JEWS WITH ROOTS IN EASTERN EUROPE, where Yiddish once flourished, make up only a tiny percentage of the U. That’s because of the oversized role of Yiddish-speaking and Yiddish-influenced Jews in media — radio, TV, movies, plays, books, magazines and newspapers — where they have sprinkled their writings, jokes and songs with Yiddish phrases. Yiddish is written in Hebrew letters, although for this list I am using English transliteration. on a regular basis—ale montik un donershtik (every Monday and Thursday, the traditional days to read Torah) an ordeal—farshlepte krenk put up or shut up! Yet Yiddish has had a major impact on American English. ) In fact, at least 100 of the words in the list that follows can be found in standard English dictionaries. Dating my over a year ago with a friend from college, and work hard.
His many comedy albums introduced Yiddish expressions to thousands of Jewish families. The single literary source that is credited for being most responsible for popularizing Yiddish for the baby boomer generation is Leo Rosten’s book, magazine, comedian Jackie Mason, and comedians/film makers Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. —genug shoyn go do whatever you like (and leave me alone)—gey gezunterheyt go talk to the wall! In high school, this decision proved to be mostly moot. I tried not to follow up on them at first, but I was frustrated and lonely and had finite willpower.After one date, though, I would beat myself up mentally for breaking my rule, and I’d avoid making second dates.Barbra Streisand, who directed and starred in that film, has incorporated many Yiddish words in her other films as well. The popularity of Yiddish in English owes much to Jewish comedians who performed in the Jewish hotels of the Catskill Mountains, known as the Borscht Belt. (used in a toast) Happy (Jewish) holiday—Gut yontif Thank you very much—a sheynem dank Goodbye/stay well—Zay gezunt TYPES OF PEOPLE big shot/person in authority—makher buddy (male)—boytshik (half English/half Yiddish) close friend/comrade—khaver decent person—mentsh expert—meyvn (can be used sarcastically) genius—brilyant homemaker extraordinaire—baleboste honey/darling—bubele (slang) kind person/good soul—gute neshome master of ceremonies at traditional Jewish wedding—badkhn merrymaker/social director—tumler righteous person—tsadik/lamed vovnik (one of 36 tsadikim whose righteousness upholds the world) refined person—eydl mentsh smart person—Yidisher kop (ethnocentric) sweet person—ziskayt wise person/scholar—khokhem (could also be used sarcastically) animal/savage—beheyme/vilde khaye ass kisser—tokhes leker bastard/rascal—mamzer/bandit (sometimes used admiringly) babe/playgirl—tsatske/tshatshke bitchy woman—kholerye bump on a log—shtik holts someone who butts in—kibitser (used in American culture also to mean “jokester”) cheapskate—karger clumsy person—klotz complainer—kvetsh crazy person—meshugene(r) criminal/cuthroat—gazlin crude/vulgar—proster crude youth—grober yung double-talker/bullshit artist—fonfer drunkard—shiker dummy—goylem fool—nar/shmegegi glutton/pig—freser/khazer gossip—yente jerk—shmok/moyshe pupik louse/stinker—shtunk loudmouth/braggart/phony—trombenik luckless person/born loser—shlimazl mischievous youth—mamzer/vantz misfit/can’t do anything right—shlemiel/shnuk moocher/beggar—shnorer non-entity/nobody—nebish/Chaim Yankl novice/ still wet behind the ears—pisher oaf/ all brawn, no brains—bulvan old fart—alter kaker pest—nudnik/nudge scoundrel/evil-doer—paskudnyak slob—shlump snob—faynshmeker stupid person—goyisher kop (ethnocentric)/shmendrik sourpuss—farbisener temperamental person—petshetsh