Definitions

unfortunate person

Yinglish

[ying-glish or, often, -lish]
Yinglish words are neologisms created by speakers of Yiddish in English-speaking countries, sometimes to describe things that were uncommon in the old country. This is the meaning of the term used by Leo Rosten in The Joys of Yiddish.

As a secondary meaning, Yinglish describes the distinctive way certain Jews in English-speaking countries add many Yiddish words into their conversation, beyond general Yiddish words and phrases used by English speakers. In this meaning, Yinglish is not the same as Yeshivish, which is spoken by many Orthodox Jews, though the two share many parallels.

While "Yinglish" is generally restricted in definition to the adaptation of Yiddish lemmas to English grammar by Jews, its usage is not explicitly restricted to Jews. This is especially true in areas where Jews are highly concentrated, but in constant interaction with their non-Jewish fellows, esp. in the larger urban areas of North America. In such circumstances, it would not be unusual to hear, for example, a non-Jew griping about having "shlepped" a package across town.

Yinglish bei Leo Rosten

Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish uses the word Yinglish and Ameridish to describe new words, or new meanings of existing Yiddish words, created by English-speaking persons with some knowledge of Yiddish. The fact that donstairsiker is listed as Ameridish and its opposite opstairsiker is listed as Yinglish, coupled with the fact that no Yinglish word is suggested in The Joys of Yiddish to have arisen outside the United States of America, suggests that Ameridish and Yinglish are synonyms. The Joys of Yiddish describes the following words as Yinglish except where noted as Ameridish:

  • alrightnik, alrightnikeh, alrightnitseh male, female, female individual who has been successful; nouveau riche
  • blintz (Yinglish because the true Yiddish is blintzeh)
  • bleib shver remains difficult - unresolved problem, especially in Talmud learning
  • bluffer, blufferkeh male, female person who bluffs
  • boarderkeh, bordekeh (Ameridish) female paying boarder
  • boychick, boychikel, boychiklekh - young boy, kiddo, handsome
  • bulbenik (Ameridish) an actor who muffs his lines, from bilbul - mixup (alternative theory - bulba, literally potato, figuratively error))
  • bummerkeh (Ameridish) a female bum
  • cockamamy false, ersatz, crazy (of an idea), artificial, jury-rigged (prob. from Eng. "decalcomania," a "decal," a sticker, a cheap process for transferring images from paper to glass.) In the Bronx, 1st half 20th century, a "cockamamie" was a washable temporary "tattoo" distributed in bubblegum packets.
  • donstairsikeh, donstairsiker female, male living downstairs
  • dresske bargain-basement dress
  • fin five, or five-dollar bill, shortened form of Yiddish finif (five)
  • kosher Yinglish, not in its religious or Yiddish meanings, but only in five slang senses: authentic, trustworthy, legitimate, fair, and approved by a higher source. Its pronunciation, as "kōsher", is another distinguishing factor, as in true Yiddish it is pronounced "kūsher" or "kösher"
  • nextdoorekeh, nextdooreker female, male living next door
  • opstairsikeh, opstairsiker (Ameridish) female, male living upstairs
  • pisha paysha corruption of English card game Pitch and Patience
  • sharopnikel (Ameridish) a small object that causes shutting up, e.g. a pacifier, teething ring
  • shmegegge (Ameridish) an unadmirable or untalented person
  • shnuk (Ameridish)
  • singlemon single man
  • shmo
  • T.L. tuches lecker or ass-kisser (literally, one who licks buttocks)
  • Tararam - A big Tummel.

Yiddish words used by English-speaking Jews

This list includes words from Yinglish in this secondary sense; many of these words have not been assimilated into English and are unlikely to be understood by English speakers who do not have substantial Yiddish influence. Leo Rosten's book, The Joys of Yiddish, explains these words (and many more) in detail but, excepting blintz, kosher (used in English slang), and shmo, none of them is described as Yinglish in that book.

