Yiddish Language

If you are in New York City for any length of time, you will encounter some words of the Yiddish language. Here is a brief glossary of Yiddish words to get you up to speed on understanding some of the terms that might not be familiar.

Yiddish words and the Yiddish language, is a member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages.

Although it is not a national language, Yiddish is spoken by about 4 million Jews all over the world, especially in Argentina, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Romania, and the U.S.

Before the annihilation of 6 million Jews by the Nazis, Yiddish was the tongue of more than 11 million people. Yiddish, although it is not a national language, is spoken by Jews all over the world. It arose (c.1100) out of a blend of a number of German dialects in the ghettos of Central Europe, and from there it spread to other parts of the world. Phonetically, Yiddish is closer to Middle High German than is modern German. Its vocabulary is basically German, but it has been enlarged by borrowings from Hebrew, Slavic, Romance languages, and English.

This is a very small random list.

To learn more go here: Yiddish Slang For Everyone

Yiddesh Language, Yiddish Words, and
Yiddish Definitions


Let’s get your Yiddesh Language Vocabulary up to date:

Billik: cheap, poor quality

Bubkes: beans, nothing

Bubbee: term of endearment

Chutzpah: nerve, brazenness, cheek

Danken got!: thank God

Drek: junk, rubbish

Farshtaist: you understand

Frum: religiously devout

Gelt: money

Goy: a non-Jew, gentile

Kaddish: a prayer in mourning

Kibbitzer: interfering person

Klutz: a clumsy person

K'vetsh: to whine or complain

Le'chayim!: the traditional toast
'to life'

Loch in kop: hole in the head

Mashugga, Meshughe: crazy, bonkers

Mazel Tov: congratulations,
good luck!

Mitveh: a good deed, a commandment

Naches: pride, joy, gratification (often that occasioned by children)

Nebbish: a nobody, a weakling
or awkward person

Nosh: snack food; to snack

Nu?: so?

Nudnick: a pest, a bore, annoying person

Oi!: all purpose exclamation to denote disgust, pain, astonishment or rapture

Oi, gevald: cry of anguish, suffering, frustration or for help

Schmuck: dick, penis, self-made fool

Shalom: peace, a greeting

Shikseh: non-Jewish girl

Shlep: to carry unwillingly

Shmaltzy: sentimental, sickly, corny

Shmendrick:. a foolish inept person

Shmoe: a naïve, easily deceived individual

Shmooze: chat, talk

Shmuts: dirt, mess

Shnorrer: a beggar

Shtik: piece, bit; a special bit of acting

Tchotchkes: little playthings, ornaments, toys

Toches: buttocks, behind,, ass, fanny

Traif: forbidden (non-kosher) food

Tsores: troubles, misery