Home » Dictionary » rosh katan

rosh katan

rosh katan
 n.— «As for the expressions (pronounced “rosh katan”—little head, vs. “rosh gadol”—big head). This expression comes from the IDF, and as most military language, doesn’t quite translate into normal language. A “rosh katan” (literally “little head,” and I actually think it is the original expression which derived most likely from “pinhead,” the contrast later came in as a complement) is someone that does exactly what he’s told. For instance, someone might be told to clean the barrel of their rifle. A “rosh katan” will strictly clean the barrel, perhaps leaving it useless because the trigger mechanism has sand in it, whereas a “rosh gadol” will clean the entire rifle and lubricate it so it’s ready for use and doesn’t rust.» —by Tamar Nitzan Joel on Software (New York City) Dec. , 2004. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further reading

Language With a Certain Mouthfeel

Is there a term for words that simply feel good as you form them in your mouth and say them? Linguists sometimes speak of mouthfeel, an expression borrowed from the food world. They also talk about phonaesthetics, the study of the sensuous...

Off the Turnip Truck (episode #1532)

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...