2,795. Local Language in a Vow

Hilchos Nedarim 8:14

Let’s say that one person imposes a vow on another, or he takes an oath, telling the other person to come take a kor (a measure of volume) of wheat or two barrels of wine for his son. In such a case, the person subjected to the vow or the oath can have it absolved without consulting a scholar. He says to the one who vowed, “Your intention in doing this was to honor me but I would be honored by not accepting the gift. I received the honor that you wanted to bestow upon me through your vow.” Similarly, if person A made an oath or a vow that person B may not derive benefit from him until B gives A's son a kor of wheat and two barrels of wine, he can permit the vow without consulting a scholar by saying, “It’s like I received them and they reached my hand.” The same is true in all comparable cases.

Hilchos Nedarim 9:1

When it comes to vows, we act according to the intention of words used by people in that time, place and language. For example, let’s say that someone took a vow or an oath not to eat cooked food. If in that time, place and language they call roasted and boiled meat “cooked food,” then he may not eat any manner of cooked food. However, if they only referred to meat cooked with water and spices as “cooked food,” then he may eat roasted and boiled meat. The same is true of food that was smoked or cooked in the Tiberias hot springs; we act according to the parlance of the local population.