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bisel - A little
A biseleh - A very little
A broch! - Oh hell! Damn it!! A curse!!!
A broch tsu dir! - A curse on you!
A brocheh - A blessing
A deigeh hob ich - I don't care. I should worry.
A farshlepteh krenk - A chronic ailment
A feier zol im trefen - He should burn up!
A gezunt ahf dein kop! - Good health to you (lit., Good health
on your head)
A glick ahf dir! - Good luck to you (Sometimes used sarcastically
about minor good fortunes) Big thing!
A glick hot dir getrofen! - Big deal! Sarcastic; lit., A piece
of luck happened to you
A klog iz mir! - Woe is me!
A klog tzu meineh somin! - A curse on my enemies!
A leben ahf dir! - You should live! And be well and have more!
A lung un leber oyf der noz - Stop talking yourself into illness!
(Lit., Don't imagine a lung and a liver upon the nose)
A mentsh on glik is a toyter mensh - An unlucky person is
a dead person.
A metsieh fun a ganef - It's a steal (Lit., A bargain from
A nechtiker tog! - Forget it!
A nishtikeit! - A nobody!
A shandeh un a charpeh - A shame and a disgrace
A shtik naches - A great joy
A sof! A sof! - Let's end it ! End it!
Abi gezunt! - As long as you're healthy!
Achrahyes - Responsible
Ahf mir gezogt! - I wish it could be said about me!
Ahf tsores - In trouble
Ahntoisht - Disappointed
Ahzes ponim - Impudent fellow
Aidel - Cultured or finicky
Aidim - Son-in-law
Aiver butel - Absent minded; mixed up
Alaichem sholom - To you be peace
Alef-bais - Alphabet; the first two letters of the Jewish
Alevei! - It should happen to me (to you)!
Alteh moid - Spinster, old maid
Alteh bocher - Bachelor
Alter Kucker - A lecherous old man
An alteh machashaifeh - An old witch
An alter bakahnter - An old acquaintance
An alter trombenick - An old bum
Arein - Come in!
Arumgeflickt! - Plucked! Milked!
Arumloifer - Street urchin; person who runs around
Az a yor ahf mir. - I should have such good luck.
Az och un vai! - Touch luck! Too bad! Misfortune!
Azoy? - Really?
Azoy gait es! - That's how it goes!
Azoy gich? - So soon?
Azoy vert dos kichel tzekrochen! - That's how the cookie crumbles!
Badchan - Jester, merry maker or master of ceremonies at a
wedding; at the end of the meal he announces the presents,
lifting them up and praising the giver and the gift in a humorous
Bagroben - To bury
Baitsim - Testicles
Balebatisheh yiden - Respectable Jews, men of substance and
good standing in the community
Balhabosteh - Mistress of the house
Balnes - Miracle-worker
Bal Toyreh - Learned man, scholar
Bareden yenem - To gossip
Baren (taboo) - Fornicate: bother, annoy
Barimer - Braggart, show-off
Baroygis - Angry, petulant
Bashert - Fated or predestined
Bashert zein - To be destined
Behaimeh - Animal, cow (when referring to a human deing, means
Bentshen lecht - Recite prayer over lit candles on Sabbath
eve or Holy Day candles
Beryeh - Efficient, competent housewife
Bes medresh - Synagogue
Billik - Cheap, inexpensive
Bist meshugeh? - Are you crazy?
Biteh - Please
Blondjen - To wander, be lost
Bobkes - Small things, triflings, peanuts, nothing, worthless
Bohmer - Bum (masc.)
Bohmerkeh - Bum (fem.)
Borsht - Beet soup
Borsht circuit - Hotels in the Catskill Mountain, New York
area, with an almost entirely Jewish clientele, who are fond
of borsht; term is used by entertainers
Bris - Circumcision
Bristen - Breasts
Broitgeber - Head of family
Bronfen - Whiskey
B'suleh - Virgin
Bubee - Friendly term for anybody you like
Bulvan - Man built like an ox; boorish, coarse, rude person
Chaleshen - To faint
Chaloshes - Nausea, faintness, unconsciousness
Chamoyer du ainer! - You blockhead! You dope, You ass!
Chap a gang! - Beat it! (Lit., Catch a way, catch a road)
Chap nit! - Take it easy! Not so fast! (Lit., Don't grab)
Chas v'cholileh! - G-d forbid!
Chazen - Cantor
Chazenteh - Wife of chazen (cantor)
Chazzer - A pig (one who eats like a pig)
Chazzerei - Swill; pig's feed; anything bad, unpalatable,
Chei - Eighteen; life; word formed by the combination of Hebrew
letters meaning eighteen and life
Chei kuck (taboo) - Nothing, infinitesimal, worthless, unimportant
(Lit., human dung)
Chmalyeh! - Bang, punch; Slam! Wallop!
Chochem attick - A wise guy
Chochmeh - Wisdom, bright saying, witticism
Choleryeh - Cholera; a curse, plague
Choshever mentsh - Man of worth and dignity; elite person;
Chosid - Rabid fan
Chossen - Bridegroom
Chossen-kalleh - Bride and groom; engaged couple
Choyzik machen - Make fun of, ridicule
Chropen - Snore
Chupah - Canopy under which a bride and groom stand during
Chutzpeh - Brazenness, gall, baitzim
Chutzpenik - Impudent fellow
Cristiyah - Enema
Danken Got! - Thank G-d!
Davenen - Pray
Deigeh nisht! - Don't worry!
Derech erets - Respect
Dershtikt zolstu veren! - You should choke on it!
Dingen - Bargain, hire, engage, lease, rent
Dos gefelt mir - This pleases me
Dos hartz hot mir gezogt - My heart told me. I predicted it.
