The Hebrew word סדר–Seder means, literally, order. This very widely-observed traditional Passover get-together is called a סדר mainly because the various pieces of the event take place in a particular sequence.
Since most Hebrew slang comes from Arabic, many people assume that בלגן also comes from that sister language. But the truth is that בלגן derives from Russian балаган (bah-lah-GAHN) meaning farce, which, in turn, derives from the Middle-Persian balakhaana, where it refers to an upper room where people would give theatrical performances – perhaps disruptions of the sense of order that comes with day-to-day life.
For example, a mother might walk into her child’s toy-strewn room and exclaim:
Or, taking this foreign word and plugging it into the passive-intensive פֻּעַל verb form, she might say:
Visit Ktzat Ivrit.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.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.
If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.