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C D E
F G H
I J K L
N O P
Q R S T
W X Y Z
- A bisel - A little
- A biseleh - A very little
- A breyre hob ich? - I have no alternative
- A breyte deye hob'n - To do all the
talking (To have the greatest say or authority)
- A broch! - Oh hell! Damn it!! A curse!!!
- A broch tzu dir! - A curse on you!
- A broch tzu Columbus - A curse on
- A brocheh - A blessing
- A chazer bleibt a chazer - A pig remains
- A chorbn - Oh, what a disaster (Oh S**T!
- A choleryeh ahf dir! - A plague on you!
(Lit., wishing someone to get Cholera.)
- A deigeh hob ich - I don't care. I should
- A farshlepteh krenk - A chronic ailment
- A feier zol im trefen - He should burn
up! (Lit., A fire should meet him.)
- A finstere cholem auf dein kopf und auf
dein hent und fiss - (a horrible wish on someone) A dark
dream (nightmare) on your head, hands and feet!
- A foiler tut in tsveyen - A lazy person
has to do a task twice
- A gesheft hob nicht - I don't care
- A gezunt ahf dein kop! - Good health to
you (lit., Good health on your head)
- A glick ahf dir! - Good luck to you
(Sometimes used sarcastically about minor good fortunes) Big
- A glick hot dich getrofen! - Big deal!
Sarcastic; lit., A piece of luck happened to you.
- A groyser tzuleyger - A big shot
- A grubber yung - A coarse young man
- A kappore - A catastrophe.
- A khasuren die kalleh is tsu shayn - A
fault that the bride is too beautiful
- A klog iz mir! - Woe is me!
- A klog tzu meineh sonim! - A curse on my
- A langer lucksh - A tall person (a long
- A leben ahf dein kepele - A life on your
head (A grandparent might say to a grandchild meaning "you are SO
- A leben ahf dir! - You should live! And
- A lung un leber oyf der noz - Stop
talking yourself into illness! (Lit., Don't imagine a lung and a
liver upon the nose)
- A maidel mit a vayndel - A pony-tailed
- A maidel mit a klaidel - A cutie-pie
showing off her (new) dress.
- A mentsh on glik is a toyter mensh - An
unlucky person is a dead person.
- A mentsh tracht und Gott lacht - A person
plans and God laughs.
- A metsieh far a ganef - It's a steal
(Lit., A bargain for a thief.)
- A nahr bleibt a nahr - A fool remains a
- A nechtiker tog! - Forget it! (Lit., "A
day that's a night.")
- A nishtikeit! - A nobody!
- A pish un a fortz iz vi a khasene un a
klezmer! - A pee without a fart, is like a wedding without a band!
- A piste kayleh - A shallow person (an
- A ritch in kop - Crazy (in the head.)
- A schwartz yor - Bad luck. (LIT., A black
- A schwartzen sof - A bad end.
- A shandeh un a charpeh - A shame and a
- A shittern mogn - Loose bowel movement
- A shtik fleish mit tzvei eigen - A piece
of meat with two eyes (insult)
- A shtik naches - A great joy
- A shtyfer mogn - Constipated
- A sof! A sof! - Let's end it ! End it!
- A tuches un a halb - A person with a very
large backside. (Lit., A backside and a half.)
- A volf farlirt zayne hor, ober nit zayn
natur - A wolf loses his hair but not his nature. "A leopard
cannot change his spots."
- Abi gezunt! - As long as you're healthy!
- Achrahyes - Responsibility
- Afn gonif brennt das hittel - "He thinks
everyone knows he committed a crime." (a thief's hat burns)
- Ahf mir gezogt! - I wish it could be said
- Ahf tsores - In trouble
- Afh yenems tukhes is gut sepatchen -
Someone else's ass is easy to smack.
- Ahf zu lochis - Spitefully (Lit: Just to
get (someone) angry.)
- Ahntoisht - Disappointed
- Ahzes ponim - Impudent fellow
- Aidel - Cultured or finicky
- Aidel gepotchket - Delicately brought up
- Aidim - Son-in-law
- Ainikle - Grandchild
- Aitzeh - Advice
- Aiver butelt - Absent minded; mixed up
- Alaichem sholom - To you be peace. Used
in response to the the greeting Shalom aleichem.
- Alef-bais - Alphabet; the first two
letters of the Jewish alphabet
- Alevei! - It should happen to me (to
- Alle ziben glicken - Not what it's
cracked up to be (all 7 lucky things)
- Alles in einem is nisht do bei keine -
All in one (person) is to be found in no one.
