- A 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
- A metsieh fun a ganef - It's a steal (Lit., A bargain from a
- 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
Back to the top
- 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 manner
- 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
Back to the topC
- 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
Back to the topD
- 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 my
- 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
Back to the topE
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 said sarcastically
- 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., Eat days)
Back to the topF
- Faigelah - Bird (also used
as a derogatory reference to a gay person).
- 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
- 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
Back to the topG
- 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,
- 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
- 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 or
- Gut far him! - Serves him right!
- G'vir - Rich man
Back to the topH
- 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
- 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
Back to the top
- 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.
Back to the topK
- 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 a
- 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)
- 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
- 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 or
- 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
- 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)
- 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
Back to the top
- 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
Back to the topM
- Machareikeh - Gimmick, contraption
- Macher - big shot, person with access to authorities, man with
- 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 religion
- 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
Back to the topN
- 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 deceased.)
- 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
- 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
Back to the topO
- 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 or rapture
- Oi, a shkandal! - Oh, what a scandal!
- Oi, gevald - Cry of anguish, suffering, frustration or for help
- 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
- Ongeblozzen - Conceited: peevish, sulky, pouting
- Ongeblozzener - Stuffed shirt
- Ongematert - Tired out
- Ongepatshket - Cluttered, disordered, scribbled, sloppy,
- 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
Back to the topP
- Paigeren zol er! - He should
- 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
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- 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 religious
- 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
- 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 (slang)
- 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 from children
- 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 the shlimazel!)
- 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
- 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 like
- Shmegegi - Buffoon, idiot, fool
- Shmeichel - To butter up
- Schmeikel - To swindle, con, fast-talk.
- Shmendrik - nincompoop; an inept or indifferent person; same as
- 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 Holy Land
- 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!
Back to the top
- Ta'am - Taste, flavor; good taste
- Tahkeh - Really! Is that so? Certainly!
- Tahkeh a metsieh - Really a bargain! (usually said with
- Taiglech - Small pieces of baked dough or little cakes dipped
- Tallis - Rectangular prayer-shawl to whose four corners,
fringes are attached
- 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, scornful expression
- 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,
- 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!
Back to the top
- Yachneh - A coarse, loud-mouthed woman; a gossip; a slattern
- Yachsen - Man of distinguished lineage, highly connected
person, privileged character
- 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; yearly remembrance
- 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