Common Hebrew Greetings

Hebrew is a very compact language and, as such, has a relatively small vocabulary when compared to English, French or many other languages. Some estimates place the number of Hebrew words at around 100,000. Getting an exact figure is almost impossible due to the peculiarities of Hebrew grammar, the fact that many words have different meanings according to their context and new words are introduced on a regular basis by the Hebrew Language Academy.


However, one area in which Hebrew excels is in the many different words and phrases used to greet people in day to day situations. We’ve put together a fairly comprehensive list of Hebrew greetings, their meaning and when to use them as just one more step on your road to learning and understanding Hebrew.



Transliteration Meaning/Usage
Be’Hatzlacha Good luck
Shalom Hello or Goodbye, welcome, Peace
Lehitraot Be seeing you
Betaiavon Bon appetite
Boker tov Good morning
Tsharim tovim Good afternoon
Erev tov Good evening
Lilah tov Good night
Chalomot Paz Sweet dreams
Ma Shlomcha How are you?
Ma Nishma What’s new?
Ma Inyanim What’s up?
Eich holech How’s things? How’s it going?
Ma Hadash What’s new?
Rega Just a moment, in a second, soon
Mazal Tov Congratulations, good luck
Ma Koreh What’s happening? What’s up?
Baruch haba Welcome
Ahalan (from Arabic) Hi
Shabbat Shalom Good Shabbos
Hag Samech Happy holiday (religious festival)
B'karov etzlecha It should happen to you soon
B'ezrat HaShem With God’s Help
Yishar koach You should have strength, courage, perseverance
Kol HaKavod Well done
LeHayim Cheers, to life
Labriut Good health, also used when someone sneezes.
Yom Tov Good day
Shavua tov Have a good week
Nu? Well? (Imperative)
Tanchimai My condolences (bereavement)
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