The following is a list of Ziva's idiomatic mistakes and mispronunciations.





Kill Ari Part 2

You are a broken tape, Gibbs.

Tony: "Record." A broken record.

The first "Ziva-ism."

Silver War

You might want to do something about your hair... it's sticking up like a... porcuswine? Oh, wrong word. A porcu... pig? The little animal with the little spiky tips!?

McGee: Porcupine?

Ziva's response: Porcupine! Thank you, Special Agent McGee.

Silver War

I stand corrected. It appears he didn't know. I feel like a donkey's butt.

McGee: "Donkey's butt?"
Tony: I think she meant "horse's ass, McGee."

Ziva's response: Yes, that too.


Tony: I don't know. Look at the guy. He's such a...
Ziva: Pimp.

Tony/McGee: Wimp.


Once he saw us at Norfolk, he must have taken a kite.

Tony: Hike. The expression is "taking a hike."
McGee: She may have had it confused with "go fly a kite."

Ziva's response: I speak five languages. Forgive me if I get confused... sometimes.

The Voyeur's Web

I've been meaning to ask you about that, Tony. How does a fifteen year old boy go about meeting a coquette?

McGee: She means "Rockette," Boss.

Honor Code

There's also someone here from Social Security to pick him up.

Gibbs: "Services," Ziva. Social Security is for older people.

Honor Code

The man is spic and spam.

Tony: The saying is "spic and span." Spam is lunch meat.

Ziva: Oh. What exactly is span, then?
Tony: Span is, uh... I'll get back to you on that.

Under Covers

Look who's calling the pot black.

Tony: Kettle. "The pot is calling the kettle black."

Under Covers

It calms my mind. Forces me to stay focused at the job in my hand.

Tony: The term is "job at hand."


She's probably passed on by now.

McGee: The term is "passed out."


Halligan's on the goat... oh no, not goat. Sheep?

McGee: Lam?
Ziva: That's it.
Tony: He's "on the lam." There's no "B" in that, by the way.

Boxed In

I think we've just been screwed in here, Tony.

Tony: The term is bolted.

Boxed In

Tony: I'm not getting any reception. How about you?
Ziva: No, I'm braless.

Tony: I noticed that earlier. But on your phone they're "bars."

Ziva's response: Don't you have anything better to do than correct my English?

Boxed In

That's quaint. We'd be like the homos in those old movies.

Tony: Hobos, not homos.


Don't worry, Abby. Sometimes it's hard to see the jungle through the ferns.


The correct expression is "forest through the trees."


Does a bear sit in the woods?

Ross Logan: Are you the crackerjack team on this job?
Tony: She's Israeli.
Ziva: Look, I know I got the bear thing right.

The correct expression is "shit in the woods."

Light Sleeper

I've learned from Gibbs that in certain cases you can attract far more bees with honey.

Tony: Flies.
Ziva': What do flies have to do with honey?
Tony: Flies don't like vinegar.
Ziva: Vinegar?
Tony: It's complicated.

The correct expression is "you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar."

Head Case

If the... glue sticks?

McGee: Shoe fits.


That is not bad, Tony. Landis asked me out tonight. I said 'no'. I don't want him to think I'm sleazy.

Tony: The term is "easy."
Ziva: What's the difference?
Tony: Mostly the makeup.


Do you mind if I grab a bat nap?

Ranger Bobby Landis: Uh... no. Just hang from the rafters.

The correct term is "cat nap."


Great! He'll be like finding a pin in a haystack.

Tony: A needle in a haystack.


Cody was covering his plates.

Tony: Bases.


She asked if you had the calzones for this, yes?

Tony: Cojones.


I think Tony is jerking your brain.

McGee: Chain? Jerking my chain?


So now your image is homopubic?

Tony: The term is homophobic, and no. Prejudice of any kind is an ugly thing.


This woman is a total turd! A geek, yes?

Tony: The term is nerd.


And your lawyer is going to try and use her bad taste in men to impregnate her credibility.

Tony: Impugn, Ziva!


Well, you're the one who said "no" to the muzzle, Tony. I wanted to shut his pothole two hours ago.

Jimmy Palmer: It's "pie hole!"

Jimmy also corrects Ziva on her labeling of the Arby's drive-through as a "ride-through."


Everyone's avoiding me! Do they think I'm going to lose control, just enter the building and massacre everyone? I mean, I'm being treated like a leopard.

Ducky: I believe the phrase is "like a leper."


Ducky, drip it!

Ducky: Do you mean, drop it or zip it?


Ah, American idioms drive me up the hall.

Ducky: Well, actually... never mind.

The correct expression is "up the wall."


I've asked Tel Aviv if Captain Mahir is a blimp on their radar.

Tony: Blip.


Okay. But you're tying my feet.

Tony: Hands.
Ziva: Those, too.


Jenny Shepard: When Pin-pin handed him Ghalib's passport, it was good enough...
Ziva: To pass the mustard.

McGee: Muster, not mustard.

In fact, "cut the mustard" is an expression meaning the same or similar.


Tony: Well, they say a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Meals on Wheels. Looks like Paulson was a volunteer.
Ziva: He volunteered to put meals on wheels?

Tony: They bring food to the elderly, Ziva.

Dead and Unburied

She tried to rat on us.

Tony: She means rabbit.
Ziva: Rabbit, yes!

Witch Hunt

Well, according to someone called "Scuttle Butt," he caught his wife cheating on him.

