Questions tagged [yiddish]

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5
votes
1answer
173 views

Yiddish: “װאָס הערט זיך?” — “Vos hert zikh?” — What is the German origin?

What is the German origin of the Yiddish oh-so-common expression װאָס הערט זיך? Which means "How are you?" If you cannot read Hebrew, the Yiddish expression is pronounced more-or-less as Vos hert ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

Two theories on German/Yiddish origins of American slang terms for “woman” [closed]

I have a couple of theories about possible German/Yiddish origins of some 1930/1940s American slang terms for "woman," and I wonder what people think, and if these ideas have been proposed before. "...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a “Schnorrbrief”?

I received a letter addressed to the previous tenant and I asked her if she wants me to forward it to her. In the end she told me it is just some Schnorrbrief from Uganda. Do you have any idea what ...
9
votes
2answers
488 views

Etymology of “Mohn”

I am very curious about the etymology of the German and Yiddish word "Mohn", meaning "poppy", and, at least in Yiddish, "poppy-seed." Wiktionary suggests a long, meandering, and ill-defined history, ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

Was ist mit „Wie bist die gewesen vor Prohibition?“

I'm unsure whether Yiddish is within the purview of this site; I'm hoping it is, and apologies in advance if it isn't. I've been curious about this for a fairly long time. A classic Klezmer ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

Is Chutzpadik a common German word?

According to etymonline, the noun chutzpah came into English from Yiddish, with the term originally coming from Hebrew. I am wondering if the term has also entered German. I found the term chutzpadik ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

More on Ambiguous Diminutives

There is an interesting discussion going on about the word for rabbit, Kaninchen which looks like a diminutive but (probably) isn't. The question arose in that thread over whether there are other ...
7
votes
2answers
775 views

Comprehensive resource for Yiddish etymology?

I'm interested in a comprehensive resource that gives the origins of Yiddish words. I am aware that Wiktionary sometimes contains this information, but it is often sorely lacking. (For instance, I ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Yiddish phrase for “turn out the lights and go to sleep”

My mother grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at a time when the neighborhood was largely inhabited by Yiddish speaking Jews. This led to the amusing situation of her Irish-born grandparents, and to a ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Beziehungen: as “attitude towards”

In Yiddish the word baziehungen of course means relationships as it does in German, but it can also mean "attitude towards", which I don't think is found in German. I came across the phrase "the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Translate this quote from The Producers?

In the Broadway play The Producers (and subsequent movie), the character Max Bialystock recalls a quote from his dying mentor. He says it's in Yiddish, but more than one person has told me that, in ...
5
votes
1answer
405 views

Bifurcation of the “ei” vowel in Yiddish: why?

In Yiddish, about half the "ei" words are pronounced the same as German (mein, sein, drei...) but the others shift to an "ey" sound (rhymes with "day"): éins, zwéi, kléin… We had a discussion here (...
3
votes
2answers
359 views

Buchstabieren = to spell?

In another question Carsten mentioned that buchstabieren has a somewhat narrower meaning than to spell. I wonder if people would care to elaborate on this? Also, does German have the Yiddish variant ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

What's the matter: Yiddish “was is der mehr?”

We have in Yiddish an expression for "what's the matter" that sounds like "was is der mehr?". Is this German or what? I can't make sense of it.
24
votes
10answers
10k views

Is Yiddish a dialect of German?

I would call it a dialect of German, and I wonder if people would agree with that characterization? I am posting a link to my musical translation of the epic Yiddish poetic ballad "Monisch" so people ...
6
votes
2answers
108 views

Spittings, shellings, etc

One quaint usage we have in Yiddish is the suffix -echts which converts a verb to a noun. It is usually used with unsavory items like saliva (speiechts) or a pile of sunflower seed shells (...
9
votes
2answers
601 views

Yiddish: common in Europe?

This answer introduced me to Yiddish. Is Yiddish taught and used in Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Lichtenstein? Is it a dialect of German or a separate but similar language?
7
votes
2answers
479 views

Was “träumen” ever a reflexive verb?

This is another Yiddish-motivated question. I wonder if "träumen" was ever used in a reflexive construction, as in "es hat sich mir geträumt...". This is how the Yiddish phrase is constructed, except ...
0
votes
1answer
295 views

Change of meaning: are words whose meaning has been “verschlechtert” preserved in Yiddish?

In a recent discussion Grimm was quoted who describes Jauche as a word whose original meaning has been "verschlechtert". Interestingly, Yiddish preserves the original meaning, "broth". I know a few ...
5
votes
2answers
322 views

More Yiddish: “Es Lauft die Jauch, die Millech brennt…"

This couplet by Peretz (from "The Ballad of Monisch") describes how the Rabbi's wife has neglected to pay attention to her cooking on the stove: “Es Lauft die Jauch, die Millech brennt Un sie ...
5
votes
2answers
202 views

Marmelade = Eingemachts?

A recent question on this site motivates me to ask if our Yiddish "eingemachts" has currency in any German dialect or regional variant?
11
votes
2answers
388 views

Is “Säegermacher” the Yiddish word for “watchmaker”?

I wonder if the Yiddish word "Säegermacher" (Seegermacher?) has a German origin. It seems obvious that it must, but I can't see it.
7
votes
3answers
373 views

Jiddisches, welches Eingang in die deutsche Sprache gefunden hat

In die deutsche Sprache haben viele jiddische (jüdische) Begriffe Eingang gehalten. Ich würde gerne eine Sammlung starten, und habe Community-Wiki-Fragen so verstanden, als seien diese genau dafür ...