how to say “light switch” in Hebrew

how to say “light switch” in Hebrew

having trouble seeing the print?

With today’s entry I’m plugging a friend, the newest, best and most reliable and reasonable handyman in Jerusalem – in my opinion.

A few months ago the light switch in my bathroom stopped working. Since I don’t have experience in fixing electronics, I called up Jochanan.

Jochanan came over (at the time he said he would – and first thing in the morning), played with some electrical wiresחוּטִים חַשְׁמַלִּיִיםand got the switchהַמֶּתֶג – to work. 

מֶתֶג, appearing in Biblical Hebrew,is synonymous with רֶסֶן, both of which mean rein or bridle. Both words still refer to a wire going around a horse’s head, but מתג has come to refer also to that piece of circuitry with which we turn on and shut off electricity: a switch.

מתג usually refers to a light switch, but it can also refer to other electrical switches. In order to refer to an electrical switch of any kind, use מֶתֶג חַשְׁמַלִּי.

For example:

הוּא בָּא לְתַקֵּן מֶתֶג חַשְׁמָלִי שֶׁהִפְסִיק לַעֲבוֹד.
He came to fix an electrical switch that stopped working.

So, if things stop working for you during this storm in Jerusalem, you know whom to call.

Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we’ll correct it for you if it’s got errors.

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After having studied literature and linguistics on the bachelors level and psychology on the masters, Ami decided to draw upon his hobby of learning languages, his understanding of human thought processes and his skill of explaining complex ideas in simple terms, to found a program that enables people to speak Hebrew with confidence.


  • לק”י

    הלא צ”ל חַשׁמַלִּי (מ’ בפתח עם ל’ דגושה) במקום חַשׁמָלִי (מ’ בקמץ)?


    Anonymous Reply
  • מתג is also used in דקדוק to refer to a vertical line placed below a letter (next to whatever נקודה may happen to be there). Might there also be a connection (pun not really intended) with the appearance of a light switch?

    Avi Reply
  • Just saying…מתג is in horse people/rider’s language the bit(the part that goes in the horse’s mouth attached to the reins) in modern Hebrew….רסן being the reins and לרסן being to hold back or “rein in” your horse (or whatever else).
    Those that are not well versed, or the religious people in Israel often use them interchangably.
    My boyfriend really likes the daily dose he gets forwarded from my mom. Especially the vocal addition lately which is great. Thank you.

    Monique Reply
  • אה וגם ראשית בית זה מה שמופיע על ראש הסוס שבתמונה להבדיל בין זה לראשית רכיבה שעליהה מתג ורסן בדרך כלל כדי לחבר סוס לעגלה ולכוונו

    Monique Reply

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