List of Yiddish Words and Expressions
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A B C
H I J
O P Q R
S T U V
W X Y Z
- Um-be-rufen - Unqualified, uncalled for; God forbid;
(A deprecation to ward off the evil eye)
- Um-be-shrien - God forbid! It shouldn't happen!
- Umgeduldik - Petulant
- Ummeglich! - Impossible!
- Umglick - A misfortune; (masc) A born loser; an
- Umshteller - Braggart
- Umzist - For nothing
- Umzitztiger fresser - free loader, especially one who
shows up only to eat (and EAT!)
- Unger bluzen - Bad mood. Swollen with anger.
- Ungerissen beheiman - A totally stupid person. Lit.,
an untamed animal. Not wild, just dumb.
- Un langeh hakdomes! - Cut it short! (lit., Without a
- Unter fir oygn - Privately
- Unterkoifen - To bribe
- Untershmeichlen - To butter up
- Untervelt mentsh - Racketeer
- Untn - Below
- Utz - To goad, to needle
- Vahksin zuls du vi a tsibeleh, mitten kup in drerd -
May you grow like an onion, with your head in the ground!
- Vahksin zuls du, tsu gezunt, tsu leben, tsu langeh
yor - May you grow to health, to life, to long years. (Each may me said when
- Vai! - Woe, pain; usually appears as "oy vai!"
- Vai is mir! - Woe is me!
- Vai vind iz meine yoren - "Woe is me!"
- Vais ich vos - Stuff and nonsense! Says you!
(Lit., Know from what)
- Vaitik - An ache
- Valgeren zich - Wander around aimlessly
- Valgerer - Homeless wanderer
- Vaneh - Bath, bathtub
- Vannit - Where (from) "Fon vannit kimmt ihr?" (Where
do you come from?)
- Vantz - Bedbug; (slang) a nobody
- Varenikehs - Round shaped noodle dough stuffed with
meat, potato, etc. and fried
- Varfen an oyg - To look out for; to guard; to mind
(Lit., To throw an eye at)
- Varnishkes - Kasha and noodles
- Vart! - Wait! Hold on!
- Vash-tsimmer - Bathroom, washroom
- Vash-tsimmer far froyen - Ladie's room
- Vash-tsimmer far menner - Men's room
- Vayt fun di oygn,vayt fun hartsn - Far from the eyes,
far from the heart. Equivalent to "Out of sight, out of mind."
- Vechter - Watchman
- Veibernik - Debauchee
- Veibershe shtiklach - Female tricks
- Veis vi kalech! - Pale as a sheet!
- Vek-zaiger - Alarm clock
- Vemen barestu? - (taboo) Whom are you kidding? (Lit.,
Whom are you screwing?)
- Vemen narstu? - Whom are you fooling?
- Ver derharget! - Get killed! Drop dead! (Also
- Ver dershtikt! - Choke yourself!
- Ver farblondjet! - Get lost! Go away!
- Verklempt - Extremely emotional. On the verge
of tears. (See "Farklempt")
- Ver tsuzetst - "Go to hell" (or its equivalent)
- Ver vaist? - Who knows?
- Ver volt dos gegleybt? - Who would have believed it?
- Veren a tel - To be ruined
- Veren ferherret - To get married
- Vi a barg - Large as a mountain
- Vi der ruach zogt gut morgen - Where the devil says
good morning! (has many meanings; usually appended to another phrase)
- Vi gait dos gesheft? - How's business?
- Vi gait es eich? - How goes it with you? How are you?
How are you doing?
- Vi gaits? - How goes it? How are things? How's
- Vi haistu? - What's your name?
- Vi ruft men...? - What is the name of...?
- Vi ruft men eich? - What is your name?
- Viazoy? - How come?
- Vie Chavele tsu der geht - Literally: Like Chavele on
her way to her divorce; meaning "all spruced up."
- Vifil? - How much?
- Vilder mentsh - A wild one; a wild person
- Vilder chaiah - Wild animal or out of control child
- Vilstu - Do you want...
- Vo den? - What else?
- Voglen - To wander around aimlessly
- Voiler yung! - Roughneck (sarcastic expression)
- Voncin - Bed bug
- Vortshpiel - Pun, witticism
- Vos art es (mich)? - What does it matter (to me)?
What do I care?
- Vos barist du? - (taboo) What are you screwing around
for? What are you fooling around for?
