Previous Weeks’ Yiddish Words (before the blog)

Ben Newman

15 July 20:52

Yiddish word of the week:
Bupkis- Definition: Nothing.
e.g.- I told my niece Garson that if she won the asparagus eating contest I would give her $20. She lost. When she asked me what she got for second place, I said, “You get bupkis.” She said, “what’s that?” I said, “Go ask Grandpa.” She did and he told her it means nothing. “Nothing,” he said, “it means you get nothing.”

Yiddish word of the week:
buba-maiseh- an untrue, but usually creative and interesting, story. (lit. “grandma-story”)
eg.- When my uncle said that my great grandfather was from Morocco, I asked him, “is that story true, or is it a buba-maiseh?”

Ben Newman

2 July 20:28

via my father (I’m visiting NY):
Folg mir nisht a gang: definition: “Don’t ask me to do a tall order…” or “that’s pie in the sky”- “that’s ridiculous…”
e.g.- We needed money. My father said, “you go buy a hundred lottery tickets and we’ll win the lottery!” and my mother replied “Folg mir nisht a gang!”
http://forward.com/articles/7236/listen-to-me-a-chess-move/

Ben Newman

18 June 23:09

Yiddish word of the week:
yente
Female busybody or gossip. At one time, high-class parents gave this name to their girls (after all, it has the same root as “gentle”), but it gained the Yiddish meaning of “she-devil”. The matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof” was named Yente (and she certainly was a yente though maybe not very high-class), so many people mistakenly think that yente means matchmaker.
eg:
She is such a yente, I wouldn’t tell her anything…

Ben Newman

29 May 21:29

This weeks Yiddish word:

Nachas: (rhymes with “loch S”) pride, joy, pleasure, gratification felt at the accomplishments of loved ones such as children and grandchildren. “

I felt such nachas at graduation!

Oi! That boychik (little boy) is so smart! Three years old and already he can read! He gives me such nachas!” Nachas makes you kvell.

The Yiddish verb used is schlep. Eg- I bet you are schlepping so much nachas!

Ben Newman

22 July 23:01

Yiddish word of the week:
Potch in tuchus.- a spanking- literally – a slap on the butt.
E.g.- Stop hitting your brother or I’ll give you a potch in tuchus!
Also sometimes used to mean nothing.
E.g.- “Dad, what do I get for my half birthday?”
“you get a potch in tuchus.”

Ben Newman

31 July 00:16

Kishkes- literally- intestines.
Gut. As plural- kishkes- guts.
Also a food- stuffed derma- intestines stuffed with breading.
Eg- I dont know for sure whether that is true, but I feel in my kishkes that it is…

Ben Newman

15 August 01:14

Yiddish word of the week:
Goyishe kup/yiddishe kup

Non jewish way of thinking/ jewish way of thinking.
Literally- non jewish head/ jewish head

I am having a hard time thinking of examples that might not feel offensive to my non jewish friends. So I will just quote this blog post i found online

https://rolandsramblings.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/goyishe-kupp/
about it and leave it to you all to provide examples this time…

“Goyishe kupp (goy-ish-sheh kupp): literally, a gentile head. Said about someone who doesn’t “think like a Jew.” Jews, for example, tend to think ahead, analyzing each situation, postulating contingency plans for every possible tragic outcome. This way, they’re prepared for any horrible consequence. Considering the way Jews have been treated by the world throughout history, anticipating and planning for the worst case scenario is definitely a wise idea.”

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

19 August 21:20

Yiddish word of the week:
Gei shlofen- go to sleep!
Eg- “but I’m not tired, bubbie!” I exclaimed, “gei shlofen!” she said.

 

Ben Newman

26 August 21:36

Yiddish word of the week:
Farbissina: a take-off of the Yiddish word for “farbissen” or “embittered” in other words, a sourpuss. Usually said about a grumpy person.
e.g.-
Don’t ask her for help, she’s totally farbissina, and will just kvetch at you!
Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

6 August 22:16

Yiddish word of the week:

Shanda- a shame/ a scandal/ a waste

He was the fastest runner in the US, and the day before the olympics, he broke his leg– what a shanda!

He’s so smart. It’s a shanda that he spouts such norrishkeit (nonsense).

 

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Ben Newman

2 September 22:13

Yiddish word of the week:
farkakta- messed up, crappy, s#!++y, etc…
e.g.- I never should have bought this farkakta car,it keeps breaking down on me!