- Alrightnik - One who has succeeded
- Alrightnikeh - Feminine form of
- Alteh moid - Spinster, old maid
- Alter bocher - Bachelor
- Alter bok - Old goat
- Alter Kocker - An old man or old woman.
- An alteh machashaifeh - An old witch
- An alter bakahnter - An old acquaintance
- An alter trombenick - An old bum
- An emmisse meisse - An (absolutely) true
- Apikoros - An unbeliever, a skeptic, an
- Arbit - Work
- Arein - Come in!
- Aroisgevorfen - Thrown out, wasted,
- Aroisgevorfene gelt - Thrown out money
- Arumgeflickt! - Plucked! Milked!
- Arumloifer - Street urchin; person who
- Aydem - Son-in-law
- Ayn klaynigkeit - Ya, sure!! (very
- Az a yor ahf mir. - I should have such
- Az di bobe volt gehat beytsim volt zi
geven mayn zeyde! - If my grandmother had testicles she would be
- Az mir vill schlugen a hunt, gifintmin a
schtecken - If one wants to beat a dog, one finds a stick.
- Az och un vai! - Tough luck! Too bad!
- Az tzvei zuggen shiker, leigst zich der
driter shloffen - If two people say you're drunk, the third one
goes to sleep. If two people confirm something, it's true.
- Azoy? - Really?
- Azoy gait es! - That's how it goes!
- Azoy gich? - So soon?
- Azoy vert dos kichel tzekrochen! - That's how the cookie crumbles!
- Babka - Coffee cake style pastry
- Badchan - Jester, merry maker or master
of ceremonies at a wedding; at the end of the meal he announces
the presents, lifting them up and praising the giver and the gift
in a humorous manner
- Bagroben - To bury
- Baitsim - Testicles
- Balebatim - Persons of high standing
- Balbatish - Quiet, respectable, well
- Balebatisheh yiden - Respectable Jews,
people of substance and good standing in the community
- Baleboosteh - Mistress of the house. A
compliment to someone who is a terrific housekeeper. "She is some
- Balegoola - Truckdriver or sloppy person
of low standing.
- Balmalocha - An expert (sometimes used
sarcastically- Oy, is he an expert!)
- Balnes - Miracle-worker
- Bal Toyreh - Learned man, scholar
- Balt- Sure
- Bandit - Menace, outlaw, pain-in-the-neck
- Bankes - Small suction cups, usually the
size of a common shot glass, used to cure many ills in the
past. Some people still swear by the effectiveness of this
- Bareden yenem - To gossip
- Baren (taboo) - Fornicate: bother, annoy
- Barimer - Braggart, show-off
- Bashert - Fated or predestined
- Bas-yekhide - A female only child
- Bashert zein - To be destined
- Batampte - Tasty , delicious
- Batlan - Someone without a trade or a
regular means of livelihood
- Baysn zikh di finger vos - Regret
- Becher - Wine goblet
- Behaimeh - Animal, cow (when referring to
a human being, means dull-witted)
- Bei mir hust du gepoylt - You've gotten
your way with me.
- Ben-yokhid - A male only child
- Benken - "To yearn for" or "to long for."
- Benkshaft - Homesickness, nostalgia
- Bentsh - To bless, to recite a blessing
- Bentshen lecht - Recite prayer over lit
candles on Sabbath eve or Holy Day candles
- Beryeh - Efficient, competent housewife
- Bes medresh - Synagogue
- Bialy - Named for the Polish city of
Bialystock, the bialy is of Jewish origin. A Bialy is a fairly
large (about 6 inches) chewy round yeast roll. Somewhat similar to
a bagel, it has a depression rather than a hole in the centre, and
is sprinkled with chopped sauteed onion before baking.
- Bikur cholem - Visiting the sick
- Billik - Cheap, inexpensive
- Bist meshugeh? - Are you crazy?
- Biteh - Please
- Blondjen - To wander, be lost
- Boarderkeh - A female boarder
- Boch - A punch
- Bohmer - Bum (masc.)
- Bohmerkeh - Bum (fem.)
- Boorvisser fiss - Barefoot
- Boreke borsht - Beet borsht which the
wealthy could afford.
- Borekes - Pastries with cheese inside
- Borsht - Beet soup
- Borsht circuit - Hotels in the Catskill
Mountains of New York State, with an almost entirely Jewish
clientele, who are fond of borsht; term is used by entertainers
- Borviss - Barefoot
- Botvenye borsht - Borsht made from beet
leaves for the poor.
