Take, for example, the English verb to dial meant something else to do with the word day in its original Latin, but today its main meaning is to press numbers on a keypad.
Likewise, the Hebrew word for to dial – לְחַיֵּג (leh-khah-YEG) – comes from the root ח.ו.ג (kh.w.g), which has to do with circles. This root appears in the children’s song, עוּגָה עוּגָה עוּגָה (OO-gah, OO-gah, OO-gah) – Cake, Cake, Cake, in the word נָחוּגָה (nah-KHOO-gah) – we shall go around (see a translation and transliteration as well as a video of the song).
What do circles have to do with dialing? You may recall the ancestor of the iPhone, the rotary phone, which had a round dial.
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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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