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Ben Newman

10 September 15:09

Yiddish word of the week
Machloches– argument,
disagreement, fight.

Hillel and Shammai had a machloches which lasted for 2 and 1/2 years, until finally a voice came down from heaven which say “both of these are the words I the Living God…”

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

9 October 22:33

Yiddish word of the week– first word of 5773:
Ich hob mein eggene tsuris– I have my own problems.
E.g.- Oy, she keeps bothering me about her problems! Ich hob mein eggene tsuris!

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

23 October 22:05

Yiddish word of the week:
Nebbish– a dorky/nerdy/awkward person. Often said about Jewish men like Woody Allen.
E.g.- I know he’s a total nebbish, but I kind of find that attractive.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

15 October 21:02

Yiddish word of the week:
Balabusta– from Hebrew “ba’alat habayit”- master of the house. Describes a woman who does it all.
e.g.-
Not only does she work full time, but she also finds time to cook dinner every night– she’s a real balabusta!

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

24 September 21:33

Yiddish word of the week:
Krechtz- Cry, moan, or groan. A plaintive sound.
e.g.- When the cantor sang Kol Nidrei, he let out such a krechtz that I got all ferklempt (choked up).

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

28 October 16:08

Yiddish word of the week:
Shvitz- Sweat
E.g.- When I took the test, I was so stressed that I was shvitzing like a chazer (pig).

or can be used as a noun to refer to a steam room.

e.g.- After working out I took a shvitz.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

4 November 21:52

Yiddish word of the week:
Fapitzed/faputzed
Dressed up/decked out
Eg- I’m all faputzed with no where to go.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

11 November 15:58

Yiddish word of the week:
Schmeer–To spread, like cream cheese on a bagel. Can also be used as a noun– Also can mean a bribe or tip.

e.g.- For brunch I had a bagel and a schmeer, and I schmeered the host to make sure we got a good table.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

21 November 22:01

Yiddish word of the week:

Ganif- A Thief
E.g.- Don’t buy a car from him, he’s a ganif!

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

25 November 20:41

Yiddish word of the week:
Bonkis- “cupping”- a traditional Jewish holistic healing technique whereby glass cups are placed on a person, and a fire is lit under the cups to draw out the moisture.

e.g.- I went to the Baal Shem (faith healer), and he gave me a bonkis treatment.

 

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

2 December 17:22

Yiddish word of the week:
Vilde Chaye: Vilde chaya (the ‘ch’ pronounced as it is in Chanukah)literally- ‘wild animal,’ and figuratively, an uncontrolled person, a degenerate, a hooligan, a savage.

e.g.- The night that Max wore his wolf suit and and made mischief of one kind… and another, his mother called him “Vilde Chaye!” And Max said “I’ll EAT YOU UP!” So he was sent to bed without eating anything.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

11 December 22:39

Yiddish word of the week:
Parnasah- livelihood – literally sustenance.
Eg-
Since she lost her job she has no parnasah.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

18 December 01:10

Yiddish word of the week:
noodge –
To pester; to nag. To whine.

noun: One who pesters and annoys with persistent complaining.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Yiddish nudyen (to pester, bore), from Polish nudzic. The word developed a variant spelling ‘nudge’ under the influence of the English word ‘nudge’. A cousin of this word is nudnik (a boring pest). First recorded use: 1960.

Eg- My daughter keeps noodging me for sweets, television, and toys. I hope she isn’t becoming a noodge.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

28 December 19:41

Yiddish word of the week:
Haimish– Literally “home-ish” — warm, intimate, inviting, informal, friendly. A haimisher mensch is someone you feel comfortable with.
e.g.- Even though there are lots of big shuls in town, I really like going to the small one. It’s much more haimish there.

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

7 January 20:15

Yiddish word of the week:
Nu- One of my favorite expressions. Multipurpose interjection often analogous to “well?” or “so?” A word used to express expectation.

Etymology: (Yiddish נו nu, perhaps akin to Russian “ну” (nu) or German na=’well,’; probably not related to German dialect expression nu [short for nun=now] which might be used in the same way)

e.g. — “Nu, nu, so what’s the news with the family?”

Ben Newman posted in Congregation Har Shalom

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Ben Newman

15 January 20:40

Yiddish word of the week:
Shtik- Literally-a stick or thing. Often refers to an individual’s unique way of presenting themselves.

E.g.-“She is doing her shtik.”
Or– Here at the Ohalah rabbinic conference, each rabbi has their own shtick.

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