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  • baleboste

    A good homemaker, a woman who's in charge of her home and will make sure you remember it.

    bisl

    a little bit.

    bupkes

    Not a word for polite company. Bubkes or bobkes may be related to the Polish word for "beans", but it really means "goat droppings" or "horse droppings." It's often used by American Jews for "trivial, worthless, useless, a ridiculously small amount" - less than nothing, so to speak. "After all the work I did, I got bupkes!"

    feh!

    An expression of disgust or disapproval, representative of the sound of spitting.

    kibbitz

    In Yiddish, it's spelled kibets, and it's related to the Hebrew "kibbutz" or "collective." But it can also mean verbal joking, which after all is a collective activity. It didn't originally mean giving unwanted advice about someone else's game - that's an American innovation.

    maven

    An expert, often used sarcastically.

    mishegas

    Insanity or craziness. A meshugener is a crazy man. If you want to insult someone, you can ask them, "Does it hurt to be crazy?"

    oy vey iz mir

    means "Oh, woe is me."

    Oy gevalt!

    is like oy vey, but expresses fear, shock or amazement. When you realize you're about to be hit by a car, this expression would be appropriate.

    plotz

    Literally, to explode, as in aggravation. "Well, don't plotz!" is similar to "Don't have a stroke!" or "Don't have a cow!" Also used in expressions such as, "Oy, am I tired; I just ran the four-minute mile. I could just plotz." That is, collapse.

    shlemiel

    A clumsy, inept person, similar to a klutz (also a Yiddish word). The kind of person who always spills his soup.

    schlock

    Cheap, shoddy, or inferior, as in, "I don't know why I bought this schlocky souvenir."

    shlimazel

    Someone with constant bad luck. When the shlemiel spills his soup, he probably spills it on the shlimazel. Fans of the TV sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" remember these two words from the Yiddish-American hopscotch chant that opened each show.

    shmendrik

    A jerk, a stupid person, popularized in The Last Unicorn and Welcome Back Kotter.

    shmaltzy

    Excessively sentimental, gushing, flattering, over-the-top, corny. This word describes some of Hollywood's most famous films. From shmaltz, which means chicken fat or grease.

    schmuck

    Often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn't use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy.

    shmutz

    Dirt - a little dirt, not serious grime. If a little boy has shmutz on his face, and he likely will, his mother will quickly wipe it off. It can also mean dirty language. It's not nice to talk shmutz about shmutz.

    schmitzig

    means a "thigamabob" or a "doodad," but has nothing to do with filth.

    tsuris

    Serious troubles, not minor annoyances. Plagues of lice, gnats, flies, locusts, hail, death... now, those were tsuris.

    yiddisher kop

    Smart person. Literally means "Jewish head." I don't want to know what goyisher kop means.

    shtup

    to stuff/have sex

    macher

    hot shot

    zaftig

    buxom/hefty good way

    no chupah no shtupa

    no wedding no sex

    k'nocker

    which is a big talker, full of hot air, without the ability to back it up

    nebbish

    an unfortunate nobody who gets picked on

    shmatteh

    which is a rag or inferior clothing [also the Apparel Business is known as the 'Shmatteh' Trade]

    farblondget

    hopefully lost or confused. Dreck is also an important word, means inferior product or worse..

    alter kocker

    elderly person

    plotz

    collapse from exhaustion or shock

    beryiah

    a baleboosteh squared; a regular Martha Stewart. A homemaker who puts the rest of us to shame.

    Zetz

    Shove, push, bang! Also slang for a sexual experience (taboo)

    Ich vel dir geben kadoches!

    I'll give you nothing! (Lit., I'll give you malaria or a fever.)

    Nem zich a vaneh!

    Go take a bath! Go jump in the lake!

    Goyeh

    Gentile woman

    Shoymer

    Watchman; historically refers also to the armed Jewish watchman in the early agricultural settlements in the Holy Land

    Drek mit Leber

    Absolutely nothing; it's not worth anything.

    Tu mir nit kain toives

    Don't do me any favors.

    Gut far him!

    Serves him right!

    Lokshen

    Noodles

    A langer lucksh

    A tall person (a long noodle)

    Opgehitener

    Pious person

    Kalyekeh

    Cripple; misfit; also, anybody not good at their craft or sport

    Mekheye

    An extreme pleasure, orgasmic, out of this world wonderful!

    Der mensch trakht un Gott lahkht

    Man thinks (plans) and God laughs

    Plyotkenitzeh

    A gossip

    Loch in kop

    Hole in the head.

    Vi gaits?

    How goes it? How are things? How's tricks?

    Ganef

    Crook, thief, burglar, swindler, racketeer

    Traifener bain

    Jew who does not abide by Jewish law (derisive, scornful expression

    Gantseh megilleh

    Big deal! (derisive)

    Nit kain farshloffener

    A lively person

    Vos maint es?

    What does it mean?

    Tsivildivit

    Crazy, wild, overwhelmed with too many choices

    Gedainkst?

    Remember?

