Passing Phrase -

Milim KeDurbanot / Basela

Literally: Words like a goad
Idiomatically: Sharp words / biting remarks!

While many of us may know "Durban" as a porcupine, the word also refers to a goad which is a stick with a sharp spike on its end, much like a cattle prod. The verb form "leDarben" would mean to spur on or urge on. In our case we are not referring to the animal but rather the goad, although there is a definite relationship between both usages. The phrase originates in Ecclesiastes (12:11) “The words of the wise are (like) spurs,” although there the word "devarim" is used rather than Milim. As in the text, the phrase is positive and one who uses it usually agrees enthusiastically with the person who said it.

שמעת את הנאום אתמול? מילים כדרבנות!

"Shamaata et haNeum etmol? Milim keDurbanot!" Did you hear the speech yesterday? What biting remarks! - I'm not sure, but somehow it seems to lose something in the translation.

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