נֶהָג תּוֹרָן

If you’ve been on an Israeli bus, you probably know the word נהג (usually pronounced with an ah sound in the first syllable: נָהג ).

Due to the fact that when passengers call out !נהג loudly enough the door inevitably opens, some English speakers have mistakenly concluded that נהג means door. But the truth is that it refers to a male driver, while נהגת is a female driver.

What about a designated driver? That’s נהג תורן or נהגת תורנית , as in:

יש בר בחתונה – מי הנהג התורן שלנו?

There’s a bar at the wedding – who’s our designated driver?

תורן and תורנית come from the word תור which means turn or appointment, so that תורן/תורנית is the one whose turn it is.