Dos iz alts - That's all.
Dos zelbeh - Likewise
Drai mir nit kain kop! - Don't bother me! (Lit., Don't twist
Drai zich! - Keep moving!
Draikop - Scatterbrain
Drek - Human dung, feces, manure or excrement; inferior merchandise
or work; insincere talk or excessive flattery
Druchus - The sticks (way out in the wild)
Du fangst shoyn on? - Are you starting up again?
Dumkop - Dumbbell, dunce (Lit., Dumb head)
Dybbuk - Soul condemned to wander for a time in this world
because of it's sins. (To escape the perpetual torments inflicted
upon it by evil spirits, the dybbul seeks refuge in the body
of some pious man or woman over whom the demons have no power.
The dybbuk is a Cabalistic conception)
Ech - A groam, a disparaging exclamation
Efsher - Maybe, could be
Ei! Ei! - Yiddish exclamation equivalent to the English "Oh!"
Eingeshpahrt - Stubborn
Eingetunken - Dipped, dunked
Einhoreh - The evil eye
Eizel - Fool, dope
Ek velt - End of the world
Emes - The truth
Er bolbet narishkeiten - He talks nonsense
Er est vi noch a krenk. - He eats as if he just recovered
from a sickness.
Er frest vi a ferd. - He eats like a horse.
Er hot a makeh. - He has nothing at all (Lit., He has a boil
or a minor hurt.)
Er hot nit zorg. - He hasn't got a worry.
Er iz a niderrechtiker kerl! - He's a low down good-for-nothing.
Er iz shoyn du, der nudnik! - The nuisance is here already!
Er macht a tel fun dem. - He ruins it.
Er zitst oyf shpilkes. - He's restless. (Lit., He sits on
pins and needles.)
Er zol vaksen vi a tsibeleh, mit dem kop in drerd! - He should
grow like an onion, with his head in the ground!
Eretz Yisroel - Land of Israel
Es brent mir ahfen hartz. - I have a heartburn.
Es gait nit! - It doesn't work! It isn't running smoothly!
Es gefelt mir. - I like it. (Lit., It pleases, me.)
Es hot zich oysgelohzen a boydem! - Nothing came of it! (Lit.,
There's nothing up there but a small attic.)
Es iz a shandeh far di kinder! - It's a shame for the children!
Es iz (tsu) shpet. - It is (too) late.
Es ken gemolt zein. - It is conceivable. It is imaginable.
Es macht mir nit oys. - It doesn't matter to me.
Es past nit. - Is is not becoming. It is not fitting.
Es tut mir a groisseh hanoeh! - It gives me great pleasure!(often
Es tut mir bahng. - I'm sorry. (Lit., It sorrows me)
Es tut mir vai - It hurts me.
Es vert mir finster in di oygen. - I am fainting! (Lit., It's
getting dark in my eyes.)
Es vet gornit helfen! - Nothing will help!!
Es vet helfen vi a toiten bahnkes! - It won't help (any)!
(Lit., It will help like blood-cupping on a dead body.)
Ess gezunterhait - Eat in good health
Essen mitik - Dine
Essen teg - Yeshiva students would arrange to be fed by various
householders on a daily basis in different houses. (Lit.,
Faigelah - Bird (also used as a deragatory reference to a
Fantazyor - Man who builds castles in the air
Farbissener - Embittered; bitter person
Farblondzhet - Lost, bewildered, confused
Farblujet - Bending your ear
Fardeiget - Distressed, worried, full of care, anxiety
Fardinen a mitzveh - Earn a blessing or a merit (by doing
a good deed)
Fardrai zich dem kop! - Go drive yourself crazy!
Fardross - Disappointment, sorrow
Farfolen - Lost
Farfoylt - Mildewed, rotten, decayed
Farfroyren - Frozen
Farkuckt (taboo) - Dungy, shitty
Farmach dos moyl! - Shut up! Quiet. (Lit., Shut your mouth.)
Farmatert - Tired
Farmisht - Befuddled
Farmutshet - Worn out, fatigued, exhausted
Farshlepteh krenk - Fruitless, endless matter (Lit., A sickness
that hangs on)
Farshmeieter - Highly excitable person; always on the go
Farshnoshket - Loaded, drunk
Farshtaist? - You understand?
Farshtopt - Stuffed
Farshtunken - Smeels bad, stinks
Farshvitst - sweaty
Far-tshadikt - Confused, bewildered, befuddled, as if by fumes,
Feinkochen- Omelet, scrambled eggs
Feinshmeker - Hi falutin'
Ferd - Horse, (slang) a fool
Fet - Fat, obese
Finster un glitshik - Miserable (Lit., Dark and slippery)
Fisfinger - Toes
Focha - Fan
Foigel - Smart guy
Foiler - Lazy man
Folg mich! - Obey me!
Fonfen - Speak through the nose
For gezunterhait! - Bon voyage! Travel in good health!
Forshpeiz - Appetizer
Fortz - Fart
Frageh - Question
Frailech - Happy
Frassk - Slap in the face
Freint - Friend, Mr.
Fremder - Stranger
Fress - Eat....pig out.
Fressen - Eat like a pig, devour
Fressing - Gourmandizing (By adding the English suffix "ing"
to the Yiddish word "fress", a new English word
in the vocabulary of American Jews has been created.)
Froy - Woman, Mrs.
Frum, (frimer) - Pious, religious, devout
Funfeh - Speaker's fluff, error
Gai avek! - Go away
Gai feifen ahfen yam! - Go peddle your fish elsewhere!
Gai gezunterhait! - Go in good health
Gai in drerd arein! - Go to hell!
Gai kucken ahfen yam! - Get lost
Gai platz! - Go split your guts!
