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Feb 13, 2013

how to say "wild animals" in Hebrew


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חַיּוֹת בַּר
Hebrew courses starting Sunday
in JerusalemTel Aviv and Rehovot

My recent reading and watching of Life of Pi leaves me inspired to share with you a piece on the Hebrew expression for wild animals: חַיּוֹת בַּר.

In Rabbinic literatureחַיָּה (coming from the word חָיmeaning living) refers specifically to a non-domesticated animal, while בְּהֵמָה refers to a domesticated animal. But in Modern Hebrew, חיה is the generic word for animal.

A specifically wild animal is a חַיַּת בַּר, where the ה (h) in חיה becomes a ת (t) in this "of" (construct-סְמִיכוּת) relationship - literally, an animal of the wild. And ברmeans wild.

A synonym of חיית בר is חַיַּת פֶּרֶא 
- also wild animal.

בַּר רְפָאֵלִי

בר has other meanings too, as this page will show you. Israeli model Bar Refaeli's first name refers to the third item on that list, though perhaps the connotation expresses in today's Dose is an intended secondary meaning. You'd have to ask her parents.


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