by Sam Benady
The Rock of Gibraltar was
captured by the British in 1704, and almost immediately Moroccan Jews began
to settle there (the first Jews to reside openly in the Iberian Peninsula
since the Expulsions of 1492 in
immigration occurred in spite of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), which ceded
The Jews of Gibraltar, although now quite a small
minority, have been prominent in professional and public life as well as in
trade. One of the forgers of modern
Other immigrants flooded in from
This Gibraltarian vernacular has been the subject of a number of academic studies throughout the years, but I do not believe that any of these has focused on the contribution made by haquetía.
Some of the words in Haquetía used by all Gibraltarians
Ainear - to look at, eg: ‘Ainea el sahen’ (from Hebrew ’Ain = Eye)
Alcatufa - Chufa, "tiger nut" ( from Arabic).
Bezim - Courage. pl. ‘bezims. (From Hebrew Eggs = testicles)
Camalo - Porter, Stevedore.
Chavos - money (’Ochavos’)
Esnoga - Synagogue (from Portuguese)
Hasheo - Gossip
Ma’ot - money (from Hebrew)
Parné - money (from Hebrew ‘parnasá’)
Sahen - ‘neighbour (from Hebrew. Referring to someone in earshot)
Tumá - Lit. ‘dirt’. Used derisively for the (Catholic) Church: eg: ‘Tengo una tia muy metida en la tumá.’ - ‘I have a
very religious aunt.’ Almost certainly used without knowing the literal meaning (from Hebrew)!
Woh! - Woe -- (from English) eg: ‘Woh por ti!’= Woe to you! ‘Haremos woh’= so what?
Phrases in Haquetía used only by (older) Jewish Gibraltarians
Ferasmal - an acronym for 'out of all evil'. An expression of affection. May carry an ironic meaning, depending on the
context and tone of voice.
Dulce lo vivas - 'May you live sweetly' = an expression of courtesy said whenever sweet refreshments is offered.
Ya hasrá - Expression that laments the loss of something (period, event, etc.)
Tu boca en el cielo - 'May your words be heard in Heaven'
Phrases in Haquetía that are used in Gibraltar, but which I had always assumed were vernacular Spanish
Dale que dale - 'without hesitation'; 'at once'
Hoy en día- 'now a days'
Pasar las negras - undergoing a lot of trouble and calamities
Se vió negro - 'enormous efforts'
Gibraltar, March, 2011