Gai shlog dein kup en vant! - Go bang your head against the
Gai shoyn, gai. - Scram! also, Don't be silly!
Gai strasheh di vantzen - You don't frighten me! (Lit., Go
threaten the bed bugs)
Gai tren zich. (taboo) - Go fuck yourself
Gait, gait! - Come now!
Gait es nit! - It doesn't work!
Galitsianer - Jewish native of Galicia
Ganef - Crook, thief, burglar, swindler, racketeer
Gatns gut - Quite well
Gantseh megilleh - Big deal! (derisive)
Gantser k'nacker! - Big shot!
Gantser mentsh - Manly, a whole man, a complete man; an adult;
a fellow who assumes airs
Gatkes - Long winter underwear
Geben shoychad - To bribe
Gebentsht mit kinder - Blessed with children
Gebrenteh tsores - Utter misery
Gebrochener english - Fractured English
Gedainkst? - Remember?
Geferlech - Dangerous
Geharget zolstu veren! - Drop dead! (Lit., You should get
Gelaimter - Person who drops whatever he touches
Gelibteh - Beloved
Gelt - Money
Gelt gait tzu gelt. - Money goes to money.
Gembeh! - Big mouth!
Gemitlich - Slowly, unhurried, gently
Genaivisheh shtiklech - Tricky, sharp, crooked actions or
Genug iz genug. - Enough is enough!
Gesheft - Business
Geshmak - Tasty, delicious
Geshtroft - Cursed, accursed; punished
Geshvollen - Swollen, puffed up (Also applied to person with
Get - Divorce
Gevaldikeh Zach! - A terrible thing! (often ironically)
Gezunteh moid! - Brunhilde, a big healthy dame
Gezunt vi a ferd - Strong as a horse
Gezunterhait - In good health
Gib mir nit kain einorah! - Don't give me a canary! (Americanism,
Lit., Don't give me an evil eye)
Gib zich a traisel - Get a move on
Gleichvertel - Wisecrack, pun, saying, proverb, bon mot, witticism
Glezel tai - Glass of tea
Glick - Luck, piece of luck
Gloib mir! - Believe me!
G'nossen tsum emess! - The sneeze confirmed the truth!
Goldeneh chasseneh - Fiftieth wedding anniversary
Gornisht - Nothing
Got in himmel! - G-d in heaven! (said in anguish, despair,
fear or frustration)
Got tsu danken - Thank G-d
Got zol ophiten! - G-d forbid!
Gotteniu! - Oh G-d! (anguished cry)
Goy - Any person who is not Jewish
Goyeh - Gentile woman
Goyim - Group of non-Jewish persons
Greps - Blech; a burp if it's a mild one
Grob - Coarse, crude, profane, rough, rude
Grober - Coarse, uncouth, crude person
Grois-halter - Show-off, conceited person
Groisseh gedilleh! - Big deal! (said sarcastically)
Groisser gornisht - Big good-for-nothing
Groisser potz! (taboo) - Big penis! Big prick! (deragatory
Gut far him! - Serves him right!
G'vir - Rich man
Haimish ponem - A friendly face
Haiseh vanneh - Hot bath
Haken a tsheinik - Boring, long-winded and annoying conversation;
talking for the sake of talking (Lit., To bang on the tea-kettle)
Hak flaish - Chopped meat
Hak mir nit in kop! - Stop bending my ear (Lit.; Stop banging
on my head)
Halevei! - If only...
Hamoyn - Common people
Handlen - To bargain; to do business
Hartsvaitik - Heart ache
Heizel - Whorehouse
Hekdish - Decrepit place, a slumhouse, poorhouse; a mess
Heldish - Brave
Hert zich ein! - Listen here!
Hetsken zich - Shake and dance with joy
Hikevater - Stammerer
Hinten - Rear, rear parts, backside, buttocks; in the rear
Hit zich! - Look out!
Hitsik - Hothead
Hitskop - Excitable person
Hob derech erets - Have respect
Hob nit kain deiges - Don't worry
Hoben tsu zingen un tsu zogen - Have no end of trouble (Lit.,To
sing and to talk)
Hoizer gaier - Beggar
Hoizirer - Peddler (from house to house)
Holishkes - Stuffed Cabbage
Host du bie mir an avleh! - So I made a mistake. So what!
Hulyen - A hellraiser
Ich bin ahntoisht - I am disapointed
Ich bin dich nit mekaneh - I don't envy you
Ich darf es ahf kapores - It's good for nothing! I have no
use for it. (Lit., I need it for a [useless] fowl sacrifice)
Ich darf es vi a loch in kop! - I need it like a hole in the
Ich eil zich (nit) - I am (not) in a hurry
Ich feif oif dir! - I despise you! Go to the devil! (Lit.,
I whistle on you!)
Ich hob dir! - Drop dead! Go flap you ears! (Lit., I have
Ich hob dich in bod! - To hell with you! (Lit., I have you
in the bath house!)
Ich hob es in drerd! - To hell with it
Ich hob im feint - I hate him
Ich hob im in bod! - To hell with him
Ich vais - I know
Ich vais nit. - I don't know.
Ich vel dir geben kadoches! - I'll give you nothing! (Lit.,
I'll give you malaria or a fever.)
Ich yog zich nit. - I'm not in a hurry.
Ich zol azoy vissen fun tsores. - I should know as little
about trouble (as I know about what you are asking me).
Iker - Substance; people of substance
In a noveneh - For a change; once in a blue moon
In di alteh guteh tseiten! - In the good old days!
In drerd mein gelt! - My money went down the drain! (Lit.,
My money went to burial in the earth, to hell.)
