Passing Phrase -

Egoz Kasheh Lefitzu'ach

Literally: A tough nut to crack
Idiomatically: A difficult problem / a big challenge

The word "fitsu'ach" stems from the root פ'צ'ח' pei-tzadik-chet meaning to break open (Micha 3:3). The word "egoz" meaning a nut can be found in the Song of Songs (6:11). The phrase is English and can be traced to a letter from Benjamin Franklin who wrote (1745): “Fortified towns are hard nuts to crack." As an aside, according to numerous sources the idea of a hard nut to crack refers to the pecan, which in Algonquin (a large subfamily of Native American languages) implies a nut you need a stone to crack. BTW Timon got it wrong - it is pronounced PEE-can.

ניסיתי לשכנע אותו לוותר, אך הוא אגוז קשה לפיצוח.

"Nisiti le'shachnei'ah oto le'vater, ach hu egoz kasheh lefitzu'ach."

I tried to persuade him to give up but he is a hard nut to crack.

More unsolicited information: A macadamia is even harder to open.

Back to this week's lesson