Meshugganeh Moments

Like the perfect seasoning in a meal, words provide flavor to sentences. Yiddish words are extra flavorful, sweet, sour, tangy and filled with zest. Understand tateleh? 

Just my type- a Yiddish typewriter
Yiddish words are stuffed, like a kishka, with power and charm. Recently I kept hearing those words pop up in many conversations at work, on the radio, in blogs and online newspapers. I was surprised at how many Yiddish words are part of the common American lexicon. This is one of the things I love about America- it is like a stew taking bits and pieces from different cultures and blending them into one feast.
Oy Vey
Wikipedia provides a great explanation of the origins of Yiddish (not to be confused with Hebrew) Yiddish (literally "Jewish") is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages. It is written in the Hebrew alphabet. To learn more about the history of Yiddish language, click here

Are you a mensch?
All of the following words came across my path in the last two weeks. I wrote them down on an index card as I heard or read them. They are all filled with rich personal memory triggers and most importantly, they are funny words that make me laugh. To this day, I hear my grandparents, aunts, uncles and family members using these words and they reminded me of moments passed. I added a few photos to help with the explanations   

Enjoy, bubbee...

ALTER KOCKER- a crotchety, cranky old man, an old fart

BOYCHICK - affectionate term for a boy

BUBELEH – little grandma, a term of endearment

BUBBEE- A friendly term for anybody you like

GONIF - thief

BUPKIS – nothing

COCKAMAMIE- not credible, foolish, muddled

DREK- worthless junk

ECKVELDT – the farthest place on the earth

FAKAKATA – lousy, crappy and completely messed up

FATOOZ – bewildered, disoriented

FARKLEMPT – choked up, too emotional to talk

Linda Richman (Mike Myers is Farklempt)

FEH – how disgusting

HAYMESH – homey, plain and simple, of the home - unaffected

KIBBITZ – to make small talk

K’NOCKER – a big shot

KVETCH – to complain excessively

MACHER – big shot

MENSCH – a fine man, someone who does good deeds


MISHEGOSS- madness, craziness

NACHES – good pleasure and special joy

NEBISH- a loser

NUDNIK – a pest

OY GEVALT - An exclamtion of fear or panic. 

PLOTZ – to explode

PUNIM – face

PUPIK - bellybutton

SHAYNA MADELEH – a beautiful girl

SCHNORRER- moocher or freeloader

SCHNOZ – nose

SCHLEP – to carry or drag something

SHTIK- a routine

SHMATTE – a rag, an old tattered dress

SCHMUTZ – dirt

SHTUP – fornicate

SCHVITZ – to sweat

Schvitzing away

TATELEH- little darling

TZCHATZKIES- little treasures

TUCHAS- behind, buttocks

ZAFTIG- fat, plump and buxom

ZIE GEZUNT – be healthy and well

Licensed to laugh

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