- Vos bei a nichteren oyfen lung, is bei a shikkeren
oyfen tsung. - What a sober man has on his lung (mind), a drunk has on his
- Vos draistu mir a kop? - What are you bothering me
for? (Lit., Why are you twisting my head?)
- Vos failt zai? - What are they lacking?
- Vos gicher, alts besser - The faster, the better
- Vos hakst du mir in kop? - What are you talking my
head off for?
- Vos hert zich? - What do you hear around?
- Vos hert zich epes nei-es? - What's new?
- Vos heyst - what does it mean?
- Vos hob ich dos gedarft? - What did I need it for?
- Vos-in-der-kort - Capable of doing anything bad
(applied to bad person; Lit., everything in the cards)
- Vos iz? - What's the matter?
- Vos iz ahfen kop, iz ahfen tsung! - What's on his
mind is on his tongue!
- Vos iz der chil'lek? - What difference does it make?
- Vos iz der tachlis? - What's the purpose? Where does
it lead to?
- Vos iz di chochmeh? - What is the trick?
- Vos iz di untershteh shureh? - What's the point?
What's the outcome? (Lit., What on the bottom line?)
- Vos iz mit dir? - What's wrong with you?
- Vos kocht zich in teppel? - What's cooking?
- Vos macht a yid? - How's it going?
- Vos macht vos oys? - What difference does it make?
- Vos macht es mir oys? - What difference does it make
- Vos macht ir? - How are you? (pl.); How do you do?
- Vos Machstu? - How are you? (singular)
- Vos maint es? - What does it mean?
- Vos noch? - What else? What then?
- Vos ret ir epes? - What are you talking about?
- Vos tut zich? - What's going on? What's cooking?
- Vos vet zein - What will be
- Vos vet zein, vet zein! - What will be, will be!
- Vos zogt ir? - What are you saying?
- Vu tut dir vai? - Where does it hurt?
- Vus du vinsht mir, vinsh ikh dir. - What you wish me,
I wish you.
- Vuhin gaitsu? - Where are you going?
- Vund - Wound
- Vursht - Bologna
- Vyzoso - Idiot (named after youngest son of Haman, archenemy of Jews in
Book of esther); also, penis
- Wen der tati/fater gibt men tsu zun, lachen
baiden. Wen der zun gibt men tsu tati/fater, vainen baiden. - When the
father gives to his son, both laugh. When the son gives to the father,
- Wen ich ess, ch'ob ich alles in dread. - (Lit. When I am eating, I have
everything in the ground.) When I am eating, everybody can go to hell!
- Yachneh - A coarse, loud-mouthed woman; a gossip; a
- Yachsen - Man of distinguished lineage, highly
connected person, privileged character
- Yarmelkeh - Traditional Jewish skull cap, usually
worn during prayers; worn at all times by observant Orthodox Jews.
- Yahrtzeit - Anniversary of the day of death of a
- Yashir koyech - May your strength continue
- Yatebedam - A man who threatens; one who thinks he's
a "big shot"; a blusterer
- Yedies - News; cablegrams; announcements
- Yefayfiyeh - Beauty; woman of great beauty
- Yenems - Someone else's; (the brand of cigarettes
- Yeneh velt - The other world; the world to come
- Yenteh - Gabby, talkative woman; female blabbermouth
- Yente telebente - Mrs. National Enquirer
- Yentzen (taboo) - To fornicate, to whore
- Yeshiveh - Jewish traditional higher school,
- Yeshiveh bocher - Student of talmudic academy
- Yeshuvnik - Farmer, rustic
- Yichus - Pedigree, ancestry, family background,
- Yiddisher kop - Jewish head
- Yiddishkeit - Having to do with all things relating
to Jewish culture.
- Yingeh tsats-keh! - A young doll! A living doll!
- Yiskor - Prayer in commemoration of the dead (Lit.,
May God remember.)
- Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement (the most holy of holy
days of the Jewish calendar)
- Yontefdik - Festive, holiday-ish; sharp (referring to
- Yortseit - Anniversary of the day of death of parents
or relatives; yearly remembrance
- Yoysher - Justice, fairness, integrity
- Yukel - Buffoon
- (A) Yung mit bainer! - A powerhouse! Strongly built
- Yung un alt - Young and old
- Yungatsh - Street-urchin, scamp, young rogue
- Yungermantshik - A young, vigorous lad; A newlywed
- Yusoimeh - Orphan
- Zaft - Juice
- Zaftik - Pleasantly plump and pretty. Sensuous
looking (Lit., juicy)
- Zaftikeh moid! - Sexually attractive girl
- Zaideh - Grandfather
- Zaier gut - O.K. (Lit., very good)
- Zaier shain gezogt! - Well said! (Lit., Very
- Zee est vee a feigele - She eats like a bird
- Zeh nor, zeh nor! Look here, look here!
