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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777
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How to Say ‘Toothbrush’ in Hebrew

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מִבְרֶשֶׁת שִׁנַּיִם

listen and repeat
A tooth is a שֵׁן (listen and repeat), while teeth are שִׁנַּיִם (listen and repeat) (a double form, even though many teeth are spoken of, not just two).A brush is a מִבְרֶשֶׁת (listen and repeat), though when the word was created in the 19th century, it may have been intended to be מִבְרָשָׁה (listen and repeat) (Wiktionary).

In any case, a toothbrush is a מִבְרֶשֶׁת שִׁנַּיִם (listen and repeat).

Likewise, an electric toothbrush is a מִבְרֶשֶׁת שִׁנַּיִם חַשְׁמָלִית listen.

The root of the word מברשת is ב.ר.שׁ (b.r.sh), which looks like a proper Hebrew/Semitic root. But looking into it a bit, my suspicion was confirmed that the root ב.ר.שׁ actually comes from the English brush (also Wiktionary).

Ami Steinberger

About the Author: Ami Steinberger is founder and director of Ulpan La-Inyan.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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