Here is a link to a Yiddish glossary. It is just a sample of words used in Yiddish. Some of the words on the list (and some Yiddish words not on the list) have become part of the English language. Do you recognize any of the words?
I recognise quite a few- we use many in British English.
Certainly, klutz, chutzpah and kibitz have become part of the English language. I have also heard the expression, "That's a cockamamie idea."
- Yiddish Borrowings
bubkes -- lit. beans; nothing
chutzpah -- gall, nerve, or brashness
drek -- shit, literally or figuratively
kibitz -- meddle; offer gratuitious advice
kluz -- dullard; clumsy person
kosher -- fit to eat under Jewish dietary laws; proper, legitimate
maven -- expert, connoisseur
mensch -- admirable human being; person of dignity and integrity
nosh -- snack, nibble, or eat a bit
putz -- lit. penis; jerk
schmooze -- have a heart-to-heart talk; chitchat or gab with one's associates
shlep -- drag, haul around; trudge
shlock -- shoddy, poorly-crafted items
shmaltz -- lit. rendered chicken fat; mawkish over-sentimentality
shmuck -- lit. penis; bad person, idiot, fool, or bastard
shnook -- pathetic but lovable fool, easy mark, or sucker
shnoz -- nose, especially a large one
tush -- buttocks
(From the Word Menu.)
There are others where the origin is less well known, like'slapper' which comes from 'schlep', meaning journey, and is used to describe someone (usually a woman) who has 'been around' in her time.
That's a good one.
I liked it- I'd never have suspected its origins.
By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
Last Post: 12-Jun-2004, 23:38
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