- Zei (t) gezunt - Be well! Goodbye! Farewell
- Zei mir frailich! - Be Happy!
- Zei mir gezunt! - Be well!
- Zei mir matriach - Be at pains to... Please; make an
- Zei nit a nar! - Don't be a fool!
- Zei nit kain vyzoso! - Don't be an idiot! Don't
be a damn fool!
- Zeit azoy gut - Please (Lit., Be so good)
- Zeit ir doch ahfen ferd! - You're all set! (Lit.,
You're on the horse!)
- Zeit (mir) moychel - Excuse me! Be so good
- Zelig - Blessed (used mostly among German Jews in
recalling a beloved deceased ----- mama zelig)
- Zeltenkeit - Rare thing
- Zetz - Shove, push, bang! Also slang for a
sexual experience (taboo)
- Zhaleven - To be sparing, miserly
- Zhlob - A jerk; slob, uncouth
- Zhu met (mir) in kop - A buzzing in one's (mind) head
- Zhulik - Faker
- Zi farmacht nit dos moyl - She doesn't stop talking
(Lit., She doesn't close her mouth)
- Zindik nit - Don't complain. Don't tempt the Gods.
- Zingen - To sing
- Ziseh neshomeh - Sweet soul
- Ziseh raidelech - Sweet talk
- Ziskeit - Sweetness, sweetheart, (Also endearing term
for a child)
- Zitsen ahf shpilkes - Sitting on pins and needles; to
- Zitsen shiveh - Sit in mourning (Shiveh means 7 which
is the number of days in the period of mourning
- Zitsflaish - Patience (Lit., Sitting meat)
- Zog a por verter - Say a few words!
- Zogen a ligen - Tell a lie
- Zogerkeh - Woman who leads the prayers in the women's
section in the synagogue
- Zoineh - Prostitute
- Zok nit kin vey - Don't worry about it (Lit: Do not
- Zol dich chapen beim boych. - You should get a
- Zol dir klappen in kop! - It should bang in your head
(the way it is bothering me!)
- Zol er tsebrechen a fus! - May he break a leg!
He should break a leg!
- Zol es brennen! - The hell with it! (Lit., Let it
- Zol Got mir helfen!- May God help me!
- Zol Got ophiten! - May God prevent!
- Zol ich azoy vissen fun tsores! - I haven't got the
faintest idea! (Lit., I should so know from trouble as I know about this!)
- Zol makekhs voxen offen tsung! - Pimples should grow
on your tongue!
- Zol vaksen tzibbelis fun pipek! - Onions should grow
from your bellybutton!
- Zol ze vaksen ze ve a tsibble mit de kopin dreid -
You should grow like an onion with your head in the ground.
- Zol zein! - Let it be! That's all!
- Zol zein azoy! - O.K.! Let it be so!
- Zol zein gezunt! - Be well!
- Zol zein mit glik! - Good luck!
- Zol zein shah! - Be quiet. Shut up!!
- Zol zein shtil! - Silence! Let's have some quiet!
- Zolst geshvollen veren vi a barg! - You should swell
up like a mountain!
- Zolst helfen vi a toyten bankes - It helps like like
cupping helps a dead person.
- Zolst hobn tzen haizer, yeder hoiz zol hobn tzen
tzimern, in yeder tzimer zoln zain tzen betn un zolst zij kaiklen fun ein bet
in der tzweiter mit cadojes! - I wish you to have ten houses, each house with
ten rooms, each room with ten beds and you should roll from one bed to the
other with cholera. (not a very nice thing to say.)
- Zolst leben un zein gezunt! - You should live and be
- Zolst ligen in drerd! - Drop dead! (Lit., You should
lie in the earth!)
- Zolst nit vissen fun kain shlechts. - You shouldn't
know from evil.
- Zolst es shtipin in toches! - (taboo) Shove it up
- Zolst zein vi a lomp-am tug sollst di hangen, in der
nacht sollst di brennen - You should be like a lamp, you should hang during
the day and burn during the night!
- Zolstu azoy laiben! - You should live so!
- Zorg zich nit! - Don't worry!
- Zuninkeh! - Dear son! Darling son!
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