Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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Taboos
(829 words)

Hebrew, like other languages, has linguistic taboos that originate in strong socio-cultural prohibitions or beliefs. The avoidance of certain words and expressions may also be motivated by personal idiosyncrasies. Taboo words are generally related to religion, body parts, excretion, sex, illness, and death. These forbidden terms are replaced by more positive and pleasant words, euphemisms; there are also dysphemisms, i.e., obloquies which are used to denominate undesirable things, such as שיקוץ šiquṣ, תועבה toʿeva, גועל נפש goʿal nefeš, all of them meaning ‘abomination’.…

Cite this page
Muchnik, Malka, “Taboos”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 04 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_00000578>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004176423



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