In miten drinen - In the middle of; suddenly
Ipish - Bad odor, stink
Ir gefelt mir zaier. - You please me a great deal.
Iz brent mir ahfen hartz. - I have a heartburn.
Kaas (in kaas oyf) - Angry (with)
Kabaret forshtelung - Floorshow
Kabtzen, kaptsen - Pauper
Kaddish - A mourner's prayer
Kaddishel - Baby son; endearing term for a boy or man (Derived
from word "kaddish" which is a prayer for the dead
that only males recite)
Kadoches - Fever
Kadoches mit koshereh fodem! - Absolutely nothing! (Lit.,
fever with a kosher thread)
Kaftan - Long coat worn by religious Jews
Kain ein horeh - No evil eye! (Some say "don't give me
Kakapitshi - Conglomeration
Kalamutneh - Dreary, gloomy, troubled
Kalleh moid - A girl of marriageable age
Kallehniu - Little bride
Kalyekeh - Cripple; misfit; also, anybody not good at their
craft or sport
Kalyeh - Bad, wrong, spoiled
Kam derlebt - Narrowly achieved (Lit., hardly lived to see)
Kam mit tsores! - Barely made it! (Lit., with some troubles)
The word "Kam," also is pronounced "Kom"
or "Koim" depending on the region people come from.
Kam vos er kricht - Barley able to creep; Mr. Slowpoke
Kam vos er lebt - He's hardly (barely) alive.
Kamtsoness - To be miserly
Kaneh - An enema
Kaporeh, (kapores) - Atonement sacrifice; forgiveness; (slang)
good for nothing
Karabelnick - Country peddler
Karger - Miser, tightwad
Kasheh - Groats, mush cereal, buckwheat, porridge; a mess,
Kasheh varnishkes - Cooked groats and broad (or bowtie) noodles
Kashress - Kosher condition; Jewish religious dietary law
Kasnik, (keisenik) - Angry person; excitable person, hot head
Kasokeh - Cross-eyed
Katshkedik (Americanism) - Ducky, swell, pleasant
Katzisher kop - Forgetful (Lit., Cat head)
Kazatskeh - Lively Russian dance
Kemfer - Fighter (usually for a cause)
Ken zein - Maybe, could be
(To) Kibbitz - To offer unsolicited advice as a spectator
Kibbitzer - Meddlesome spectator
Kiddish (Borai pri hagofen) - Blessing over wine on the eve
of Sabbath or Festivals
Kimpet-tzettel - Childbirth amulet or charm (from the German
"kind-bet-tzettel" meaning childbirth label containing
Psalm 121, names of angels, patriarchs
Kimpetoren - Woman in labour or immediately after the delivery
Kind un kait - Young and old
Kinderlech - Diminutive, affectionate term for children
Kishef macher - Magic-worker
Kishkeh - Stuffed derma (Sausage shaped, stuffed with a mixture
of flour, onions, salt, pepper and fat to keep it together,
it is boiled, roasted and sliced)
(A) Kitsel - Tickle
Klainer gornisht - Little prig (Lit., A little nothing)
Klemt beim hartz - Clutches at my heartstrings
Klaperkeh - Talkative woman
Klipeh - Gabby woman, shrew, a female demon
Klogmuter - Complainer, chronic complainer
(A) Klog iz mir! - Woe is me!
Klop - Bang, a real hard punch or wallop
Klotz (klutz) - Ungraceful, awkward, clumsy person; bungler
Klotz kasheh - Foolish question; fruitless question
Kloymersht - Not in reality, pretended (Lit., as if it were)
K'nacker - A big shot
K'naidel (pl., k'naidlech) - Dumplings usually made of matzoh
meal, cooked in soup
K'nippel - Button, knot; hymen, virginity; money tied in a
knot in a handkerchief
K'nish (taboo) - Vagina
K'nishes - Baked dumplings filled with potato, meat, liver
Kochalain - Summer boarding house with cooking privileges
(Lit., cook by yourself)
Kochedik - Petulant, excitable
Kochleffel - One who stirs up trouble; gadabout, busy-body
(Lit., a cooking ladle)
Kolboynik - Rascally know-it-all
(A) Kop oif di plaitses! - Good, common sense! (Lit., A head
on the shoulders!)
Kopvaitik - Headache
Kosher - Jewish dietary laws based on "cleanliness".
Also referring to the legitimacy of a situation. "This
plan doesn't seem kosher".
Koved - Respect, honour, reverence, esteem
Krank - Sick
Krank-heit - Sickness
Krassavitseh - Beauty, a doll, beautiful woman
Krechts - Groan, moan
Krechtser - Blues singer, a moaner
Kreplach - Small pockets of dough filled with chopped meat
which look like ravioli, or won ton, and are eaten in soup;
(slang) nothing, valueless
Kroivim - Relatives
Kuck im on (taboo) - Defecate on him! The hell with him!
Kuck zich oys! (taboo) - Go take a shit for yourself!
Kugel - Pudding
Kuk im on! - Look at him!
Kumen tsu gast - To visit
Kuntzen - Tricks
Kunyehlemel - Naive, clumsy, awkward person; nincompoop; Casper
Kurveh - Whore, prostitute
Kush in toches arein! (taboo) - Kiss my behind! (said to somebody
who is annoying you)
Kushinyerkeh - Cheapskate; woman who comes to a store and
asks for a five cents' worth of vinegar in her own bottle
K'vatsh - Boneless person, one lacking character; a whiner,
K'velen - Glow with pride and happiness, beam; be delighted
K'vetsh - Whine, complain; whiner, a complainer
K'vitsh - Shriek, scream, screech
Lachen mit yash-tsherkes - Forced or false laugh; laugh with
Laidik-gaier - Idler, loafer
Lamden - Scholar, erudite person, learned man
Lang leben zolt ir! - Long may you live!
