20 Popular Yiddish Words
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20 Words All Jewish Kids Grew Up Hearing

The Jewish vernacular.

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20 Words All Jewish Kids Grew Up Hearing
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1. Verklempt

Definition: when you have no words because you are filled with much emotion

Sentence: Your grandma was verklempt after seeing you in your bar/bat mitzvah attire.


2. Schpilkes

Definition: when one is overwhelmed and/or nervous 

Sentence: She has schpilkes before going up to read the torah in front of the congregation.


3. Oy Gevalt

Definition: the act of being stunned by something you hear

Sentence: "OY GEVALT" she cried out once she heard how much the party would cost.


4. Shmutz

Definition: dirt or stain on ones face, body or clothing 

Sentence: She wiped the piece of shmutz off her daughter with a wet paper towel.


5. Fakakta

Definition: something silly or ridiculous 

Sentence: Grandma Rosalie didn't like the fakakta rap music that was playing at the wedding.

6. Bubbala

Definition:  endearing term, from grandma to grandkids

Sentence: "Bubbala, can you fetch me my reading glasses" yelled grandma Judy.


7. Shana Punum

Definition: beautiful face

Sentence: Aunt Shirley pinched her cheeks and exclaimed "What a Shana Punum!!"


8. Mishpucha

Definition: you are extended family

Sentence: Matthew was basically mishpucha for he went to all of his best friends family events.


9. Shiksa

Definition: non-Jewish girl

Sentence: His mother almost fainted when she heard her son was dating a shiksa.


10. Plotz

Definition: to freak out with excitement 

Sentence: I could plotz from the beautiful view of the mountains.


11. Schtick

Definition: a persons actions or act

Sentence: The magician's schtick was sawing a women in half.


12. Spiel

Definition: a long and detailed story, speech, or plot

Sentence: He asked her for the whole spiel on the fight between uncle Marvin and grandpa Murray.


13. Tchatchke

Definition: a toy or an item 

Sentence: Stacey has so many tchatchkes in the house there is hardly room for the family.


14. Tuches

Definition: ones rear end

Sentence: "Don't you talk back to me young lady, I wiped your tuches" her mother yelled.


15. Nosh

Definition: a snack before, after or with a meal or when  grandma wants to stuff food in your face

Sentence: “What can we nosh on today? How about some cookies!" said grandma Rita.



16. Chutzpah

Definition: courage and/or bravery 

Sentence: Stewart had a lot of chutzpah for standing up to his older brother Kevin.


17. Kvetshed

Definition: to complain or whine about something

Sentence: Trevor kvetshed because he didn't want to go to temple.


18. Shlep

Definition: to drag someone unwillingly along 

Sentence: Jodi was tired of shleping her son on his earns.


19. Mench

Definition: a hero or a person who does good deeds

Sentence: Andrew was a mench for helping the old women cross the street.


20. Mazel Tov

Definition: good luck

Sentence: She wished her nephew and his wife Mazel Tov on the birth of their first child.


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