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That once-popular word was deemed disgusting, but its alternative was quickly forgotten.

Summer's ending, but it's still hot. So where did that magic device come from that keeps our food and drinks cool?

In the 1930s, Israeli kitchens already had ovens and electric sinks. Both these old terms appear in the Torah: something about ovens and sinks getting impure if touched by a dead creature (Leviticus 11:35). "תנור" (oven) comes from Akkadian, while "כִּירַיִם" (sinks) is from the Hebrew for "oven", "גִיר".


Another electric appliance in the Israeli kitchen was the electric kettle. This word has been used in Hebrew since the Mishnah. The term can be found in various languages, including Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Persian, and Arabic. Its origin probably lies in the Akkadian word "גֻמְגֻם".


The game-changer in local kitchens was definitely the refrigerator. It wasn't the first attempt to keep food cool. Many homes had insulated boxes called "iceboxes". In 1922, Zvi Brusutsky made these in Tel Aviv and branded them "מְקָרֵר". This name stuck and eventually just meant any "refrigerator". It battled for dominance with the Yiddish term, "פְרִיגִ'ידֵר", taken from the American fridge company, Frigidaire.


In 1977, the Hebrew Language Academy came up with Hebrew alternatives for "mixer" and "blender": "מְעַרְבֵּל" and "מַמְחֶה", respectively. For some reason, they haven't caught on. They also took a shot at renaming toasters, which had been called "טוֹסְטֵר" (from the English "toaster"). They suggested "מַקְלֵה לֶחֶם", but good luck getting that to catch on!


One of the newer kitchen devices is the Food Processor, introduced by Cuisinart in 1973. Some saw it as a sign of American obsession with gadgets. In Israel, the term "מְעַבֵּד הָמָזוֹן" was used, pretty much "food processor", and guess what? It actually worked out this time.


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