לְסֵרוּגִין

Bars protecting your window from intruders – סורגים – have large gaps between them to let in the light and air.

This is the idea behind the originally-Mishnaic Hebrew word לסירוגין on and off or intermittently: there are gaps in time between events, such as moments of sleep.

For example:

היא זקוקה למנוחה – היא ישנה רק לסירוגין.

She’s in need of rest – she’s been sleeping only on and off.

and

הם זוג – לסירוגין.

They’re a couple – on and off.

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