Bubbe Millie's Yiddish Lessons

ATC's very own Millie Berman Daily Yiddish Quarantine lesson.

Every day, a couple of Yiddish words with definitions will be posted for your enjoyment. For some of us, this will harken back to our parents or grandparents as they tried to speak in "code."
For some, this will unlock the key to a part of our history. Enjoy...and thanks to Bubbe Millie!

SHTIKL (SHTIK'l) little piece
Lunch will be late, so at least have a SHTIKL bread before you go.

YENTA (YEN-tah) blabbermouth, gossip, busybody
Don't say anything important in front of that YENTA. She'll spread it faster than you can blink an eye.

ONGEPATCHKET (ohn-geh-PAHTCH-kit) slapped together, not matching, over done
The whole outfit is ONGEPATCHKET, from the striped tube top to the plaid pants.

We can't leave their apartment like this. There's SHMUTZ everywhere, they'll never let us stay here again.

BALABUSTA (BAH-LAH-BOS-TAH) a great homemaker and cook
It wasn't my mother who burned down the kitchen twice in one week, 4 times in one month (a family legend!) -Rabbi J

GORGL (GORG'l) chicken neck
POOPIC (POOP'ick) belly button
Children stop fighting over who is getting the POOPIC or the GORGL with their chicken soup and LUCKSHEN (noodles)

SHPILKIES (SHPIL'kies) impatient, can't sit still
The ice cream truck will be here soon, stop with the SHPILKIES already.

PLOTZ (plahts)  to crack, to explode (from emotion, too much food etc.)
I think I'm gonna PLOTZ. I ate too much for dinner.

TCHOTCHKES (TCHAHTCH-kees)  knick-knacks, trinkets
That store sells TCHOTCHKES--you know, magnets, yoyos, paperweights etc.

GESHREI (geh-SHRIE) to scream, to yell
She slipped and fell while ice skating and gave such a GESHREI we could hear her down the block.

KREKHTZ (krehkhts) to sigh, to moan, to complain 
I am going to KREKHTZ about my back pain until you find the heating pad.

OI VAI IZ MIR (oy vay is meer) oh woe is me
Oi vai is mir, I locked the keys in the car! Think of a few sentences using these four words.
Say them out loud.

Rabbi J's Yiddish word:
Farbissen - an angry, bitter and unduly stern person or persona

HAIMISH (HAY-mish) "homey", friendly, warm,
It's small, but the fireplace gives it a HAMISH quality.

FRAYLEKH (FRAY-lehkh) happy or cheerful
Nothing makes them more fraylekh than to play a joke on their parents.

SCHLEMIEL (shle-MIEL) Clumsy bungler, inept, butter-fingers

SCHMENDRIK (SCHMEN-drik) Nincompoop, inept, indifferent, same as SCHLEMIEL

Luckless person, unlucky, perpetual bad luck
It is said that the SCHLEMIEL spilled soup on the SCHLEMAZEL!

SHANDE (SHAHN -deh) a deep embarrassment, disgrace
The way you treat others is a SHANDE. How can you live with yourself?

BUBELEH (BUH-beh-leh) darling, term of endearment, even sometimes a little grandmother. BUBELEH, you're just as cute now as when you were a baby.

SHMALTZ (SHMAHLTS) rendered chicken fat.
My grandmother always put SHMALTZ in her mashed potatoes. Butter just isn't the same.

NAKHES (NAH-khis) Proud pleasure or joy.
I have such NAKHES, My son was elected class president!

FERBLONDJET (fuhr-BLAHND-jit) confused
She is so bad with directions and gets FERBLONJET even with a map.

MA NISHTANA (mah-NEESH-tah-nah) The Passover Four Questions, Why is this different from all other nights?. However it can be used as a slang expression meaning, --"what a surprise" or "what else is new"--For example: You forgot your keys at home again? Oy...Ma Nishtana!

