נָפַל לִי הָאֲסִימוֹן
Back when people used payphones, and before even these required an electronic card to make a call, Israelis inserted a special token into payphones called an אֲסִימוֹן listen and repeat.
When callers would drop the אסימון into the machine and hear it land, they knew that the line would become available for them to make the call.
Hence was born the expression, נָפַל לִי הָאֲסִימוֹן listen and repeat – the token fell, or in its English equivalent, the penny dropped. It’s the aha! moment when the idea previously foreign suddenly becomes understood. It’s the now I get it! moment.
One might also say literally:
עַכְשָׁו אֲנִי מֵבִין/מְבִינָה.
Now I understand (masculine, feminine).
The word אסימון first appeared in Mishnaic Hebrew, where it was borrowed from the Greek ἄσημον (asemon – without symbols) to refer to coins that had no particular symbols on them.
The expression doesn’t have to be now I get it – it could be modified for others as well. For example:
סוֹף סוֹף נָפַל לוֹ הָאֲסִימוֹן.
He finally got it.
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