Lantsman - Countryman, neighbour, fellow townsman from "old
Lapeh - Big hand
(A) Lebedikeh velt! - A lively world!
(A) Lebediker - Lively person
(A) Leben ahf dein kop! - Words of praise like; Well said!
Well done! (Lit., A long life upon your head.)
Lebst a chazerishen tog! - Living high off the hog!
L'chei-im, le'chayim! - To life! (the traditional Jewish toast);
To your health, skol
Leibtzudekel - Sleeveless shirt (like bib) with fringes, worn
by orthodox Jews
Leiden - To suffer
Lemeshkeh - Milquetoast, bungler
Leveiyeh - Funeral
Lig in drerd! - Get lost! Drop dead! (Lit., Bury yourself!)
Ligner - Liar
Litvak - Lithuanian; Often used to connote shrewdness and
skepticism, because the Lithuanian Jews are inclined to doubt
the magic powers of the Hasidic leaders; Also, a person who
speaks with the Northeastern Yiddish accent.
Loch - Hole
Loch in kop - Hole in the head.
Lokshen - Noodles
Loz mich tzu ru! - Leave me alone! (Lit., Let me be in peace!)
Luftmentsh - Person who has no business, trade, calling, nor
Luch in kup - A hole in the head ( " I need this like
a luch in kup").
Machareikeh - Gimmick, contraption
Macher - big shot, person with access to authorities, man
Magilla - Long story
Maidel - Unmarried girl, teenager
Maideleh - Little girl (affectionate term)
Maiven - Expert, connoisseur, authority
Makeh - Plague, wound, boil, curse
Mamoshes - Substance, people of substance.
Manzer - Bastard, disliked person, untrustworthy
Mashgiach - Inspector, overseer or supervisor of Kashruth
in restaurants & hotels.
Mashugga - Crazy
Mazel Tov - Good Luck
Me ken brechen! - You can vomit from this!
Me ken lecken di finger! - It's delicious!
Me lost nit leben! - They don't let you live!
Me redt zich oys dos hartz! - Talk your heart out!
Mecheieh - A great pleasure
Mein bobbeh's ta'am - Bad taste! Old fashioned taste!
Mein cheies gait oys! - I'm dying for it!
Mekler - Go-between
Menner vash tsimmer - Men's room
Mentsh - A special man or person. One who can be respected.
Meshpucha - Extended family
Meshugass - Madness, insanity, craze
Meshugeh - Crazy
Meshugeh ahf toit! - Crazy as a loon. Really crazy!
Meshugeneh - Mad, crazy, insane female.
Meshugener - Mad, crazy, insane man
Me zogt - They say; it is said.
Mies - Ugly
Mieskeit - Ugly thing or person.
Mikveh - Ritual bath used by women just prior to marriage
as well as after each monthy cycle. This tradition coincides
with the belief that women are not considered to be clean
due to menstruation. The practice has been more or less abandoned
with the exception of the ultra-orthodox members of the Jewish
Minyan - Quorum of ten men necessary for holding public worship
(must be over 13 years of age)
Mirtsishem - G-d willing
Mitten derinnen - All of a sudden, suddenly
Mitzvah - Good deed
Mogen Dovid - Star of David
Moisheh kapoyer - Mr. Upside-Down! A person who does everything
Mosser - Squealer
Moyel - Person (usually a rabbi) who performs circumcisions.
Mutek - Brave
Mutshen zich - To sweat out a job
Muttelmessig - Meddlesome person, kibbitzer
Na! - Here! Take it. There you have it.
Naches - Joy: Gratification, especially from children.
Nacht falt tsu. - Night is falling; twilight
Nadan - Dowry
Nafkeh - Prostitute
Nafkeh bay-is - Whorehouse
Naidlechech - Rare thing
Nar - Fool
Nar ainer! - You fool, you!
Narish - Foolish
Narishkeit - Foolishness
Nebach - It's a pity. Unlucky, pitiable person.
Nebbish - A nobody, simpleton, weakling, awkward person
Nebechel - Nothing, a pitiful person; or playing role of being
(A) Nechtiker tog! - He's (it's) gone! Forget it! Nonsense!
(Lit., a yesterday's day)
Nem zich a vaneh! - Go take a bath! Go jump in the lake!
Neshomeh - Soul, spirit
Neshomeleh - Sweetheart, sweet soul
Nifter-shmifter, a leben macht er? - What difference does
it make as long as he makes a living? (Lit., nifter means
Nishkosheh - Not so bad, satisfactory. (This has nothing to
do with the word "kosher", but comes from the Hebrew
and means "hard, heavy," thus "not bad."
Nisht do gedacht! - It shouldn't happen! G-d forbid! (Lit.,
May we be saved from it! [sad event] )
Nishtgedeiget - Don't worry; doesn't worry
Nisht gefonfit! - Don't hedge. Don't fool around. Don't double-talk.
Nisht getrofen! - So I guessed wrong!
Nisht gut - Not good, lousy
Nisht naitik - Not necessary
Nishtgutnick - No-good person
Nishtikeit! - A nobody!
Nishtu gedacht! - It shouldn't happen! G-d forbid!
Nit kain farshloffener - A lively person
Nit ahin, nit aher - Neither here nor there
Nit gidacht! - It shouldn't happen! (Same as nishtu gedacht)
Nit gidacht gevorn. - It shouldn't come to pass.
Nit kosher - Impure food. Also, slang, anything not good
Nit heint, nit morgen! - Not today, not tomorrow!
Nito farvos! - You're welcome!