    Shlogen

    To beat up

    Vaneh

    Bath, bathtub

    Knacker

    A big shot

    Nit gidacht!

    It shouldn't happen! (Same as nishtu gedacht)

    Mekheye

    An extreme pleasure, orgasmic, out of this world wonderful!

    A feier zol im trefen

    He should burn up!

    A chorbn

    Oh, what a disaster (Oh S**T! an expletive)

    Trenen

    To tear, rip

    Ipish

    Bad odor, stink

    Mechutainista

    Mother-In-Law

    Haimish ponem

    A friendly face

    Farblondzhet

    Lost, bewildered, confused

    Shlimazel

    Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with perpetual bad luck (it is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on the shlimazel!)

    Batlan

    Someone without a trade or a regular means of livelihood

    A feier zol im trefen

    He should burn up! (Lit., A fire should meet him.)

    Ongeshtopt mit gelt

    Very wealthy; (Lit., stuffed with money)

    Ver dershtikt!

    Choke yourself!

    Varfen an oyg

    To look out for; to guard; to mind (Lit., To throw an eye at)

    Behaimeh

    Animal, cow (when referring to a human deing, means dull-witted)

    Ongetshepter

    Bothersome hanger-on

    Oysvurf

    Outcast, bad person

    Shlecht veib

    Shrew (Lit., a bad wife)

    A maidel mit a klaidel

    A cutie-pie showing off her (new) dress.

    Tsebrech a fus!

    Break a leg!

    Gedempte flaysh

    Mystery meat

    Billik

    Cheap, inexpensive

    An emmisse meisse

    An (absolutely) true tale

    Tzitzis

    Fringes attached to the four corners of the tallis

    Gelt

    Money

    Hoizirer

    Peddler (from house to house)

    Mashugga

    Crazy

    Farshlugginer

    Refers to a mixed-up or shaken item. Generally indicates something of little or dubious value.

    K'nippel

    Button, knot; hymen, virginity; money tied in a knot in a handkerchief

    Klainer gornisht

    Little prig (Lit., A little nothing)

    Oi vai iz mir!

    Woe is me!

    Kallehniu

    Little bride

    Ipish

    Bad odor, stink

    Pitsvinik

    Little nothing

    Prostak

    Ignorant boor, coarse person, vulgar man

    Opnarer

    Trickster, shady operator

    Kaddishel

    Baby son; endearing term for a boy or man

    Nito farvos!

    You're welcome!

    Veibernik

    Debauchee

    Kukn durkh di finger oyf

    Shut one's eyes to....., connive at......, wink at.....

    Vantz

    Bedbug; (slang) a nobody

    Mutek

    Brave

    Azoy gait es!

    That's how it goes!

    Fardross

    Disappointment, sorrow

    Kroivim

    Relatives

    Oiver botel

    Absentminded: getting senile

    Gebentsht mit kinder

    Blessed with children

    Ongeblozzen

    Conceited: peevish, sulky, pouting

    Vund

    Wound

    Bohmer

    Bum (masc.)

    Shmutzik

    Dirty, soiled

    Baitsim

    Testicles

    Farbissener

    Embittered; bitter person

    Trogedik

    Pregnant

    Me redt zich oys dos hartz!

    Talk your heart out!

    Platsin zuls du

    May you explode

    Lang leben zolt ir!

    Long may you live!

    Kaporeh, (kapores)

    Atonement sacrifice; forgiveness; (slang) good for nothing

    Tsnueh

    Chaste

    Gedainkst?

    Remember?

    Patteren tseit

    To lounge around; waste time

    Chutzpenik

    Impudent fellow

    Baitsim

    Testicles

    Och un vai!

    Alas and alack: woe be to it!

    Shainer gelechter

    Hearty laugh (sarcastically, Some laughter!)

    Nisht naitik

    Not necessary

    Nafkeh bay-is

    Whorehouse

    Shtark, shtarker

    Strong, brave

    Chupah

    Canopy under which a bride and groom stand during marriage ceremony.

    Parnosseh

    Livelihood

    Shmuts

    Dirt, slime

    Tateh-mameh, papa-mama

    Parents

    Bulvan

    Man built like an ox; boorish, coarse, rude person

    Opgekrochen

    Shoddy

    Gezunt vi a ferd

    Strong as a horse

    Oybershter in himmel

    G-d in heaven

    Shvindeldik

    Dizzy, unsteady

    Lezem gayne

    leave them be

    Nit gidacht!

    It shouldn't happen! (Same as nishtu gedacht)

    A breyte deye hob'n

    To do all the talking (To have the greatest say or authority)

    Gitte neshomah

    good soul

    Kaftan

    Long coat worn by religious Jews

    Tatenui

    Father dear

    Kasokeh

    Cross-eyed

    Kuk im on!

    Look at him!

    Freint

    Friend,

    Umglick

    A misfortune; (masc) A born loser; an unlucky one

    Mieskeit

    Ugly thing or person.

    Shkapeh

    A hag, a mare; worthless

    Nochshlepper

    Hanger-on, unwanted follower

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