  • Aidim son-in-law, from middle-high-German eidam
  • A shande (Yid., אַ‮ ‬שאַנדע) a disgrace; one who brings embarrassment through mere association, from German eine Schande, translated "a disgrace", meaning "such a shame"
  • A shande far di goyim, also spelled a shande für de goyim (Yid., אַ‮ ‬שאַנדע‮ ‬פֿאַר‮ ‬די‮ ‬גוים) "A disgrace for the people" the scathing criticism of Judge Julius Hoffman by Abbie Hoffman during the trial of the Chicago Eight, from German Eine Schande für die Goyim, whereby goyim means nation, people or non-Jews
  • Ay-ay-ay (Yid., אײַ־אײַ־אײַ) (sometimes spelled "ai-yi-yi")
  • Abi gezunt! (Yid., אַבי‮ ‬געזונט) from German Aber gesund, literally "but healthy", meaning "As long as you're healthy!"; often used as an ironic punchline to a joke
  • Abi me leibt (Yid., אַבי‮ ‬מע לעבט) - from German Aber man lebt, translated "At least I´m alive"
  • Aleichem shalom "To you be peace" (the polite response to the greeting "Shalom aleichem")
  • Alter Kicker or Alter Kocker (Yid., אַלטער‮ ‬קאַקער) a lecherous old man; an old fart (from German Alter "old" and kacker "crapper")
  • Bissel (Yid., ביסל) a small amount, "a pinch of" something (cf. Austrian bissl, a dialectal variant of the more standard bisschen, "a little bit")
  • Blintz (Yid., בלינצע blintse) a sweet cheese-filled crepe
  • Bris the circumcision of a male child.
  • Boichika Sweetheart.
  • Bubbeh, bubbe, grandmother; pronounced like "book", not like the Southern U.S. nickname (cf. the Slavonic baba, "old woman" with different overtones in different languages)
  • Bubbameisse Old wives' tale, cock and bull story (often attrib. by erroneous folk etymology to combination of bubbe, "grandmother," and meisse, "tale", but in fact derives from "Bove-meisse," from the "Bove Bukh," the "Book of Bove," chivalric adventures of fictitious knight Sir Bevys ("Bove") of Hampton, first pub. in Yiddish in 1541 and continually repub. until 1910.
  • Bubkes (also spelled "bupkis") emphatically nothing, as in He isn't worth bubkes (literally "goat droppings", in Polish "bobki")
  • Chalish literally, fainting, ("I was chalishing from hunger,") sometimes used as a term of desperate desire for something or someone ("After a thirty-six hour shift, I was chalishing to go home already.")
  • Chazarai (Yiddish, חזירײַ khazerai 'filth' or, perhaps more literally, 'piggery', from חזיר khazer 'pig' from Hebrew חַזִיר "chazeer", pig) junk, garbage, junk food
  • Chesid good deed or favor. "Do me a chesid and clean your room."
  • Chiddush a term used in the context of rhetoric and argumentation to mean a new forceful point brought into a discussion; the upshot or novel point made by an argument (from Hebrew Chadash, meaning 'new'); also used when you are making fun of someone for something entirely obvious. "Chiddush! Chiddush!"
  • Chutzpah (Yid. from Heb.חוצפּה khutspe) ballsiness, guts, daring, audacity, effrontery
  • Dybbuk (Yid. from Heb. דיבוק dibbuk, that which clings) the malevolent spirit of a dead person which enters and controls a living body until exorcised
  • Dreck (Yid., דרעק from Ger. Dreck, "dirt") Worthless material, especially merchandise; (vulgar) "crap."
  • Ess (Yid., עס; cf. German essen, "to eat") to eat, especially used in the imperative: Ess! Ess!
  • Farbissen (far-BISS-en) (Yid., פֿאַרביסן; cf. German verbissen) adj. Bitter; sullen; crippled by bitterness. Also farbissener.
  • Farblondzhet (fer-BLUNJ-it) (Yid., פֿאַרבלאָנדזשעט; far- cf. German ver- and Polish błądzić = "to stray around") lost, bewildered, confused, mixed-up (appropriately, there are several variant spellings)
  • Fardrayt (Yid., פֿאַרדרײט; dray meaning turn, cf. dreidel; also cf. German verdreht = "twisted" ) confused, mixed-up, distracted
