Naomi who said that, not Ruth.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Plasticcaz1

You're absolutely right. I'm not sure why I said Ruth. Probably because I was thinking I found it in Ruth.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel495432

Ruth is a total old woman name (now), so I always mix them up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/L3xisPlex

Oops, I've selected "A bitter vegetarian". I don't know if it's because the association with vegetables or because of the stereotype but I find it funny.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DennisMosesG

I remember learning about Passover. מרור is a bitter vegetable, like arugula. Kale yeah!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kayla_jo33

Doesn't it also mean pickle??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamutaltul

no, that would be "מלפפון חמוץ"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jewtrition

Cucumber is now my favourite Hebrew word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rQjL5

Cucumber which today would call them in biblical times zucchini


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UziYeger

Does this mean pickle or literally a bitter cucumber


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamutaltul

a bitter cucumber. pickle - מלפפון חמוץ (literally 'a sour cucumber')


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BethBruch

Or maybe a cucumber whose life did not go as planned... Picked and pickled too soon. Or perhaps not picked at all and left to wither on the vine, ruminating upon what might have been.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.ak.t.j

So קישא also means cucumber?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamutaltul

no. there are many biblical names that we use this days but not the same (for example oat (I mean common oat) is a biblical name, but what we call this days oat isn't the same kind of cereal. the same goes for pepper (from hazal, not from the Torah), and the modern mandragora isn't the same flower as the biblical flower. that happens also with colors and the names of the stones that make up the priestly breastplate


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MERRCEDES

חמוץ is the same that מר??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.ak.t.j

IIRC, מר means bitter, but חמוץ means sour.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PennyFore

What is the difference between מר and מריר?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamutaltul

the first is all bitter and the second is "bitter-ish".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aryk_Aul

Parallel : in Spanish " melocoton" means " a peach", certainly came from Arabic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danny912421

Not according to wiktionary:
Borrowed from Latin mālum cotōnĭum (with influence from Spanish melón), ultimately from Ancient Greek κυδώνιον (kudṓnion) μῆλον (mêlon).

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/melocot%C3%B3n

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