enemies get cramps in their legs
when they dance on your grave
May you back into a pitchfork and grab a hot stove
grow like an onion --with your head
in the ground.
I wish you
everything you wish me, and every thing you'll regret
not having wished
understand Yiddish was the secret code, therefore I
A biselch maybe
here and there, the rest has gone to waste.
Sadly when I hear it now, I only get the gist.
My bobeh spoke
it beautifully; but me, I am tsemisht.
So och un vai as
I should say, or even oy
vai iz mir.
Though my pisk is
lacking Yiddish, it's familiar to my ear.
And I'm no Chaim
fact I was shtick
But when it comes to Yiddish though, I'm talking out my toches.
Es iz a shandeh far di kinder that
I don't know it better (though it's really nisht
one needs to write a letter).
it comes to characters there's really no contention. No
other linguist can compete with honorablemenshen.
They have nebbishes and nebechels and
others without mazel.
Then too, shmendriks and schlemiels and
let's not forget schlimazel.
These words are so precise and descriptive to the
listener. So much better than a pill is to call someone farbissener.
Or that a brazen woman would be better called chaleria.
And you'll agree farklempt says
more than does hysteria.
I'm not haken
dir a tsheinik and
I hope I'm not a kvetch.
But isn't mieskeit kinder
than to call someone a wretch?
Mitten derinnen, I hear bobbeh say:
tog, don't fear.
To me you're still a maiven,
zol zein shah, don't fill my ear.
ahf dein kepele, I don't mean to interrupt.
are speaking narishkeit.
And a gezunt
auf dein kop!
Bocher (Bochur) ="Bachur" in Sephardadi Hebrew, and "Bocher"
or "Bochur" in Ashkenazi Hebrew and/or
Yiddish, means a
youth or a young unmarried man. The second, pronounced "Bechor"
in Sephardi Hebrew and "Bechoir" in
Hebrew, means "first born" or "Senior" (masculine
Chaleria = Evil woman. Probably derived from cholera.
Farbissener = Embittered; bitter person
Farbissener punim = sour face
Farklempt = Too emotional to talk. Ready to cry.
Farshtaist = (Do You?) Understand
Fershikert = drunk
Grubber yung = eats like a pig and wipes his face with
the back of his hand.
Haken dir a tsheinik = Don't get on your nerves (Lit.,
Don't bang your teapot!)
Keinehora - a Yiddish version of the Hebrew word "Bli
ayin raah". In English, it would be used to "ward
off the devils eye"
Whine, complain; whiner, a complainer
Lieben ahf dein kepele = Words of praise like; Well
said! Well done! (Lit., A long life upon your head)
Makhsheyfe - the woman's a witch!
Mazik- (A demon or devil), mischievous, clever or
Mieskeit = Ugly!
Mitten derinnen = All of a sudden, suddenly
Momzer - (An illegitimate child), a clever little
Naches = Joy, Gratification
Narishkeit = Nonsense
Nebbishes = A nobody or simpleton
Nebechels = A pitiful person or playing the role of
Nechtiker tog! = He's (it's) gone! Forget it!
Nonsense! (Lit., a night's day)
Nudnik- pest, nag, Origin is Polish-Russian - "nuda"
- boredom, dull, and Polish "nudziarz" is
associated with bore or bromide. But say "nudnik",
and this is a different world.
Och un vai = Alas and alack
Oi vai iz mir = Woe is me
Pisk = mouth
Potchki = not a body part
Schlemiel = Clumsy bungler, an inept person,
butter-fingered; dopey person
Schmendrik = Nincompoop; pipsqueak, an inept or
indifferent person; same as schlemiel
Schlimazel = Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with
perpetual bad luck (it is said that the schlemiel spills
the soup on the Schlimazel)
Shana maydel = pretty girl
Shandeh far di kinder = A pity/shame for the children!
Shmegegge- a no-talent person
Shtkefelecht = Not so terrible
Treyf = not kosher
Tsemisht = Confused or mixed up
Zol zein shah! = Be quiet. Shut up!!
is a site that offers Yiddish Radio and it comes from
Australia. If the link doesn't work on your computer,
just go to
the Radio Link and then follow it to the Yiddish Radio
a word or saying: Click
on any hyperlink
terms ] [ People ] [ Yiddish
Expressions ] [ Feeling
& Emotions & Mood ] [ Maucholim-Delicacies ] [ Concepts
& Opinions ] [ Traditions
& Personalities ] [ Yiddish
in America ] [ Maucholim-Delicacies ]
People ] [ The
Expressions ] [ The
Numbers ] [ Greetings
& Nasty Curses ]
and Relationships ]
and Individuals ] [ Zodiac ]
"Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular &
the New Land"
Yiddish is everywhere.
We hear words like nosh, schlep, and
schmutz all the time, but how did these words come
to pepper American English? In Yiddishkeit:
Jewish Vernacular and the New Land, Harvey Pekar and
Paul Buhle trace the influence of Yiddish from medieval
Europe to the tenements of New York’s Lower East Side.
it redundant to put a yarmulke on
word for Today: PULKES (PUHL-kees)
THIGHS note: this word has been traced back to the
language of one of the original Tribes of Israel, the
There are some English words that when said by someone
with a Yiddish accent, take on a whole new meaning. For
example, if you would have asked my dad what the word
wrench meant, he would have said something like the
wrench is where the cowboys live.
The only really good advice that your Jewish mother ever
gave you was "Go! You might meet somebody!"
You know you're a Jew if you watched Ed Sullivan every
Sunday night, and your parents laughed out loud at Myron
You spent your entire childhood thinking everyone called
pot roast "brisket."
Yiddish in America
is a site where you can learn about the Yiddish language
and Jewish life in the old world.
give, take: if they take, yell!
Talk less, do more
When you grease palms, you ride
A liar should have a good memory
When you have no linen, you save the laundry bill
Petty thieves are hanged, major ones go free
Times is the best healer
Too smart outsmarts itself
No one is deaf to praise
None so deaf as those who will not hear
If one man calls you a donkey, ignore him. If two men
call you a donkey, think about it. If three men call you
a donkey, buy a saddle
What one has, one doesn't want; what one wants one
Don't spit in the well, you might drink from it later
You can't chew with someone else's teeth
When a rogue kisses you, count your teeth
When it falls, it falls butter side down
Your friend has a friend, and your friend's friend has a
friend; be discreet
An insincere peace is better than a sincere war
If grandma had wheels, she'd be a wagon
The highest wisdom is kindness
One fool makes many fools
The sun will set without your help
What is cheap, is dear
Death is the only certainty
The whole world is one town
Broken down wagon
Buba Maise (stories
told by Bubba and aren't necessarily true)
Get Out (scat, scram)