What does “Yalla” mean?

Yalla is an arabic world that means “let’s go” or in spanish “vamonos”.  It has been embraced by Israelis as well and is part of their lexicon.   While I don’t speak hebrew, anytime anybody says Yalla it seems to me they are feeling good and upbeat.  It’s pronounced Yal -la and you need to use both l’s to sound authentic and cool.

Here’s a note on the  Yalla Journal taken from Wikipedia:

Yalla is a collaboration between young Arabs and Jews that focuses on humanizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by encouraging creative expression.

So you can see why I like the word.



3 Responses

  1. I love the emotions and ideas behind yalla–sometimes spelled yallah. On Saturday the NY Times obituary on Sister Emanuelle (I’m an inveterate NYT obituary reader) I see that yalla was a favorite word of hers–capturing the positive energy described by Aaron.

  2. When I was doing Hajj in Makkah AlMukarramah in 2008, the taxi drivers taking Hujjaj (pilgrims) to the Miqat (Ja’aranah) always call out “yalla” to us– meaning to say, “let’s go!” Thanks for the definition.

  3. Cool. My Iraqi Jewish uncle says that all the time, except the way he says it it’s more like “yella” or the more repetative “yella let’s go come on what are you waiting for we’re going to be late (clap clap)” when he’s trying to get the family out of the house. It may be the first Arabic word I ever learned, at like 5 years old, and it is a contagious word. I use it all the time! Love it!

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