My Love? My Joy? My Linguist?

This tramp stamp isn't all that bad really. It says "Gili" which in Hebrew means "My Joy".

This piece is only featured here because the owner disagrees with its meaning. The woman claims her tattoo says "My Beloved", and when a well meaning commenter told her otherwise she claimed a "Hebrew linguistics professor" translated it for her.

So listen up, this is a new advice for the tattoo wannagets, don't get your Hebrew translation from linguistics professors, especially when they're drunk (or don't know any Hebrew)!

Now, for our Hebrew lesson., we'll learn to write "My Beloved":

  • The top word is"Gili", meaning "My Joy". It isn't gender specific.
  • The middle word is "Dodi", meaning "My Beloved" in old Hebrew. It's a male form.
  • The bottom word is "Ahuvi", which means "My Beloved" in modern Hebrew. It's a male form.
Notice that both forms of beloved, talk about a male beloved, so they should be tattooed on a girl (or a gay boy).


  1. *laugh*

    I love this blog. I have shared it with all my linguist friends. These are wonderful examples of why it's a bad idea to get inscriptions in a language you don't know fluently.

  2. Thank you!

    This is why I keep this blog, to educate... and entertain :)

  3. 'Gil' does mean joy, but more commonly it means age. So any native hebrew speaker would read this as 'my age'. Also, 'Dodi' would be understood as 'my uncle'.

  4. So, what is the right way to write "Joy", meaning "Joy that comes to God"?
    I want to know the correct way to tatto this word. Thanks, and hugs from Brazil!


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