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When speaking in primarily English but using the words Davka, Mamash, or B'Emet:

How do you define them into English?

What is the difference between them?

How do you use each one properly?

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closed as off-topic by msh210 Feb 10 at 16:21

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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On-topic? –  msh210 Dec 26 '11 at 0:46
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Why did someone vote to close as non-constructive? –  yydl Dec 26 '11 at 2:05
    
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/1731/… –  Shmuel Dec 26 '11 at 2:24
    
@yydl Presumable because this site is not usually for hebrew language questions. Although there are many such questions sprinkled around. –  HodofHod Dec 29 '11 at 1:07
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That would make it off-topic. It's still a valid question - just not for this site. –  yydl Dec 29 '11 at 4:40
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1 Answer 1

  • Davka = "Specifically, Precisely, Deliberately; Purposely; In fact, Actually" (See here for more possibilities.)
  • Mamash = "Really, Very much; Precisely, Specifically, Exactly, In fact, Truly (in a colloquial or metaphorical sense)" (However, this word is primarily used for exclamatory emphasis, and can be dropped from the sentence without significantly changing the meaning.) (See also here.)
  • B'Emet = "Honestly, In truth, In all honesty; Really, Truly (Can also be used as a question); Indeed; Please"

Sources: My knowledge of Hebrew, Milon Morfix, Milon Even-Shoshan, Babylon Translate.


See also:

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Davka is often also used as "in spite", "to spite", and "despite". Even though those are not really equivalent... "Davka" is one of those uniquely Israeli words that dont translate well to other cultures, like chutzpa. –  AviD Dec 26 '11 at 12:30
    
Chutzpah = Audacity –  Shmuel Dec 27 '11 at 0:16
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eh, that might be a literal translation, but it loses the particular "feel" of the word. That's why its a popular word even in Hollywood... –  AviD Dec 28 '11 at 8:33
    
Don't these definitions seem to repeat themselves, so how do I differentiate? –  morah hochman Jan 6 '12 at 15:19
    
Like many idioms, there are overlaps. Knowing when to use one over the other is an art that comes with experience. –  Shmuel Jan 18 '12 at 5:19
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