Noch nisht - Not yet
Nochshlepper - Hanger-on, unwanted follower
Nor Got vaist - Only G-d knows.
Nosh - Snack
Nosherie - Snack food
Nu? - So? Well?
Nu, shoyn! - Move, already! Hurry up! Let's go! Aren't you
Nudnik - Pesty nagger, nuisance, a bore, obnoxious person
Nudje - Annoying person, badgerer (Americanism)
Nudjen - Badger, annoy persistently
Ober yetzt? - So now? (Yetzt is also spelled itzt)
Obtshepen - Get rid of
Och un vai! - Alas and alack: woe be to it!
Oder a klop, oder a fortz (taboo) - Either too much or not
enough (Lit., either a wallop or a fart)
Ohmain - Amen
Oi!! - Yiddish exclamation to denote disgust, pain, astonishment
Oi, a shkandal! - Oh, what a scandal!
Oi, gevald - Cry of anguish, suffering, frustration or for
Oi, Vai! - Dear me! Expression of dismay or hurt
Oi vai iz mir! - Woe is me!
Oisgeshtrobelt! - Overdressed woman.
Oisgeshtrozelt - Decorated (beautiful)
Ois-shteler - Braggart
Oiver botel - Absentminded: getting senile
Okuratner mentsh - Orderly person
Olreitnik! - Nouveau riche!
On langeh hakdomes! - Cut it short! (Lit., without long introductions.)
Ongeblozzen - Conceited: peevish, sulky, pouting
Ongeblozzener - Stuffed shirt
Ongematert - Tired out
Ongepatshket - Cluttered, disordered, scribbled, sloppy, muddled,
Ongeshtopt - Very wealthy
Ongeshtopt mit gelt - Very wealthy; (Lit., stuffed with money)
Ongetrunken - Drunk
Ongetshepter - Bothersome hanger-on
Ongevarfen - Cluttered, disordered
Onshikenish - Hanger-on
Onshikenish - Pesty nagger
Onzaltsen - Giving you the business; bribe; soft-soap; sweet-talk
(Lit., to salt)
Opgeflickt! - Done in! Suckered! Milked!
Opgehitener - Pious person
Opgekrochen - Shoddy
Opgekrocheneh schoireh - Shoddy merchandise
Opgelozen(er) - Careless dresser
Opgenart - Cheated, fooled
Opnarer - Trickster, shady operator
Opnarerei - Deception
Orehman - Poor man, without means
Oremkeit - Poverty
Oybershter in himmel - G-d in heaven
Oych a bashefenish - Also a V.I.P.! A big person! (said derogatorily,
sarcastically, or in pity)
Oych mir a leben! - This too is a living! This you call a
Oyfen himmel a yarid! - Much ado about nothing! Impossible!
(Lit., In heaven there's a big fair!)
Oyfgekumener - Come upper, upstart
Oys shiddech - The marriage is off!
Oysgedart - Skinny, emaciated
Oysgehorevet - Exhausted
Oysgematert - Tired out, worn out
Oysgemutshet - Worked to death, tired out
Oysgeputst - Dressed up, overdressed; overdecorated
Oysgeshprait - Spread out
Oysvurf - Outcast, bad person
Paigeren zol er! - He should drop dead!
Pamelech - Slow, slowly
Parech - Low-life, a bad man
Parnosseh - Livelihood
Parshiveh - Mean, cheap
Parshoin - He-man
Partatshnek - Inferior merchandise or work
Parveh - Neutral food, neither milchidik (dairy) nor flaishidik
Paskudnik, paskudnyak - Ugly, revolting, evil person; nasty
Past nit. - It isn't proper.
Patsh - Slap, smack on the cheek
Patshkies around - Anglicized characterization of one who
Patteren tseit - To lounge around; waste time
Petseleh - Little penis
Phooey! fooey, pfui - Designates disbelief, distaste, contempt
Pipek - Navel, belly button
Pishechtz - Urine
Pisher - Male infant, a little squirt, a nobody
Pisk - Slang, for mouth; insultingly, it means a big mouth,
Pisk-Malocheh - Big talker-little doer! (man who talks a good
line but does nothing)
Pitshetsh - Chronic complainer
Pitsel - Wee, tiny
Pitsvinik - Little nothing
Plagen - Work hard, sweat out a job, suffer
Plagen zich - To suffer
Plaplen - Chatter
Plats! - Burst! Bust your guts out! Split your guts!!
Plyotkenitzeh - A gossip
Preplen - To mutter, mumble
Prietzteh - Princess; finicky girl; (having airs, giving airs;
being snooty) prima donna!
Prost - Coarse, common, vulgar
Prostaches - Low class people
Prostak - Ignorant boor, coarse person, vulgar man
Prosteh leit - Simple people, common people; vulgar, ignorant,
"low class" people
Proster mentsh - Vulgar man, common man
Ptsha - Cows feet in jelly
Punim - Face
Pupik - Navel, belly button, gizzard, chicken stomachs
Pupiklech - Dish of chicken gizzards
Pushkeh - Little box for coins
Pustunpasnik - Loafer, idler
Pyesseh - A play, drama
Saichel - Common sense, good sense; tact, diplomacy
S'art eich? - What does it matter to you? Does it matter to
Se brent nit! - Don't get excited! (Lit., It's not on fire!)
Se shtinkt! - It stinks!
Se zol dir grihmen in boych! - You should get a stomach cramp!
Sha! (gently said) - Please keep quiet.