Gibbs: Scuttlebutt's not a person, Ziva. Scuttlebutt is what Marines call gossip.

Witch Hunt

And do you know what I did? I allowed myself to feel sorry for her. And do you know what that makes me?
Ducky: Human.
Ziva: A chimp!

Jimmy: I think she means chump, Doctor.

Once A Hero

You look run over.

Tony: The term is "rundown." I do?


You need to cut the man some slacks, Ducky.

Tony: I agree. Except the term is slack.


Tony: Pirated copy

Ziva: That is what I said. A pirated copy

This is going to be like looking for a needle in a NEEDLE stack.

Tony: Needle in a haystack

Tagged their luggage? Oh, that's when Jenny had you UNDER COVERS.

Tony: Undercover. Not under covers.

Friends and Lovers

Tony: Its almost unfair interrogating junkies.

Ziva: Its like shooting fish in a POND.

John Carson: I um I think you mean a barrel.

Ziva: Why haven't you BREASTED them?

Tony: She means 'busted'.


Did she give you the cold ELBOW?

Tony: Shoulder. And no! She has very warm shoulders to me.

Cover Story

McGee, you look like you've seen a GOAT.

McGee: Huh? Oh, ghost. Seen a ghost.

Cover Story

He's CHOMPING out McGee.

Tony: Chewing.

Trojan Horse

Hey, I will make it worth your WOW.

Tony: 'While,' not 'wow.'

Bury Your Dead

McGee: Yes I was here all night.

Ziva: FRAGGING the computers?

McGee: Defraging.

The Ex-File

Quite the WATERFALL.

Tony: She means windfall.

Identity Crisis

Tony: I'm not ready to start taking tips on this from you Probie.

McGee: Tony I think its time you get back on that horse.

Ziva: Are you getting a pony?

Tony: Its an adage.

Ziva: I'm not familiar with that breed.

Tony: Well yeah they are quite rare. Sort of a cross between a Pegasus and a unicorn.

Leap of Faith

I am having the same problem as McGee had with Capt. Walsh. The Pentagon is ROCK WALLING me.

Tony: She means stonewalling. Little quirk she has.


Tony: Oh, I get it Boss. This is a black ship.

Ziva: Black sheep?

Tony: No they don't exist.

Ziva: Oh, I've seen black sheep.

Tony: No I said black ship. Not sheep. Clearly the US Navy is still intent on pulling the wool over the eyes of the American people, Sir.

Designated Target:

Tony: How long have you been in this country?

Ziva: Why?

Tony: Well you never heard of gypsy cabs, you don't use contractions, assimilate already.

Ziva: What are CONTRAPTIONS?

Tony: Never mind.

Corporal Punishment

McGee: Maybe Ziva will do it.

Ziva: Maybe Ziva will do what?

Tony: I've been working on my six pack, you know abs.

Ziva: You and Abby have been drinking?

Tony: No, abdominals. No more beer gut for me.


Ziva: Your goose is FRIED!

Tony: Cooked. And no it's not. Only a minute late.

Ziva: The JACK she is with is gross.

Tony: You mean John?

Ziva: You know him?

Tony: Oh my God.

Dog Tags:

Ziva: Did you wake up IN THE WRONG BED this morning?

Tony: If your question is: Did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

Internal Affairs:

Ziva: I would hate to be misunderstood.

Fornell: Does that happen often?

Ziva: Once in a BLUE LAGOON.

In The Zone:

Ziva: Well it would not be the first time a murder tried to THROW US UP that way.

McGee: Off. Throw us off

Judgment Day:

Ziva: Is that why we're here? So you can GOOGLE the girls?


Agent Afloat:

Ziva: Crime scene skills are getting a bit DUSTY.

McGee: Rusty.

Capitol Offense:

Ziva: You are such a control GEEK.

Tony: Freak.

McGee: Maybe he's bluffing.

Tony: Un-un. It was on the nose.

Ziva: Whose nose?

Tony: On the money. Bulls eye. Right as rain. You were doing better before you went back to Israel. You've reverted.

Nine Lives:

Ziva: What is it that is bothering you so much Tony?

Tony: Do I look troubled?

McGee: As a matter of fact...

Ziva: Are you getting so hot and BOTHERSOME because uh, you think I may be having a little fun?

Ziva: No wonder he's keeping his cards so close to his BREASTS. (Neither Tim or Tony touch this one with a ten foot pole)


McGee: You know what they say about a watched pot, Tony.


McGee: Never boils

Road Kill:

Ziva: How is that for old school SLOTHING?

Tony: Sleuthing. Having fun yet?


Ziva: We canvassed the area. No one is talking. There is a SMURF war...

Tony: Turf war.

South By Southwest:

Ziva: You did not change when your books made you PLUSH.

McGee: Flush.

'Dead Reckoning:' 

Ziva: ...his fingers in many EYES.

Tony: Pies...


Ziva: She claimed Heller was not there but I SMELLED FISH. What?!

McGee: Fishy...something fishy.

Legend: Part 1:

Ziva: After our last trip to L.A., I do not understand why you would think I would be such an EAGER PLATYPUS, Tony. </p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 14.25pt">Tony: Beaver. Eager beaver. Not platypus. Why does that bother me so much? Don't answer that. </p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt;line-height:14.25pt;">Semper Fidelis:</p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 14.25pt">Ziva: a FLY! </p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: 14.25pt">McGee: bug. </p>

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