thief—gonif thug—shtarker time waster—drey kop ugly person—miskayt yokel/blockhead—zhlob goy—any non-Jew goyish—adjective, fitting any stereotype associated with non-Jews sheygets—insulting term for non-Jewish male youth shikse—insulting term for non-Jewish woman shvartse(r)–Black person (considered insulting although it literally means “black”) someone who does things ass backwards—moyshe kapoyre someone who tries to live by his wits without any visible means of support—luftmentsh beaten/bedraggled person—farshlogener big/great person—groyser big shot (sarcastic)—knaker chatty person—shmoozer boss/landlord—balebos countryman (from the same home town)—landsman (plural—landslayt) freethinker/heretic—apikoyris greenhorn (new immigrant)—griner homosexual man—feygele (lit., , may now be considered insulting) musician—klezmer observant—frum opinionated person—kibitzer someone who likes to snack—nasher strong person—shtarker teacher (in traditional Jewish elementary school)—melamed grandma—bobe grandpa—zeyde grandchild—eynikl aunt—tante matchmaker—shadkhn match—shidekh wedding—khasene wedding canopy—khupe bride—kale groom—khosn your son-in-law or daughter-in-law’s parents—makhetonim if you are a woman, your son-in-law or daughter-in-law’s mother—makheteniste divorce—get THINGS PEOPLE DO annoy/badger—hak bargain/haggle—handl beam with pride—kvel bless—bentsh bribe—shmir burst/explode—plats butt in/give unwanted advice—kibits burp—greps carouse/celebrate—hulye chat—shmooze complain/whine—kvetsh dance—tants drag/haul—shlep dressed up (a woman)—(get all) farputst eat—es faint—khalesh go to sleep—gey shlofn gorge/stuff your face—fres groan—krekhts kiss—kush pester/annoy—tshepe pinch—knip putter—patshke (have) sex—shtup sniff—gib a shmek snack/nibble—nash spray—shprits spread—shmir scream—gib a geshray stroll—shpatsir sweat—shvits talk through one’s nose—fonfer take pride in a relative’s accomplishments—shep nakhes tease—uts (slang) waste time—drey (around)/futs (around) give a whack—gib a zets/klop FEELINGS carefree—nisht gedayget (once the name of a Jewish adult summer camp) cheerful—freylakh choked up—farklemt compassion/pity—rakhmones confused—farmisht/tsedreyt distracted—artshadet exhausted/played out—oysgeshpilt healthy/hearty—gezunt homey/friendly—heymish lost—farblondzhet nauseating—khaloshes nervous—tsiterik pleasure/delight—(what a) mekhaye restless—(to have) shpilkes suffering/trouble—tsoris worse suffering—gehakte tsoris CONCEPTS ancestry/good family roots—yikhes charity—tsedoke common sense—seykhl doomed/hopeless/ruined—farfalen fated (to be married)—bashert disgrace—shande flavor/taste/feeling—tam foolishness—narishkayt free associating (comedy)—shpritsing fuss—tsimes good deed—mitsve hairsplitting—pilpul honor—koved human decency—mentshlkhkayt idle chit chat—shmantses legitimate—kosher lunacy—mishegas luck—mazl nerve/gall—khutspe overdone/over-decorated—ongepatshket patience to sit still—zitsfleysh practical matters—takhlis seal of approval—heksher sentimental in the extreme—shmaltsy strength—koyekh truth–emes EVERYDAY TERMS anniversary of a death—yortsayt bargain—metsie belly button—pupik charity box—pushke cheap merchandise—shlok celebration—simkhe crap/junk—drek/khazeray dirt—shmuts face—ponim gadget—smitshik guts—kishkes harsh remark—shtokh hodgepodge—mish mosh Jewish holiday—yontif kniknak/trinket—tshotshke/tsatske liquor/booze—shnaps little bit—a bisl long, drawn out story—megile long underwear—gatkes malfunction/snag—glitsh money—gelt money wasted—aroysgevorfene gelt nothing—gornisht occupation/livelihood—parnose old wives tale—bobe mayse rag—shmate rear end—tokhis routine/special talent esp.