Shabbes goy - Someone doing the dirty work for others (Lit;,
gentile doing work for a Jew on Sabbath)
Shadchen - Matchmaker or marriage broker; (There is the professional
type who derives his living from it, but many Jewish women
used to engage in matchmaking without compensation only from
Shaigitz - Non-Jewish boy; wild Jewish boy
Shaigetz ainer! - Berating term for irreligious Jewish boy,
one who flouts Jewish law
Shain vi di zibben velten - Beautiful as the seven worlds
Shaineh maidel - pretty girl
Shainer gelechter - Hearty laugh (sarcastically, Some laughter!)
Shainkeit - Beauty
Shaitel, (sheitel) - Wig (at the wedding the ultra-orthodox
bride has her hair cut off and she wears a shaitel ever after)
Shalach mohnes - Customary gifts exchanges on Purim, usually
Shalom - Peace (a watchword and a greeting)
Shammes - Sexton, beadle of the synagogue, also, the lighter
taper used to light other candles on a menorah, a policeman
Shandhoiz - Brothel, whorehouse
Shat, shat! Hust! - Quiet! Don't get excited
Shatnes - Proscription against wearing clothes that are mixed
of wool and linen
Shemevdik - Bashful, shy
Shepen naches - Enjoy; gather pleasure, draw pleasure, especially
Shidech (pl., shiduchim) - Match, marriage, betrothal
Shihi-pihi - Mere nothings
Shik-yingel - Messenger
Shikker - Drunkard
Shikseh - Non-Jewish girl
Shiva - Mourning period of seven days observed by family and
friends of deceased
Shkapeh - A hag, a mare; worthless
Shkotz - Berating term for mischivous Jewish boy
Shlak - Apoplexy; a wretch, a miserable person; shoddy; shoddy
Shlang - Snake, serpent; a troublesome wife; penis (taboo)
Shlatten shammes - Communal busybody, tale bearer; messenger
Shlecht - Bad
Shlecht veib - Shrew (Lit., a bad wife)
Shlemiel - Clumsy bunglar, an inept person, butter-fingered;
Shlep - Drag, carry or haul, particularly unnecessary things,
parcels or baggage; to go somewhere unwillingly or unwantedly
Shleppen - To drag, pull, carry, haul
Shlepper - Sponger, panhanddler, hanger-om; dowdy, gossipy
Shlimazel - Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with perpetual
bad luck (it is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on
Shlog zich kop in vant. - Break your own head! (Lit., bang
your head on the wall)
Shlog zich mit Got arum! - Go fight City Hall! (Lit., Go fight
Shlogen - To beat up
Shlok - A curse; apoplexy
Shlosser - Mechanic
Shlub - A jerk; a foolish, stupid or unknowing person, second
Shlump - Careless dresser, untidy person; as a verb, to idle
or lounge around
Shlumperdik - Unkempt, sloppy
Shmaltz - Grease or fat; (slang) flattery; to sweet talk,
overly praise, dramatic
Shmaltzy - Sentimental, corny
Shmatteh - Rag, anything worthless
Shmeis - Bang, wallop
Shmek tabik - Nothing of value (Lit., a pinch of snuff)
Shmeer - The business; the whole works; to bribe, to coat
Shmegegi - Buffoon, idiot, fool
Shmeichel - To butter up
Schmeikel - To swindle, con, fast-talk.
Shmendrik - nincompoop; an inept or indifferent person; same
Shmo(e) - Naive person, easy to deceive; a goof (Americanism)
Shmok (taboo) - Self-made fool; obscene for penis: derisive
term for a man
Shmontses -Trifles, folly
Shmooz; (shmuess) - Chat, talk
Shmulky! - A sad sack!
Shmuts - Dirt, slime
Shmutzik - Dirty, soiled
Shnapps - Whiskey, same as bronfen
Shnecken - Little fruit and nut coffee rolls
Shneider - Tailor; in gin rummy card game, to win game without
Shnell - Quick, quickly
Shnook - A patsy, a sucker, a sap, easy-going, person easy
to impose upon, gullible
Shnorrer - A beggar who makes pretensions to respectability;
sponger, a parasite
Shnur - Daughter-in-law
Shoymer - Watchman; historically refers also to the armed
Jewish watchman in the early agricultural settlements in the
Shoymer mitzves - Pious person
Shoyn ainmol a' metsei-eh! - Really a bargain
Shoyn fargessen? - You have already forgotten?
Shoyn genug! - That's enough!
Shpilkes - Pins and needles
Shpitsfinger - Toes
Shpogel nei - Brand-new
Shreklecheh zach - A terrible thing
Shtark, shtarker - Strong, brave
Shtark gehert - Smelled bad (used only in reference to food;
Lit., strongly heard)
Shtark vi a ferd - Stong as a horse
Shav - Cold spinach soup, sorrel grass soup, sour leaves soup
Shtik - Piece, bit: a special bit of acting
Shtik drek (taboo) - Piece of shit; shit-head
Shtik goy - Idiomatic expression for one inclined to heretical
views, or ingnorance of Jewish religious values
Shtik naches - Grandchild, child, or relative who gives you
pleasure; a great joy
Stikel - Small bit or piece; a morsel
Shtiklech - Tricks; small pieces
Shtilinkerait - Quietly
Shtoltz - Pride; unreasonably and stubbornly proud, excessive
Shtrudel - Sweet cake made of paper-thin dough rolled up with
(A) Shtunk - A guy who doesn't smell too good; a stink (bad
odor) a lousy human
Shtup - Push, shove; vulgarism for sexual intercourse
Shtup es in toches! (taboo) - Shove (or stick) it up your
Shul - Colloquial Yiddish for synagogue
Shule - School
Shushkeh - A whisper; an aside
Shutfim - Associates
Shvachkeit - Weakness
Shvegerin - Sister-in-law
Shvengern - Be pregnant
Shver - Father-in-law; heavy, hard, difficult
Shviger - Mother-in-law
Shvindel - Fraud, deception, swindle
Shvindeldik - Dizzy, unsteady
Shvitz bod - Steam bath
Shvoger - Brother-in-law
Sidder - Jewish prayer book for weekdays and Saturday
Simcheh - Joy; also refers to a joyous occasioin
Sitzfleish - Patience that can endure sitting (Lit., sitting
Smetteneh - Sour cream; Cream
Sof kol sof - Finally
S'teitsh! - Listen! Hold on! How is that? How is that possible?
