Meta: Facebook’s new name ridiculed by Hebrew speakers

Facebook’s announcement to change its name to Meta caused a stir in Israel, where the word resembles the Hebrew word for “death.”

Photo: AFP

To be precise, Meta is pronounced like the feminine form of the Hebrew word.

A number of people have taken to Twitter to share their take on the name under the hashtag #FacebookDead.

Zaka Emergency Rescue Volunteers even got involved, telling their Twitter followers, “Don’t worry, we’re there.”

Another Twitter user said: “Thank you for providing all Hebrew speakers with a good reason to laugh.”

Facebook isn’t the only company to be ridiculed for its branding translations.

Here are some examples of where things got lost in translation.

‘Eat your fingers’

When KFC first came to China in the 1980s, its motto “good finger lick” didn’t really appeal to the locals.

The translation of the motto in Mandarin was “eat your fingers”.

But that didn’t hurt the business too much. KFC is one of the largest fast food chains in the country.


Rolls-Royce changed the name of its car Silver Mist because the haze translates to “excrement” in German.

The car was named Silver Shadow instead.

Meanwhile, when Nokia released its Lumia phone in 2011, it didn’t get the exact reaction it expected.

In Spanish, Lumia is synonymous with prostitute, although it apparently only appears in dialects with a strong Gypsy influence.

Honda, however, had one lucky breakaway. He almost named his new car the Fitta, which is a vulgar description of the vagina in Swedish. It apparently did not translate well into a number of other languages.

Apparently, the problem was detected early on and the decision was made to name the vehicle Jazz in most countries.

Rise in the share price of a Canadian company

The stock price of a Canadian industrial metals company rose unexpectedly, apparently because it bears the same name as the new Facebook company.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that the company’s name has been changed to Meta, to reflect the growing attention to virtual reality – although the original social network will retain its name.

Apparently in response, the Meta Materials share price jumped 26% on the Nasdaq.

Facebook’s own shares have only moved slightly.

Meta Materials, which designs materials for electronics and aerospace technologies, is now back to its normal price.


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