- Boychik - Young boy (term of endearment)
- Boykh - Stomach, abdomen
- Boykhvehtig - Stomachache
- Breeye - Creature, animal
- Breire - choice
- Bris - Circumcision
- Bristen - Breasts
- Broitgeber - Head of family (Lit., Bread
- Bronfen - Whiskey
- Broygis - Not on speaking terms
- B'suleh - Virgin
- Bubbeh - Grandmother
- Bubbe maisse - Grandmother's tale.
- Bubbee - Friendly term for anybody you
- Bubeleh - Endearing term for anyone you
like regardless of age
- Bulvan - Man built like an ox; boorish,
coarse, rude person
- Bupkis - Nothing. Something totally
worthless (Lit., Beans)
- Butchke - chat, tete-a-tete, telling tales
- Chai - Hebrew word for LIFE, comprised of
the two Hebrew letters, Chet and Yod. There is a sect of Jewish
mysticism that assigns a numeric value to each letter in the
Hebrew alphabet and is devoted to finding hidden meanings in the
numeric values of words. The letter "Chet" has the numeric value
of 8, and the letter "Yod", has the value of 10, for a total of
- Chaider - Religious School
- Chaim Yonkel - any Tom, Dick or Harry
- Chaimyankel kooternooz - The perennial
- Chaleria - Evil woman. Probably derived
- Chaleshen - Faint
- Challa - Ceremonial "egg" bread. Either
round or shaped long. Used on Shabbat and most religious
observances with the exception of Pesach (Passover)
- Chaloshes - Nausea, faintness,
- Chamoole - Donkey, jackass, numbskull,
- Chamoyer du ainer! - You blockhead! You
dope, You ass!
- Chanukah - Also known as the "Festival of
Lights", commemorates the rebuilding of the temple in
Jerusalem. Chanukah is celebrated for 8 days during which
one additional candle is added to the menorah on each night of the
- Chap a gang! - Beat it! (Lit., Catch a
way, catch a road)
- Chap ein a meesa meshina! - "May you
suffer an ugly fate!"
- Chap nit! - Take it easy! Not so fast!
(Lit., Don't grab)
- Chaptsem - Catch him!
- Chassene - Wedding
- Chassene machen - To plan and execute a
- Chas v'cholileh! - G-d forbid!
- Chavver - Friend
- Chaye - Animal
- Chazen - Cantor
- Chazenteh - Wife of chazen (cantor)
- Chazzer - A pig (one who eats like a pig)
- Chazzerei - Swill; pig's feed; anything
bad, unpalatable, rotten. In other words, "junk food." This word
can also be used to describe a lot of house hold or other kinds of
- Chazzershtal - Pigpen; slovenly kept room
- Chei kuck (taboo) - Nothing,
infinitesimal, worthless, unimportant (Lit., human dung)
- Chev 'r' mann - Buddy
- Chmalyeh! - Bang, punch; Slam! Wallop!
- Chochem - A wise man (Slang:
A wise guy)
- Chochmeh - Wisdom, bright saying,
- Choleryeh - Cholera; a curse, plague
- Choshever mentsh - Man of worth and
dignity; elite person; respected person
- Chosid - Rabid fan
- Chossen - Bridegroom
- Chossen-kalleh - Bride and groom; engaged
- Choyzik machen - Make fun of, ridicule
- Chrain - Horseradish
- Chropen - Snore
- Chub Rachmones - "Have pity"
- Chug - Activity group
- Chupah - Canopy under which a bride and
groom stand during marriage ceremony.
- Chutzpeh - Brazenness, gall, baitzim
- Chutzpenik - Impudent fellow
- Chvalye - Ocean wave
- Columbus's medina - It's not what it's cracked up to be. (Columbus's
- Danken Got! - Thank G-d!
- Darf min gehn in kolledj? - For this I
went to college? Usually said when describing a menial task.
- Davenen - Pray
- Deigeh nisht! - Don't worry!
- Der mensch trakht un Gott lahkht - Man
thinks (plans) and God laughs
- Der oyg - Eye
- Der oylam is a goylem - The world is
- Der tate oysn oyg - Just like his father
- Der universitet - University
- Der zokn - Old man
- Derech erets - Respect
- Derlebn - To live to see (I should only
live to see him get married, already!)
- Der oysdruk - Expression
- Dershtikt zolstu veren! - You should
choke on it!
- Di khemye - Chemistry
- Di skeyne - Old woman
- Di Skeynes - Old women
- Di skeynim - Old men
- Die goldene medina - the golden country
- Die untershte sheereh - the bottom line
- Dine Essen teg - Yeshiva students would
arrange to be fed by various householders on a daily basis in
different houses. (Lit., Eat days)
- Dingen - Bargain, hire, engage, lease,
- Dis fayntin shneg - It's starting to snow
- Dis fayntin zoraiganin - It's starting to
- Dos gefelt mir - This pleases me
- Dos hartz hot mir gezogt - My heart told
me. I predicted it.
