Re: Common Yiddish Words used in English

Sally Khudairi (
Mon, 13 Dec 1999 18:50:29 -0500

To augment your growing vocabulary, you may also want to reference the
Alternative Yiddish Dictionary:

----- Original Message -----
From: Rohit Khare <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, December 13, 1999 7:00 AM
Subject: Common Yiddish Words used in English

> Yiddish Words
> Found in English
> Definition Sample Use
> bob(kes) beans, nothing He gave me babkes.
> kakameyme crazy He's got cacamaimey ideas.
> khalishes ugly That tablecloth is chalcious.
> khazer a pig He eats like a chaza.
> khazeray junk The dollar store is full of chazarai.
> khutspe unmitigated gall Oy, you have got a lot of khutspe!
> farkatk(e) lousy, ridiculous That's a facacta idea.
> farklempt bummed out, bad mood She looks very ferklempt.
> farbisine bitter Don't be so forbissima.
> farblondzhet all mixed up I got all furblungit.
> gey shlofn go to sleep Gay schloffing!
> gelt money I got a lot of gelt for Hanukah.
> goyim non-Jewish people The place was full of goyim.
> goyish(e) mind of a goyim He's got a real goyishke kup.
> ganif thief Don't be such a gunnif.
> kvetsh complainer Don't be such a kvetch.
> landtslayt from your home town They are luntslite.
> makheteyneste in laws My makatenista are coming.(male= mkhutn)
> mazl-tov congratulations Mazel tov on the new baby.
> miskayt ugly The daughter is a real meeskite.
> mentsh a nice gentleman He was such a mensch.
> meshugine crazy person He acts like a real meshungina.
> mishigas craziness What kind of mishigas is that?
> mishpokhe family Bring the whole mishpacha.
> mitsve a good deed That was a real mitzvah you did.
> mamzer born out of wedlock He's a mumza.
> nebekh little nerd He is such a nebish.
> nosh to eat a little something I was noshing all morning.
> pupik belly button You could see her pupick.
> shlep to drag I had to schlep it across town.
> shmendrek jerk He's a real schmendrick.
> shviger mother in law The schvigger is coming.
> shvitsn sweating Oy, am I schvitzing. (note: the ending"ing"
> is an English ending, in Yiddish: I shvits, you shvitst,
> he/sheshvitst, we/they shvitsn, you in plural shvitsn, you in polite
> versionshvitst
> sheygets non-Jewish male She married a shagitz.
> sheyner ponim pretty face Oh, shayna punim.
> shikse non-Jewish female He's going out with a shikse.
> shmates rags Your cloths look like shmatas.
> shmuz dirt It's covered with schmootz.
> shpilkes nervous energy I had shpilkes before the interview.
> shtik routine So, that's his shtick.
> treyf non-kosher That food is trafe.
> tokhes tush I'll pinch your tuchis.
> utzing needling, bothering Stop utzing me.
> mekhaye particularly delicious That dinner was a mechaya
> bobe a "tall" story That story was no bobbe myse.
> khokhme bright idea That's a real good chochmeh.
> kholem dream That's a cholem of a house!
> khutspe nerve She has a lot of chutzpah to talk like that!
> glik happiness Glick in the office makes for glick in the home.
> golem clumsy and sluggish The guy I work with is a real golem.
> handl bargain (verb) If you handel long enough, you'll get a good price.
> kibitz to meddle She likes to kibbutz with everyone at the office
> kunts an accomplishment It was a real koontz to finally reach
> you on the phone.
> kreftik hearty That is some kreftig soup!
> kvel to glow with pride Oy, I could kvell watching those kids
> in the play
> luftmentsh dreamer He's a real luftmensch when it comes to working hard!
> meyvin connoisseur She's quite the mavin when it comes to wine.
> megile a long story I had to sit and and listen to the whole megillah
> metsiye bargain (noun) That store has a great metziah onshoes.
> mezumen cash I have to borrow some mezuma from the bank.
> mishmash hodge-podge There's a whole mishmash of words here.
> nakhes joy I get such nachas from putting these words down.
> nosh snack We'll have a little nosh and then we'll talk
> nosher nibbler I'm a nosher all morning long.
> nudnik pest Stop being a nudnick and leave me alone!
> ongepatsht a little too much That outfit is a little ongapatchka
> pisk big mouth Let's hope he doesn't open up that pisk.
> plats burst You'll laugh until you plotz.
> zay gezundt bless you (when you sneeze)
> shlekht bad That restaurant is generally schlecht
> shlemil dope, fool He's a real schlemiel - always screwing up!
> shmendrik fool The kid is a real schmendrick
> shnorer beggar That guy is a real schnorrer.
> shiker drunkard That shicker has had too much to drink.
> shver father in law My shver is a nice enough guy
> tumul noise, confusion there's a lot of tuml coming from the
> kid's rooms
> tsures troubles That car gives me nothing but tzorress!
> genuk enough I've had genoog out of you today!
> makhn ash un porekh destroy He'll make ashen porach out of that report!
> tsigangnye/bobkelekh small portions Don't worry - you'll get
> tziganna bibkalach
> tsibele onion It will taste better if you spice it up with some tzibeleh.
> shlemazl unlucky person The poor schlemazel had his car stolen.