  • Farfrumt negative term for someone very religious or pious. "She came back from seminary and became all farfrumt."
  • Fachnyok negative term meaning very religious, often used to connote someone holier-than-thou. Can be shortened to "chnyok," or used as a noun ("don't be such a chnyok") or an adjective ("you're so chnyokish").
  • Farkakte (Yid., פֿאַרקאַקטע) an adjective whose usage resembles English goddamn; literally, 'crapped' or 'becrapped', cf. German "verkackte(r)"
  • Fershtupt - (pejorative) pregnant, recently had sex, constipated. (stuffed)
  • Feygele or faygeleh (pejorative) homosexual (literally 'little bird', cf. German "Vögele", also possible cf. German word "Feigling", meaning 'coward'), could be used for anyone slightly effeminate, "Ugh, that, Moishele washes his hands, what a faygel." Often used as a disparaging term for a homosexual male. *NOTE* A Fayge is a bird, and is the basis of the female name Fayga. Such a person, as an infant, might be called Faygeleh, until later on being called Faygie.
  • Fress to eat, especially with enthusiasm (German fressen = "to eat like an animal, in an untidy way")
  • Frimmer (British English slang): a Hasidic Jew (from Yiddish "frum", religious; also cf. German "fromm" = pious)
  • Frum - Adjective; Religious, specifically in the area of Judaism.
  • Gantze all, the whole of ("the gantze mishpoche" = the whole family, etc., cf. German ganz = "whole, all")
  • Geh gezindt command; go, be healthy. Used as a goodbye (Person says, "I'll see you later." Other person replies, "Gai gezindt." Also could be used as a Yiddish equivalent to "bon voyage." Usually neutral, but can be used to mean "good riddance."
  • Gay avek go away. Also pronounced "guy avek", depending on where in Europe you are from. A Litvak is "guy". A Deutcher is "gay". Go figure.
  • Geh shlufen go to sleep (Seth! It's 11:30! Geh shlufen."
  • Geh vays literally "go know," as in "go figure." ("Last week she said she hated his guts and now she's engaged to him. Geh vays.")
  • Gelt money (German Geld with the same meaning), also chocolate coins eaten on Hanukkah (געלט gelt 'money')
  • Genug (גענוג) enough (German genug)
  • Glick a piece of good luck (German Glück)
  • Glitch a minor malfunction (possibly from Yiddish glitsh)
  • Goilem or golem a man-made humanoid; an android, Frankenstein monster, or an insult, suggesting that a person has no mental capacity
  • Gonef or gonif (also ganiv) thief (גנבֿ ganef. This can be used as a somewhat generic insult, implying a "lowlife" ) the word has also been adopted from Yiddish into German as Ganove, also a thief (often figurative)
  • Gornisht nothing, not a bit, for naught (German gar nicht = not at all)
  • Goy Someone not of the Jewish faith or people; a gentile (גוי, plural גוים Goyim, Hebrew 'nation(s)', often referring to nations other than Israel, although the Tanach calls Israel the "goy koddesh", "the Holy Nation", so Israel is also a 'goy' ["nation" in the sense of "a people", not "a state"] ) "What's John Smith doing in temple, he's a goy!" Both meanings usually have negative connotations.
  • Goyisher kop fool, foolishness (lit. "Gentile head")
  • Goyisher mazel good luck (lit. "Gentile luck")
  • Hegdesch pigpen, often used to describe a mess (as in "your room is a hegdesch")
  • Hock Bother, pester (as in the character Maj Hockstetter from Hogan's Heroes; a hockstetter being someone who constantly bothers you) [from Hak mir kayn chaynik or "Stop clanking like a teakettle" from the old time pre-whistle teakettles whose tops clank against the rim as the pressure pushed them up and down.
  • Hocker - botherer, pesterer