NOKH NISHT (NAHKH-nisht) not yet
Have you asked her to marry you yet?--NOKH NISHT??

S'VET DIR GORNISHT HELFEN (s'vet deer GOHR-nisht HEHL-fen) beyond help, i
It won't help you at all. Wish all you want. You've bungled it so bad S'VET DIR GORNISHT HELFEN!

REBOYNEH SHEL OYLEM (reh-BOY--nuh-shehl-OY-lim For G-d's sake, good G-d, my Lord REBOYNEH SHEL OYLEM, if you kids ask one more time, you won't be getting any!

BUBBE MAYSES (BUH-bee-MIE-sehz) old wives tales, grandmother's stories
Don't believe her BUBBE MAYSES about how they came to this country; she really doesn't remember a thing.

KHOMETZDIK (KHA-mehts-dik) leavened, fermented
Honey, throw that KHOMETZDIK cake away. We can't eat that during PASSOVER

KHAZER (KHA-zuhr) very piggish
If I hadn't eaten that extra matzah ball I wouldn't feel like such a KHAZER

MISHIGAS (mi-shi-GAHS) foolishness, nonsense, craziness
Quit the MISHIGAS and come eat your vegetables.

MESHUGGE (me-SHUG-eh) crazy, insane.
It would be MESHUGGE to miss our ATC rummage sale.

MITTEN DERINNEN (MIT-en DERIN-en) all of a sudden, suddenly
MITTEN DERINEN he decided we should leave and beat the traffic.

SHMEER (shmeer) spread, to smear
Put a SHMEER of cream cheese on that piece of matzah for me, please.

BUPKES (BUP-kis) very little, almost nothing
I am getting BUPKES on this job.

PULKES (PUHL-kis) chicken thighs
My favorite part of the chicken is the PULKES. I always eat them first.

SHANDEH FAR DI KINDER (SHAN-dah far Di KIN-dah) a shame for the children
They will miss looking for the AFIKOMEN, it is a SHANDEH FAR DI KINDER.

FARKLEMPT (far-KLEMPT) too emotional to talk, ready to cry.
I am so FARKLEMPT over our situation, it's got to get better.

MAMA LOSHEN (MAH-mah LOH-shin) mother tongue, particularly Yiddish
I know I haven't been away that long, but its still good to speak the MAMA LOSHEN.

PITSELE (PIT-seh-leh) little one
Look at the PITSELE at the computer, pretending to be her mother's assistant.

SHANA PUNIM (SHAY-nah PUH-nim) pretty face
What a SHAYNA PUNIM you're granddaughter has.

SHNOOK (shnuhk) pitiful, gullible, pathetic
The poor SHNOOK didn't see it coming until they walked away with everything.

TUKHES (TUH-khis) rear end, buttocks
Get your lazy TUKHES off the couch and help me set the table.

GONIF (GOH-nif) thief
That GONIF charges way too much.

RAKHMONES (rakh-MOH-nehs) compassion, pity
Have some RAKHMONES - he just lost his job.

SHMOOZE (shmuze) talk it up, to network.
Let's go SHMOOZE with some of the big shots in the company.

A BISL (uh BIS'L) a little
Motto--if you give a BISL, you get a BISL.

AI-AI-AI (eye-yie-yie) exclamation of emotion
AI-AI-AI, I'm going to feel it tomorrow.

GROYSE METZIEH (GROY-seh m'TSEE'yeh) big deal (sarcastically)
From what I can see, he's no GROYSE METZIEH.

TSUTSHEPPENISH (tsoo -SHEH -peh -nish) irritating, pest obsession.
This TSUYSHEPPENISH you have with cleaning is driving me crazy.

KHOLERYEH (khoh -LEHR -ee- yeh) plague, curse
A KHOLERYEH on that guy who cheated me.

TSEDOODELT (tseh -DOO -dehlt) mixed up, confused, kooky.
Those TSEDOODELT criminals robbed a bank and then came back for their forgotten keys.