The Yiddisha Primer


 
Phonetics 	Definition 			Sample Use   

ash un porekh 	destroy 		He'll make ashen porach out of that 						report!   
bob(kes) 	beans, nothing 		He gave me babkes.   
bobe 		a "tall" story 		That story was no bobbe myse.   
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. 
genuk 		enough 			I've had genoog out of you today!   
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.   
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.   
handl 		bargain (verb) 		If you handel long enough, you'll get a good
price.   
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.  
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!  
khutspe 	unmitigated gall 	Oy, you have got a lot of khutspe!   
kibitz 		to meddle/gossip	She likes to kibbitz 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   
kvetsh 		complainer 		Don't be such a kvetch.   
landtslayt 	from your home town 	They are luntslite.   
luftmentsh 	dreamer 		He's a real luftmensch when it comes 						to working hard! 
makheteyneste 	in laws 		My makatenista are coming.(male= 						mkhutn)   
mamzer 		born out of wedlock 	He's a mumza.   
mazl-tov 	congratulations 	Mazel tov on the new baby.   
mentsh 		a nice gentleman 	He was such a mensch.   
megile 		a long story 		I had to sit and and listen to the 						whole megillah.   
mekhaye 	particularly delicious 	That dinner was a mechaya.   
meshugine 	crazy person 		He acts like a real meshungina.   
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.   
mishigas 	craziness 		What kind of mishigas is that?   
miskayt 	ugly 			The daughter is a real meeskite.   
mishpokhe 	family 			Bring the whole mishpacha.   
mitsve 		a good deed 		That was a real mitzvah you did.   
nakhes 		joy 			I get such nachas from putting these 						words down.   
nebekh 		little nerd 		He is such a nebish.   
nosh 		to eat a little snack 	I was noshing all morning.  
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.   
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/she shvitst, we/they 
						shvitsn, you in plural 
						shvitsn, you in polite 
						version shvitst   
sheygets 	non-Jewish male 	She married a shagitz.   
sheyner ponim 	pretty face 		Oh, shayna punim.   
shiksa 		non-Jewish female	He's going out with a shiksa.   
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.   
shlemazl 	unlucky person 		The poor schlemazel had his car 						stolen.   
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.   
shver 		father in law 		My shver is a nice enough guy.   
tokhes 		tush 			I'll pinch your tuchis.   
treyf 		non-kosher 		That food is trafe.   
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.   
tumul 		noise, confusion 	There's a lot of tuml coming from 
						the kid's rooms   
tsures 		troubles 		That car gives me nothing but 						tzorress!   
utzing 		needling, bothering 	Stop utzing me.   
zay gezundt 	bless you (when you sneeze)   








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