  • Heymish (also Hamish) home-like, friendly, folksy (German heimisch)
  • Ich vais I know.
  • Ipish a bad odor
  • Kadoches a fever; frequently occurs in oaths of ill-will (e.g., "I'll give him a kadoches is what I'll give him!)
  • Keppe head (e.g. I needed that like a lach en keppe, hole in my head; German "Kopf", coll. "Kopp" "head"; German "Loch" "hole")
  • Keyn ayn horeh (also pronounced: kin ahurrah) lit., "No evil eye!"; German kein - none; Hebrew ayn - eye, harrah - bad, unclean, forbidden; an apotropaic formula spoken to avert the curse of jealousy after something or someone has been praised; the phrase has mutated into "Don't give me a canary!" in the Bronx
  • Kibitz to offer unwanted advice, e.g. to someone playing cards; to converse idly, gossip (Yiddish קיבעצען kibetsn), German thieves' jargon kiebitschen "to examine, search, look through", influenced by German Kiebitz (any of several birds called peewits [imitative]).
  • Kife or kyfe enjoyment
  • Kitsch : trash, especially gaudy trash (German "Kitsch")
  • Klop a loud bang or wallop (German klopfen = "to knock")
  • Klumnik empty person, a good-for-nothing (From Hebrew "klum," nothing.)
  • Klutz clumsy person (from Yiddish קלאָץ klots 'wooden beam') "Shloimy, you wear your hat like a klutz."
  • Kosher conforming to Jewish dietary laws; (slang) appropriate, legitimate (originally from Hebrew כּשר) see Yashrusdik.
  • Krankhayt a sickness (German Krankheit)
  • Kvell (קװעל) beam / be proud "Shlomo, when you said the prayer so well, I knew I would kvell."
  • Kvatch, kvetch to complain habitually, gripe; or, a person who always complains, sometimes known as whinge (from Yiddish קװעטשן kvetshn and German quetschen 'press, squeeze')
  • Latke potato pancake, especially during Hanukkah (from Yiddish, from either Ukrainian or Russian)
  • L'chaim an expression of joy, the traditional toast "to life!"
  • L'Hoira obviously.
  • Litvak a Lithuanian Jew
  • lox smoked salmon (from Yiddish לאַקס laks and German Lachs 'salmon') eaten with bagels.
  • Macher (מאַכער) lit. "doer, someone who does things", big shot, important person (e.g. within an organization) (German Macher = maker) "Now that Golde is the president, she acts like such a big macher."
  • Mameh-loshen one's first or native language, literally from Hebrew, 'mother-tongue'.
  • Mamish really, very (an expression of emphasis)From the Hebrew "mamash" = substantially, "mamashut" = substance.
  • Mamzer bastard, literally or figuratively (from Hebrew ממזר, meaning the child of a married woman where the biological father is not the married woman's husband (slightly more restrictive than the English word illegitimate)
  • Maven expert (from Yiddish מבֿין meyvn, from Hebrew mevin 'one who understands')
  • Mazel (מזל mazl) luck (literally, constellation of stars)
  • Mazel tov! (מזל־טובֿ!‏ mazl tov) congratulations! (literally, 'good constellation' from Hebrew, meaning, May you be born under a good star, or at a good time. When you tell someone Mazel Tov, it is customary to shake hands.) Literally, good luck.
  • Mechaye - a "lifesaver" (from the Hebrew חיים "chayim", meaning "life")
  • Mechuteynesteh or Mechutan your child's female or male parent-in-law '''
  • Megillah a lengthy document or discourse (from Yiddish מגילה megile, from Hebrew 'scroll'). Production: What are you making, a megillah?
  • Mensch an upright man or woman; a gentleman; a decent human being (from Yiddish מענטש mentsh 'person') the generic term for a virtuous man or person; one with honesty, integrity, loyalty, firmness of purpose a fundamental sense of decency and respect for other people (from German Mensch, meaning human being)
