Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) didn’t have the greatest week on “NCIS.” Besides having quite a few heartwarming - hooray! - moments with fellow NCIS agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) in “Berlin,” the episode ended with the two involved in a horrendous car crash.
The tumultuous ending is causing immense concern among both “NCIS” and “Tiva” fans. Cote de Pablo has yet to renew her contract, and now fans are wondering if she’ll live or die before season end. Before we get too hung up on that, let’s take a step back and admire Ziva for one of her many loveable qualities - her idiomatic mistakes - or “Ziva-isms.” She never seems to catch onto American phrases, but that’s what makes Ziva, Ziva.
1. I’m tired.
When Ziva gets tired she likes to hang from the rafters. In the episode titled “Ravenous,” she asks a park ranger, “Do you mind if I grab a batnap?” Obviously, she means catnap.
2. What’s going on?
Ziva can easily be confused, but it’s another thing when she confuses herself and her team. Abby is struggling with a case, so Ziva lends words of encouragement, “Don’t worry, Abby. Sometimes it’s hard to see the jungle through the ferns.” The correct phrase is to see the forest for the trees.
3. Are you OK?
After discovering his unfinished and unpublished novel is being used as inspiration for murders, McGee gets very upset. Ziva reaches out and says, “McGee, you look like you’ve seen a goat.” Oh Ziva. It’s ghost.
4. Give him a break.
Ducky is still upset with Gibbs for taking a hiatus from work, but the other team members think he needs to let it go. So, Ziva tells Ducky, “You need to cut the man some slacks, Ducky.” She was so close. She should have left off that last “s” to make it slack.
5. This is too easy.
This investigation seems to be easy for Ziva, and she describes it as such, “It’s like shooting fish in a pond.” Once again, she is so close to the correct phrase. If she had only swapped pond for barrel, she’d be spot on.
6. I can’t find it.
“It’s like finding a pin in a haystack.” Ziva has used this phrase many a times, especially when Ziva, Tony and McGee are hunting down a suspect. Actually, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack, but a pin would probably be just as hard to find.
7. You’re a mess.
When Tony’s hair is messy after a long, hard night, Ziva offers him some beauty tips. “You might want to do something about your hair. It’s sticking up like a porcuswine. Wrong word. A porcupig. The little animal with the little spikies...” Thankfully, McGee comes to her rescue and fills in the blank with porcupine.
8. Do you have a signal?
After Ziva and Tony get trapped in a box, the two are a little concerned how they’ll escape. Ziva tries to use her phone but exclaims, “I’m braless.” Tony says he noticed that earlier, but it’s “barless.”
9. Let’s talk gossip.
Ziva is always learning new terms for everyday words. When she reports to Gibbs she tells him, “Well, according to someone called scuttlebutt, he caught his wife cheating on him.“ Gibbs teaches her that scuttlebutt is not a person, but another word for gossip.
10. You’re grumpy.
Tony comes into work grumpy, so Ziva asks, “Did you wake up in the wrong bed this morning?” Tony can be a womanizer, so this wouldn’t be a surprise, but actually he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
11. You’re drooling.
When it comes to women, Tony has a hard time focusing. You can’t blame Ziva for asking, “Is that why we’re here? So you can google the girls?” Tony didn’t use the search engine, but was “ogling” women with his own two eyes.
12. What’s the dispute?
Smurf. Turf. What’s the difference? A big one when you’re talking about a dispute. “We canvassed the area. No one is talking. There is a smurf war,” Ziva explains. Don’t worry, Tony corrects her.
These two meats are sort of similar, but when it comes to using them in a phrase, there’s only one correct usage. Ziva likes to say, “That is total salami!” However, she should be saying “That is total baloney!”
14. Something’s wrong.
“We have hit a shamu.” Uh oh. If they hit the actual Shamu, I think they’d be having major, major problems. Of course, Ziva meant they’re having problems, and they hit a snafu.
15. We’re off to see the Wizard.
“Lions and spiders and bears, oh my!” Ziva takes after Tony here when she quotes “The Wizard of Oz.” If she just switched out tigers for spiders, she’d be good to go. Let’s give Ziva some props for even knowing about “The Wizard of Oz.”
These “Ziva-isms” hardly faze “NCIS” fans anymore. We’re so used to Ziva’s errors, we’ve added her idiomatic blunders to the long list of reasons we adore her.