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how to say “face” in Hebrew

Tue | Apr 05

how to say “face” in Hebrew

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פָּנִיםפַּרְצוּף

You may know the Yiddish expression א שיינע פנים

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– a pretty face, with פנים pronounced POH-nim.

Modern Hebrew renders the word pah-NEEM, and this is likely closer to how the Israelites of the Bible pronounced the word. It means face and can be masculine or feminine but always plural as in:

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יש לה פנים יפים.

She has a pretty face(s).

Another word for face first appeared in Talmudic literature and came to Hebrew via Greek. This word is פרצוף

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, as in:

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הפרצוף הזה מוכר לי.

I know this face (this face is known to me).

פנים and פרצוף are mostly interchangeable, but פרצוף is often used with a negative connotation, for example:

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היא לא רוצה לראות את הפרצוף שלו יותר.

She doesn’t want to see his face anymore.

and

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דני, אל תעשה לי פרצופים.

Danny, don’t make faces at me.

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