  • Meshuga / meshugge / meshugah / meshuggah (משוגען meşugn) : crazy (from Yiddish meshuge)
  • Meshuggener a crazy person (from Yiddish meshugener)
  • Meshugaas nonsense (lit. "crazy talk")
  • Minyan the quorum of ten adult (i.e., 13 or older) Jews (among the Orthodox, males) who are necessary for the holding of a public worship service
  • Mishegoss insane situation, irrationality (from Yiddish meshugas, from meshuge 'crazy')
  • Mishpocha family (from Hebrew משפּחה mishpokha)
  • Mohel a professional religious circumciser (from Hebrew מוהל)
  • Naches (נחת) pride (usage: I have naches from you)
  • Narishkeit foolishness (German "närrisch" foolish)
  • Nasherai snack food (German naschen to snack, cf. German "Nascherei")
  • Nebbish a hapless, unfortunate person, much to be pitied; the one who cleans up after the schlemiel's accidents (from Yiddish nebekh)
  • Nosh snack (from Yiddish נאַשן nashn)Also a verb "Nu, stop noshing on that nosh."
  • Nu multipurpose interjection often analogous to "well?" or "so?"; of the same linguistic origin as English now (Russian "ну")
  • Nudnik (נודניק) pest, "pain in the neck", originally from Polish ("nuda" in Polish means "boredom"; nudziarz is the Polish word for the Yiddish nudnik)
  • Oy (exclamation) Oh!; Oy Gutt - Oh (my) God!
  • Oy gevalt (אױ גװאַלד) Oh no! (from Yiddish gvald 'emergency'). Cognate with German Gewalt "force, violence".
  • Oy vey (אױ װײ) : (exclamation) Oh, woe! (Oh no! literally, 'Oh, pain!', cf. German "Oh Weh!").
  • Oy vey iz mir (exclamation) from אױ װײ איז מיר 'Oh, woe is me!', 'Oh, my suffering
  • Oyzteh sweetheart, dear (from Hebrew Otzar, treasure)
  • Pisher a male infant; a little squirt; a nobody , (cf. South German "Pisch´n" = to piss)
  • Potch a light spanking or disciplinary slap, done usually by a parent to a child, and often taking place on the top of the hand or the buttocks (cf. German word "peitsch" meaning whip).
  • Plotz to burst, as from strong emotion: "I was so angry, I thought I'd plotz!" (from Yiddish פּלאַצן platsn 'to crack', cf. German platzen)
  • Pumpt fakeirt just the opposite, total disagreement.
  • Punim the face (Yiddish ponem, from Hebrew)
  • Pupik the navel; belly button (Polish pępek= the navel)
  • Putz unclean penis; stupid 'dirty' person, a jerk (from Yiddish פּאָץ pots)
  • Rachmones mercy, pity
  • Rutzer very young and inexperienced
  • Schicker or schickered: drunk, intoxicated (from the Hebrew shikur drunk, cf. German [coll.] angeschickert 'soused, tipsy')
  • Schlemiel an inept clumsy person; a bungler; a dolt (from Yiddish shlemil or shlimil from the Hebrew "Sh'aino Mo'eil" literally ineffective)
  • Schlep to drag or haul (an object); to make a tedious journey (from Yiddish שלעפּן shlepn and German schleppen)
  • Schlepper bum
  • Schlimazel / schlamazel : a chronically unlucky person (שלימזל shlimazl, from shlim 'bad' and mazl 'luck'; The difference between a shlemiel and a shlimazl is described through the aphorism, "A shlemiel is somebody who often spills his soup; a shlimazl is the person the soup lands on." One of the ten non-English words that were voted Words hardest to translate in June 2004 by a British translation company. Lyric following "schlemiel" in Laverne and Shirley theme (from Yiddish shlimazl cf. German Schlamassel)
  • Schlock A poorly made product or poorly done work, usually quickly thrown together for the appearance of having been done properly; "this writing is schlock." Something shoddy or inferior. (perhaps from Yiddish shlak 'a stroke')
  • Schlong from Yiddish שלאַנג shlang and German Schlange meaning a snake; description of a tricky or deceitful or hateful despicable person. Vulgar: "penis"
  • Schlub a clumsy, stupid, or unattractive person.
