Common Yiddish

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March 7th, 2017 at 9:13:09 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7758
I've taken a list of Yiddish words that I think are common to most English speakers. Do you agree, or is my opinion biased growing up less than 100 miles from NYC?

=================
Common Yiddish
=================
chutzpah 
drek 
facacta 
kibitz 
kvetch 
mensch 
meshuginah 
mishigas 
nebbish 
nosh 
plotz
schmaltzy 
schmendrick 
shtick 
=================
Less Common Yiddish
=================
babkes 
balebosteh 
chavurah 
chaza 
chazerai 
famisht 
fardeiget 
farklempt 
Gai avek! 
gedempte fleisch 
gelt 
gonnif 
haken a tsheinik 
kvel 
landsman 
macher 
Mashgiach 
mavin
milchig
mishpacha 
nachas 
Nu? 
nudnik 
Oy vay iz mir! 
ongapatchka
Rav 
Rebbe 
schlemazel
schlep
schlepper 
schmootz 
schnorrer
schvitz 
shayna punim 
shicker 
shnorrer 
Shomer Shabbat
shpilkes 
shtetl 
treyf 
tsures 
tumul


chutzpah  audacity/utter nerve
drek  trash/manure or excrement
facacta  lousy, rediculous
kibitz  to meddle
kvetch  complain/one who complains
mensch  a nice gentleman or person
meshuginah  crazy person
mishigas  craziness
nebbish  little nerd
plotz burst
schmaltzy  sentimental/corny
schmendrick  a jerk
shtick  routine
babkes  nothing, beans
balebosteh  housewife/hostess/capable homemaker/matriach
chavurah  group of friends, prayer group winded and annoying conversation, sleep
chaza  a pig
chazerai  junk (lit. "pig stuff")/unpalatable/rotten
famisht  confused
fardeiget  distressed/worried/anxiety
farklempt  in a bad mood/bummed out
Gai avek!  Go away!
gedempte fleisch  a soft meat, usu. Brisket
gelt  money
gonnif  thief/crook
haken a tsheinik  [lit: banging a teapot]. Someone who startles, jars,annoys by repeated intrusive speech or action. Also can mean boring, long
kvel  to swell with pride
landsman  a neighbor/someone from the same town
macher  A big shot/man with contacts
Mashgiach  A person who certifies that food is kosher.
mavin connoisseur
milchig dairy. Used to describe kosher foods that contain dairy products and therefore cannot be eaten with meat.
mishpacha  family
nachas  joy
nosh  eat a little something
Nu?  So? Well?
nudnik  pesty nagger, a bore, obnoxious person
Oy vay iz mir!  Woe is me!
ongapatchka a little too much
Rav  Rabbi/religious leader of the community.
Rebbe  Usu. translated Grand Rabbi. The leader of a Chasidic community, often believed to have special, mystical power.
schlemazel unlucky person
schlep to drag or lug around clumsily, as an object/a long, difficult journey
schlepper  a clumsy or stupid person
schmootz  dirt
schnorrer beggar
schvitz  perspire
shayna punim  a pretty face
shicker  a drunkard
shnorrer  A beggar who makes pretensions to respectability; moocher; a parasite, but always with resourcefulness in getting money from others as though it was his own.
Shomer Shabbat  (Sabbath Observer)It refers to one who observes Shabbat all day. nervousness, hyperactivity
shpilkes  Lit. needles
shtetl  Small Jewish Village
treyf  non kosher
tsures  trouble
tumul noise, confusion
March 7th, 2017 at 9:26:05 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
If I didn't speak English, I'd know no Yiddish at all by now :)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 7th, 2017 at 10:57:38 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7758
Quote: Nareed
If I didn't speak English, I'd know no Yiddish at all by now :)

I believe your family is Ashkanzi and not Sephardic. I thought they were relatively recently from Europe (like your parents or grandparents). Am I wrong?


Patti LuPone & Tovah Feldshuh making mild fun of Jewish history.
March 7th, 2017 at 11:07:17 AM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 3
Posts: 814
I didn't grow up in big cities so not many Jews around. I have never lived it a city with a Synagogue. Know about 5 or 6 of the words. Learned them mostly from the old time Jewish comedians who were mostly left over from the Vaudeville days.
"There is no sin but ignorance" Christopher Marlow
March 7th, 2017 at 11:18:16 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
Quote: Pacomartin
I believe your family is Ashkanzi and not Sephardic. I thought they were relatively recently from Europe (like your parents or grandparents). Am I wrong?


Grandparents.

I took Yiddish in school from pre-school to junior high school. I hated it almost as much as Hebrew.

I learned two things about both languages: 1) it's possible to learn a language by rote, but 2) if you do, you forget it as soon as you stop using it.

I literally couldn't compose a simple sentence in Yiddish, or Hebrew, to save my life.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 7th, 2017 at 11:20:06 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 48
Posts: 4319
I know fewer than ten of them.
March 7th, 2017 at 2:12:24 PM permalink
JimRockford
Member since: Sep 18, 2015
Threads: 0
Posts: 142
I know the words on the common list except :
drek
mishigas
nebbish
plots
schmendrick

From the less common list I only know babkes and schlep
Words I know that aren't on the lists: schmuck, putz, schmooz
Of the words I know I was I little unclear on the meaning of several. I'm from the southwest. Not a large Jewish community. I picked up the few Yiddish words I know from TV/ movies or from Northeasterners I have known.
March 7th, 2017 at 2:19:24 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7758
Quote: JimRockford
I know the words on the common list except :
plots


You have to spell it with a "z".
March 7th, 2017 at 2:26:42 PM permalink
JimRockford
Member since: Sep 18, 2015
Threads: 0
Posts: 142
Quote: Pacomartin
You have to spell it with a "z".

Autocorrect on my phone. You should have see what it tried to do to some of the other words.
March 7th, 2017 at 4:17:03 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 71
Posts: 1509
I knew:

=================
Common Yiddish
=================
chutzpah
drek
mensch
shtick

but 'kibitz' I thought meant 'to confer together'

the rest, nope
of the below I knew:

=================
Less Common Yiddish
=================

farklempt
mavin
Oy vay iz mir!
schlepper

oddly, since I knew schlepper, which is kind of instinctive maybe, I got 'schlep' wrong! thought it meant to spill something

and none of the rest
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
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