Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Hafuch al hafuch

Literally: A twist on a twist
Idiomatically: Upside down logic

This phrase is definitely slang and is meant to define an absurd situation. The word "hafuch" meaning the opposite can be found in the Bible (Hosea 7:8) where it refers to something not in its natural order. It comes from the root Hey- pey-chaf (ה"פ"ך) meaning something which is in a situation contrary to its previous state. The phrase is used when you want to explain that the results of an action is just the opposite of what was intended.

When you think that nothing makes any sense, you can quote the composer Yankele Rosenblit:

הכל פה הפוך על הפוך על הפוך.

"Hakol po hafuch al hafuch al hafuch."

Everything here is totally convoluted - which is the normal at my house.

Back to this week's lesson