  • Schmaltz excessive sentimentality; chicken fat or drippings used as a shmeer on bread (from Yiddish שמאַלץ shmalts and German Schmalz)
  • Schmeer as a verb, to spread, e.g. the cream cheese on your bagel; also, as a noun, that which you spread on something, e.g. "I'll have a piece of challah with schmeer." (from שמיר) (cf. German schmieren)
  • Schmo a stupid person. (an alteration of schmuck; see below)
  • Schmooze to converse informally, to small talk or chat. Can also be a form of brown-noseing (from Yiddishשמועסן shmuesn cf. German schmusen).The word is commonly used in the business world to refer to informal networking activities.
  • Schmuck a contemptible or foolish person; a jerk; literally means 'penis' (from Yiddish שמאָק shmok 'penis')
  • Schmutz dirt, often pertaining to petty household dirt(on the table, floor, clothes etc.) Also used metaphorically to the English equivalent; smut, sleaze (from German Schmutz)
  • Schnook an easily imposed-upon or cheated person, a pitifully meek person. a particularly gullible person. (from Yiddish שנוק)
  • Schnor / Tsnorr to beg.
  • Schnorrer (שנאָרער) beggar or person always asking others for hand-outs or services (cf. German Schnorrer, schnorren)
  • Schnoz / schnozzle / shnozzle : a nose, especially a large nose. cf. English nozzle. (also spelled from Yiddish שנויץ shnoits 'snout', cf. German Schnauze 'snout')
  • Schrai a shriek or wail, sometimes used to connote over-exaggerated hysterics. ("When I told her I'd be ten minutes late, she let out such a shrai!") (cf. German Schrei)
  • Schtick'l a little piece of something, usually food. Dim. of stick, from German Stückchen. In "delis," salami ends were sold from a plate on the counter labeled "A nickel a schtickel."
  • Schtupp / schtuff : (vulgar) to have sex with, screw (from Yiddish שטופּן shtupn 'push, poke'; similar to 'stuff'); to fill, as in to fill someones pocket with money("Schtupp him $50.) Frequently used in the former context by Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.
  • Schverr father-in-law (German Schwäher)
  • Schvigger mother-in-law (German Schwieger)
  • Shabbes goy a Gentile who performs labour forbidden on the Jewish Sabbath for observant Jews; sometimes used (by implication) for someone who "does the dirty work" for another person (from Yiddish Shabbes, Sabbath + goy, a non-Jew)
  • Shammes the beadle or sexton of a synagogue (from Yiddish shames, an attendant) (originally from Hebrew שמש shamash 'servant')
  • Shep nachas take pride. Sometimes shortened to "shep." ("Your son got into medical school? You must be shepping.")
  • Sheygetz or shegetz (שגץ، שײגעץ) (semi-pejorative) Gentile male - male form of Shiksa.
  • Sheyne meydel a beautiful girl (cf. German schönes Mädel)
  • Shiksa (שיקסע) (can be pejorative) a Gentile woman (the origin is the Hebrew shekitz, or creepy crawly thing - bug)
  • Shmatte an old rag. Used literally: I spilled the coffee, bring me a shmatte, quick! Used figuratively (usu. derisively): That fancy dress she spent half her husband's money on just looked like a shmatte to me. (Cf. Polish szmata "rag, piece of cloth") Used ironically: "I'm in the schmatte business," meaning "I manufacture or sell clothing."
  • Shmegege a stupid person, a truly unlucky one; has been said to be the one who cleans up the soup the shlemiel spilled on the shlimazl.
  • Shmendrik ineffectual person.
  • Shpiel : a lengthy, often instructive talk (from Yiddish שפּיל shpil * Shoina Maidle : pretty girl
  • Shpiel : a lengthy, often instructive talk (from Yiddish שפּיל shpil shpil and German Spiel 'play')
  • Shpilkes upset stomach, or simply nervous energy; to be feeling "antsy", to be "sitting on pins and needles." Cf. Polish szpilka, "pin"