- Dos iz alts - That's all.
- Dos zelbeh - The same
- Drai mir nit kain kop! - Don't bother me!
(Lit., Don't twist my head)
- Drai zich! - Keep moving!
- Draikop - Scatterbrain
- Dreidal - Spinning top used in a game
that is associated with the holiday of Chanukah.
- Drek - Human dung, feces, manure or
excrement; inferior merchandise or work; insincere talk or
- Drek auf dem teller - Mean spirited,
valueless Lit.crap on a plate.
- Drek mit Leber - Absolutely nothing; it's
not worth anything.
- Druchus - The sticks (way out in the
- Du fangst shoyn on? - Are you starting up
- Du kannst nicht auf meinem rucken pishen
unt mir sagen class es regen ist. - You can't pee on my back and
tell me that it's rain!
- Dumkop - Dumbbell, dunce (Lit., Dumb
- Durkhfall - A flop or failure
- Dybbuk - Soul condemned to wander for a time in this world because of its sins. (To
escape the perpetual torments inflicted upon it by evil spirits, the dybbuk seeks refuge
in the body of some pious man or woman over whom the demons have no power. The dybbuk is a
- Ech - A groan, a disparaging exclamation
- Ech mir (eppes) - Humorous, disparaging
remark about anything. e.g. "American Pie ech mir a movie?"
- Efsher - Maybe, could be
- Ei! Ei! - Yiddish exclamation equivalent
to the English "Oh!"
- Eingeshpahrt - Stubborn
- Eingetunken - Dipped, dunked
- Einhoreh - The evil eye
- Eizel - Fool, dope
- Ek velt - End of the world
- Emes - The truth
- Emitzer - Someone
- Enschultig meir - "Well excuuuuuuse ME!"
(Can also bu used in a non-sarcastic manner depending on the tone
of voice and situation.)
- Entoisht - Disappointed
- Eppes - Something
- Er bolbet narishkeiten - He talks
- Er drayt sich arum vie a fortz in russell
- He wanders around like a fart in a barrel (aimless)
- Er est vi noch a krenk. - He eats as if
he just recovered from a sickness.
- Er frest vi a ferd. - He eats like a
- Er hot a makeh. - He has nothing at all
(Lit., He has a boil or a minor hurt.)
- Er hot nit zorg. - He hasn't got a worry.
- Er iz a niderrechtiker kerl! - He's a low
- Er iz shoyn du, der nudnik! - The
nuisance is here already!
- Er macht a tel fun dem. - He ruins it.
- Er macht zack nisht visindicht - He
pretends he doesn't know he is doing something wrong.
Example: Sneaking into a movie theatre, or sneaking to the front
of a line.
- Er toig (taig) nit - He's no good,
- Er varved zakh - Lit: He's throwing
himself. Example: He's getting angry, agitated, pissed-off.
- Er zitst oyf shpilkes. - He's restless.
(Lit., He sits on pins and needles.)
- Er zol vaksen vi a tsibeleh, mit dem kop
in drerd! - He should grow like an onion, with his head in the
- Eretz Yisroel - Land of Israel
- Es brent mir ahfen hartz. - I have a
- Es gait nit! - It doesn't work! It isn't
- Es gefelt mir. - I like it. (Lit., It
- Es hot zich oysgelohzen a boydem! -
Nothing came of it! (Lit., There's nothing up there but a small
- Es iz a shandeh far di kinder! - It's a
shame for the children!
- Es iz (tsu) shpet. - It is (too) late.
- Es ken gemolt zein. - It is conceivable.
It is imaginable.
- Es macht mir nit oys. - It doesn't matter
- Es iz nit dayn gesheft - It's none of
- Es past nit. - It is not becoming. It is
- Es tut mir a groisseh hanoeh! - It gives
me great pleasure!(often said sarcastically)
- Es tut mir bahng. - I'm sorry. (Lit., It
- Es tut mir vai - It hurts me.
- Es vert mir finster in di oygen. - This
is a response to receiving extremely upsetting information or
news. (Lit., It's getting dark in my eyes.)
- Es vet gornit helfen! - Nothing will
- Es vet helfen vi a toiten bahnkes! - It
won't help (any)! (Lit., It will help like blood-cupping on a dead
- Ess vie ein foygl sheise vie ein feirt! -
Eat like a bird, shit like a horse!
- Ess, bench, sei a mensch - Eat, pray,
don't act like a jerk!
- Ess gezunterhait - Eat in good health
- Essen - To eat
- Essen mitik - Eating midday or having dinner.
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