According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Ben-Yehudah had a three-fold plan for creating a modern hebrew language: “Hebrew in the Home,” “Hebrew in the School,” and “Words, Words, Words.”
Of course, there is lots of contemporary Hebrew that Ben-Yehudah couldn't have anticipated. For instance, that there would be a thing called an answering machine, that would first be called a "mayshivon" ("responder" + "phone" - presumably), then slangified to "mazkirah automateet" ("automatic secretary"), then shortened to "mazkirah," then evolving to "ta koli" ("voice-cell/box"), all of which is replaced for most in the vernacular by "l'hash'ir hoda'ah" (to leave a message), which was probably what Ben Yehudah would have said on encountering this new technology, anyway.
So in honor of the Herculean job that Ben-Yehudah did in creating the foundation of today's modern Hebrew, I thought we might do a crowdsourcing tribute to his work: what is your favorite Hebrew word, expression, phrase or term? Why does it float your boat? When was the first time you heard it? Your input, stories and reflections are welcome here...
I'll kick it off with another favorite phrase of mine: "Ivrit shel beit mirkachat," or "pharmacy Hebrew." Pharmacy Hebrew is how Israelis describe spoken Hebrew which reveals the speaker's background of studying academic and biblical archaic Hebrew instead of its modern version. It serves, in a way, as a shibboleth (a word which is, itself, another story).