Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jewish breakfast or snack: bagels and lox

bagels and lox
Originally uploaded by heronyc
Yiddish: a language of Jewish ciulture that combines German plus Hebrew.

Some English words with Yiddish origins:
* bagel : a ring-shaped bread roll made by boiling then baking the dough.
* blintz : a sweet cheese-filled crepe
* chutzpah : guts, daring, audacity, effrontery (Yiddish חוצפּה khutspe, from Hebrew) (AHD)
* dreck : (vulgar) worthless material, especially merchandise; "crap" (Yiddish drek or German Dreck) (OED, MW)
* glitch : a minor malfunction (possibly from Yiddish glitsh) (AHD)
* goy : a gentile, someone not of the Jewish faith or people (Yiddish גוי, plural גוים goyim; from Hebrew גוים goyim meaning 'nations
* kibitz : to offer unwanted advice, e.g. to someone playing cards; to converse idly, hence a kibbitzer, gossip (Yiddish קיבעצן kibetsn; cf. German kiebitzen, related to Kiebitz 'lapwing') (OED, MW)
* klutz : clumsy person (from Yiddish קלאָץ klots 'wooden beam', cf. German Klotz) (OED, MW)
* kosher : conforming to Jewish dietary laws; (slang) appropriate, legitimate (originally from Hebrew כּשר kašer) (AHD)
* kvetch : to complain habitually, gripe; as a noun, a person who always complains (from Yiddish קװעטשן kvetshn 'press, squeeze', cf. German quetschen 'squeeze') (OED, MW)
* lox : smoked salmon (from Yiddish לאַקס laks 'salmon'; cf. German Lachs 'salmon') (OED, MW)
* maven : expert (from Yiddish מבֿין meyvn, from Hebrew mevin 'one who understands') (OED, MW)
* Mazel tov : congratulations! (Yiddish מזל־טובֿ‏ mazl-tov, from Hebrew mazzāl ṭōv: mazzāl 'fortune' + ṭōv 'good')
* mensch : an upright man; a decent human being
* nebbish : an insignificant, pitiful person; a nonentity (from Yiddish interjection nebekh 'poor thing!', from Czech nebohý) (OED, MW)

* nosh : snack (noun or verb) (Yiddish נאַשן nashn, cf. German naschen) (OED, MW)

* oy : interjection of surprise, dismay, or grief (Yiddish אױ oy) (OED, MW)
* oy vey : interjection of grief, pain, or horror (Yiddish אױ װײ oy vey 'oh, pain!' or "oh, woe"; cf. German oh weh) (OED)

* plotz : to burst, as from strong emotion (from Yiddish פּלאַצן platsn 'crack', cf. German platzen) (OED)
* putz : an idiot, a jerk; a penis (from Yiddish פּאָץ pots) (AHD)
* schlemiel : an inept clumsy person; a bungler; a dolt (Yiddish shlemil) (OED, MW)
* schlep : to drag or haul (an object); to make a tedious journey

* schlock : something cheap, shoddy, or inferior (perhaps from Yiddish shlak 'a stroke', cf. German Schlag) (OED, MW)
* schlong : (vulgar) penis (from Yiddish שלאַנג shlang 'snake'; cf. German Schlange) (OED)

* schmaltz : melted chicken fat; excessive sentimentality (from Yiddish שמאַלץ shmalts or German Schmalz) (OED, MW)

* schmeer also schmear : noun or verb: spread (e.g., cream cheese on a bagel); bribe (from Yiddish שמיר shmir 'smear';
* schmooze : to converse informally, make small talk or chat (from Yiddish שמועסן shmuesn 'converse', from Hebrew shəmūʿōth 'reports, gossip') (OED, MW)
* schmuck : a contemptible or foolish person; a jerk; literally means 'penis' (from Yiddish שמאָק shmok 'penis') (AHD)

* schnook : an easily imposed-upon or cheated person, a pitifully meek person, a particularly gullible person (perhaps from Yiddish.
* schnoz or schnozz also schnozzle : a nose, especially a large nose (perhaps from Yiddish שנויץ shnoits 'snout', cf. German Schnauze) (OED, MW)
* shicker or shickered : drunk (adjective or noun) (Yiddish shiker 'drunk', from Hebrew šikkōr) (OED)
* shiksa : (often derogatory) a young non-Jewish woman (Yiddish שיקסע shikse, a derivative of the above שײגעץ sheygets) (AHD)
* shtetl : a small town with a large Jewish population in pre-Holocaust Eastern Europe (Yiddish שטעטל shtetl 'town', diminutive of שטאָט shtot 'city'; cf. German Städtl, South German colloquial diminutive of Stadt, city) (AHD)
* shtick : comic theme; a defining habit or distinguishing feature (from Yiddish שטיק 'piece'; cf. German Stück 'piece') (AHD)
* spiel : a sales pitch or speech intended to persuade (from Yiddish שפּיל shpil 'play' or German Spiel 'play) (AHD)
* tchotchke: knickknack, trinket, curio (from Yiddish טשאַטשקע tshatshke, from obsolete Polish czaczko) (OED, MW)
* tush : butt, rear end (from tuchus) (OED, MW)
* yarmulke : round cloth skullcap worn by observant Jews (etymology unclear) (OED, MW)
* yenta : a talkative woman; a gossip; a scold (from Yiddish יענטע, from a given name) (OED, MW)
* zaftig : plump, chubby, full-figured, as a woman (from Yiddish zaftik 'juicy'; cf. German saftig 'juicy') (OED, MW)

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