Jamil's First Hebrew Lesson

Continuing with the Hebrew tattoo name trend, today we have a victim named Jamil. Clever guy that he is, Jamil decided to conquer the Hebrew language all by himself...

He failed miserably. This Hebrew tattoo is impossible do decipher. It's a road map to disaster.

Instead of a J sound in Jamil, there's a G (as in God).

You can see that the tattoo was supposed to be a top-to-bottom feature, but there are actually two letters in one of the rows. Yes, Yod is a smallish letter, but it still deserves a row of its own!

We've seen that some of the Hebrew letters have two forms, the regular and the final. See the following table:

Our friend Jamil probably found a similar table and saw that the letter Mem has two forms. What did he do? He thought it would be best to use both forms in his tattoo. Better safe than sorry? Not in this case.

Now, this is how you properly write Jamil in Hebrew:

You see how I wrote the name right to left? It's because the letters are of different heights, it would look quite awkward and ugly written from top to bottom.


  1. At least he's got the letters to re-do it as 'GaMaL' AyoM ('a terrible camel') although the process is painful, I hear. Poor fellow, his intentions were better than his beginning scholarship..

  2. Maybe he was Egyptian? the move to G would make sense, then. Of course, if he's Egyptian, having a Hebrew tattoo would be an extremely brave or foolish thing to do. Maybe a thrill-seeker?

  3. Not unreasonable to assume this is a rather light-skinned black guy. Since the blacks in US for some reason like to name their offspring with Arab names like Malik, Jamal/Jamil (these by the way mean "beauty/beautiful" respectively but are indeed related to the word Jaml, "camel", like Gamal in Hebrew), Rashid, Latifa etc, why write it in Hebrew? Where the consonant parallel to the Arabic J is G, and you have to use a geresh to make a J? Just write جميل and you're done. Strange ideas indeed.


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