Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mazal Tov

I have always known that the english language yet I didn't realize how much of our slang comes from Yiddish. Yiddish is a mix of German and Hebrew. It is actually more than just a mix of the two but for my understanding that is what I have reduced it to. Yiddish was a very common language before the two world wars since then it has decreased significantly.

In my search I found that I have been speaking yiddish all my life and I didn't even realize it, and for some words I feel a slight embarrassment now that I know the root. Some of the common words that I use are: tush, tuchus, schnook, schmo (I knew a girl who called herself this, it means stupid person), putz, glitch (a common computer term), klutz and even bagel is yiddish.

It is not all that thrilling to find out that words that you know are from another language, since almost all the words I know are from another language. What I like is learning new words from that language. So here is what I found
boychik : boy, young man.
noodge : to pester, nag, whine;
nosh : snack
nudnik : a pest, "pain in the neck";
nu : multipurpose interjection often analogous to "well?" or "so?"
zaftig : plump, chubby, full-figured, as a woman

Well there is my yiddish lesson for the day. I find that most of the yiddish words we took mean something along the lines of a stupid person. I guess we never have enough words to describe stupid people and to laugh at them in our turn. 
Yet on closer inspection I would suggest avoiding the word schmuck.

Today is greet your friends in Yiddish day. Mazal Tov! 

1 comment:

  1. My grandma grew up with her parents speaking Yiddish in the home. Good stuff.
    Too bad it's so uncommon now.