  • Shtark, shtarker strong, brave (German stark), a criminal
  • Shtick comic theme; a defining habit or distinguishing feature (from Yiddish שטיק 'a piece of something' cf. German Stück, "piece").
  • Shtotty fancy or elegant; may sometimes be pejorative ("She thinks she's so shtotty with that new dress of hers.")
  • Shtuch to put someone down, often facetiously ("I shtuched him out." Can be used as a noun to refer to a clever put-down or rejoinder ("When I told my father that my stupidity must be hereditary,it was such a good shtuch!").
  • Shtuck dreck literally "a piece of dirt" (see Dreck), but usually applied to a person who is hated because of the antisocial things he has done: "He's a real shtuck dreck." Possibly shtick dreck: a piece of crap.
  • Shtum quiet (שטום shtum 'mute') (German stumm)
  • Shvartzer (שװאַרצער) Black person (possibly derogatory) (from שװאַרץ shvarts 'black', German schwarz)
  • Shvitz A steam bath (German Schwitzen = to sweat). Also used for sweat or some kind of dirt/filth.
  • Takeh really, totally. "This is takeh a problem!" As opposed to eppes and emmes. Emmes used as "the truth." He got into med school? Emmes? Eppes is the negative sense. He has cancer? This is the eppes?
  • Tchotchke knick-knack, trinket, miscellaneous curios of no obvious practical use (from Yiddish טשאַטשקע tshatshke and possibly from a Ukrainian word for toy) May be used to refer to pretty women.
  • Tchepen to bother someone incessantly ("Stop tcheppening me!") or to playfully banter with someone ("We spent the entire date tcheppening each other about what bad taste the other one had.")
  • Tornig a disobedient nephew
  • Traif (or trayf) forbidden, non-Kosher foods; anything forbidden (from Exodus 22:30, technically referring to an animal with any of a specific group of physical defects making it inedible)
  • Tsimmis a fuss, a disturbance. "So you lost a dime. Don't make a big tsimmis!" Also, a kind of prune stew.
  • Tsim gezunt to [your]health! Used as a response to a sneeze; German "gesund" "healthy")
  • Tuchas or tochis buttocks (from Yiddish תּחת tokhes)
  • Tummle excitement.
  • tummeler raucous comedian, e.g. Jerry Lewis, Robin Williams, from vaudeville and the Catskills Borscht Belt origin from the English tumult.
  • Tsaddik Pious, righteous person; one of the 36 legendary saints for whose sake God does not destroy the world
  • Tsuris troubles (from Yiddish צרות tsores)
  • Tushie or just tush - polite way of saying tuchus or backside.
  • Ungershpart Stubborn
  • Verklempt choked with emotion (German verklemmt = emotionally inhibited in a convulsive way; stuck)
  • Vilde chaya impolite or undisciplined child, literally, wild beast
  • Yekke A German Jew
  • Yenta or yente a talkative woman; a gossip; a blabbermouth; a scold
  • Yichus pedigree, family background, an advantage
  • Yiddishe Mama a stereotypical Jewish mother
  • Yiddisher kop intelligence (lit. "Jewish head"; German "Jüdischer Kopf" Jewish head)
  • Yiddisher mazel bad luck (lit. "Jewish luck")
  • Yontiff a Jewish holiday on which work is forbidden, eg. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach (from the Hebrew "Yom Tov", Good Day, or Holiday)
  • Yungotch a rascal
  • Zach thing or item. When used with "gantze," can refer to an event or story, i.e. "The ganztze zach only took two hours." (German 'Sache: Thing, issue')
  • Zaydeh (or zayde) grandfather (possibly a Slavonic word, cf. Polish dziadek, meaning "grandfather")
  • Zaftig or zoftig plump, chubby, full-figured (German saftig, meaning juicy), especially with a child or an attractive woman

See also

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