how to say “beauty” in Hebrew…
You might be familiar with colloquial Hebrew the expressions, how nice! – אֵיזֶה יֹפִי (EH-ee-zeh YOH-fee!), and the one-word, great! – יופי!
The word יופי literally means beauty, as in שֶׁקֶר הַחֵן וְהֶבֶל הַיֹּפִי – charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting (SHEH-kehr hah-KHEN veh-HEH-vel hah-YOH-fee), from the Biblical book of מִשְׁלֵי (meesh-LEH-ee) – Proverbs.
יופי is a noun communicating an abstract concept. You’ll spot its vowel pattern in other such nouns, such as עֹנִי (OH-nee), meaning poverty, and שֹׁנִי (SHOH-nee), meaning difference (as in the differences among various people).
Why talk about יופי today?
Today at noon I’ll be delivering my weekly radio show featuring Israeli music – translated and explained. One of the songs I’ll be playing is about a man telling his love that she need not put on makeup, to try hard to look good… but that she’s beautiful – יָפָה (yah-FAH) – just the way she is.