Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yiddish Expressions

Yiddish is a language that was spoken by East European Jewss. It is a cross between Hebrew and German. My grandparents spoke it when they came to the US in the early 29th century. I remember my parents would speak in Yiddish when they wouldn't want my sister or I to understand what they were saying. There was a Yiddish newspaper called the Forward and even a Yiddish radio station WEVD. That station eventually dropped foreighn language programming and left the airwaves completely in 2001. Anyway there are many Yiddish expressions that have become part of the New York City vernacular. Here are a few:

Bisel - A little
Goy - Any person who is not Jewish
Mentsh - A special man or person. One who can be respected
Meshugener - Mad, crazy, insane man
Nudnik - Pesty nagger, nuisance, a bore, obnoxious person
Oi, gevald - Cry of anguish, suffering, frustration or for help
Oi, Vai! - Dear me! Expression of dismay or hurt
Shlep - Drag, carry or haul, particularly unnecessary things, parcels or baggage; to go somewhere unwillingly or where you may be unwanted
Shlepper - Sponger, panhandler, hanger-on; dowdy, gossipy woman, free-loader
Shlimazel - Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with perpetual bad luck (it is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on the shlimazel!)

Anyway, my question to readers of this journal - Which of the above has become my favorite Yiddish expression over the past two years?

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