Strasheh mich nit! - Don't threaten me!
Ta'am - Taste, flavor; good taste
Tahkeh - Really! Is that so? Certainly!
Tahkeh a metsieh - Really a bargain! (usually said with sarcasm)
Taiglech - Small pieces of baked dough or little cakes dipped
Tallis - Rectangular prayer-shawl to whose four corners, fringes
Talmud - The complete treasury of Jewish law interpreting
the Torah into livable law
Talmud Torah - The commandment to study the Law; an educational
institution for orphans and poor children, supported by the
community; in the United States, a Hebrew school for children
Tandaitneh - Inferior
Tararam - Big noise, big deal
Tashlich - Ceremony of the casting off of sins on the Jewish
New Year (crumbs of bread symbolizing one's sins are cast
away into a stream of water in the afternoon of the Jewish
New Year, Rosh Hashoneh)
Tateh, tatteh, tatteh, tatteleh, tatinka, tatteniu - Father,
papa, daddy, pop
Tateh-mameh, papa-mama - Parents
Tatenui - Father dear (The suffix "niu" in Yiddish
is added for endearing intimacy; also, God is addressed this
way by the pious; Tateniu-Foter means God, our Father
Teier - Dear, costly, expensive
Tei-yerinkeh! - Sweetheart, dearest
Temp - Dolt
Temper kop - Dullard
T'noim - Bethrothal, engagement
Toches - Buttocks, behind, fanny (ass)
Toches ahfen tish! - Put up or shut up! Let's conclude this!
(Lit., Asses on the table!)
Toches-lecker - Brown-noser, apple-polisher, ass-kisser
Togshul - Day school
Toig ahf kapores! - Good for nothing! It's worth nothing!
Traif - Forbidden food, impure, contrary to the Jewish dietary
Traifener bain - Jew who does not abide by Jewish law (derisive,
Traifeneh bicher - Forbidden literature
Traifnyak - Despicable person; on who eats non-kosher food
Trenen - To tear, rip
Trogedik - Pregnant
Trog gezunterhait! - Wear it in good health!
Trombenik - A bum, no-good person, ne'er-do-well; a faker
Tsaddik - Pious, righteous person
Tsatskeh - Doll, plaything; something cute; an overdressed
woman; a sexy girl
Tsatskeleh der mamehs! - Mother's favorite! Mother's pet!
Tsebrech a fus! - Break a leg!
Tsedokeh - Spirit of philantrophy; charity, benevolence
Tsedrait - Nutty, crazy, screwy
Tsedraiter kop - Bungler
Tsemisht - Confused, befuddled, mixed-up
Tshatshki - Toy, doo-dad; pretty girl
Tshepen - To annoy, irk, plague, bother, attack unwantedly
Tsevishen-shtotisheh telefonistkeh - Long distance operator
Tsegait zich in moyl - It melts in the mouth, delicious, yummy-yummy
Tsemishnich - Confusion
Tsiklen zich - The cantor's ecstatic repetition of a musical
Tsimmes - Sweet carrot compote; (slang) a major issue made
out of a minor event
Tsitskeh - Breast, teat, udder
Tsnueh - Chaste
Tsores - Troubles, misery
Tsutsheppenish - Hanger-on; unwanted companion; pest; nuisance
Tsum glik, tsum shlimazel - For better, for worse
Tu mir a toiveh. - Do me a favor.
Tu mir nit kain toives. - Don't do me any favors.
Tumel - Confusion, noise, uproar
Tumler - A noise-maker (person); an agitator
Tut vai dos harts - Heartbroken
Tzitzis - Fringes attached to the four corners of the tallis
Tzufil! - Too much! Too costly!
Yachneh - A coarse, loud-mouthed woman; a gossip; a slattern
Yachsen - Man of distinguished lineage, highly connected person,
Yarmelkeh - Traditional Jewish skull cap, usually worn during
prayers; worn at all times by observant Orthodox Jews.
Yashir koyech - May your strength continue
Yatebedam - A man who threatens; one who thinks he's a "big
shot"; a blusterer
Yedies - News; cablegrams; announcements
Yefayfiyeh - Beauty; woman of great beauty
Yenems - Someone else's; (the brand of cigarettes moochers
Yeneh velt - The other world; the world to come
Yenteh - Gaggy, talkative woman; female blabbermouth
Yentzen (taboo) - To fornicate, to whore
Yeshiveh - Jewish traditional higher school, talmudical academy
Yeshiveh bocher - Student of talmudic academy
Yeshuvnik - Farmer, rustic
Yichus - Pedigree, ancestry, family background, nobility
Yiddisher kop - Jewish head
Yingeh tsats-keh! - A young doll! A living doll!
Yiskor - Prayer in commemoration of the dead (Lit., May God
Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement (the most holy of holy days
of the Jewish calendar)
Yontefdik - Festive, holiday-ish; sharp (referring to clothes)
Yortseit - Anniversary of the day of death of parents or relatives;
Yoysher - Justice, fairness, integrity
Yukel - Buffoon
(A) Yung mit bainer! - A powerhouse! Strongly built person
Yung un alt - Young and old
Yungatsh - Street-urchin, scamp, young rogue
Yungermantshik - A young, vigorous lad; A newlywed