17 Yiddish Words That Should Be In Your Vocabulary
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17 Yiddish Words That Should Be In Your Vocabulary

Oy vey!

17 Yiddish Words That Should Be In Your Vocabulary

Attention to all my JAP's and NJB's: If Yiddish words are not yet used in your everyday life, you're doing it wrong. Whether you've heard these words from your Bubbee, your Safta, your Zaydeh... I know you know them. You know you know them. So why not use 'em? Here are the top 17 words you know Granny will kvell over.

1. “Oy”

Pronunciation: \oi\

Definition: Pretty much the Yiddish equivalent for "ugh," "oh no," and/or "oh my"

Oy, how did I eat that entire bin of Mandel Bread already?

2. “Shvitz”

Pronunciation: \sh-vits\

Definition: To sweat

What's this winter? I wanted to wear my new Hanukkah sweater! I'm shvitzing!

3. “Bupkes”

Pronunciation: \bub-kiss\

Definition: Nothing, but with a little oomph.

I invited her to my Bat Mitzvah, and what did I get? Bupkes!

4. “Chazerei”

Pronunciation: \khaz-eh-rayh\

Definition: Junk, worthless, something terrible. Primarily food.

These store bought latkes are chazerei.

5. “Chutzpah”

Pronunciation: \khutz-puh\

Definition: Nerve.

I can't believe she told me I'm a JAP! I mean, I am, but she sure has some chutzpah.

6. “Fercockt”

Pronunciation: \fuh-cok-ta\

Definition: To be all screwed up.

She doesn't like kugel... that's just fercockt.

7. “Fermisht”

Pronunciation: \fe-mish-ed\

Definition: Frazzled, overwhelmed.

Do I go to Hillel or Chabad for Shabbat? I am so fermisht!

8. “Klutz”

Pronunciation: \klu-ts\

Definition: An awkward, uncoordinated person.

She tripped while walking up to the bimah. What a klutz.

9. “Mensch”

Pronunciation: \men-sh\

Definition: Someone of good character; does a lot of mitzvot.

My boyfriend is such a mensch; he always brings me Matzoh ball soup when I'm sick.

10. “Meshuginna”

Pronunciation: \mesh-oog-en-uh\

Definition: Crazy.

He doesn't like challah french toast. That is just meshuginna.

11. “Nosh”

Pronunciation: \nah-sh\

Definition: To snack; or a snack.

I'm just going to nosh on some leftover brisket.

12. “Plotz”

Pronunciation: \pl-ah-ts\

Definition: To be aggravated; to (emotionally) burst.

I am just plotzing over the fact my roommate ate my Matzah toffee.

13. "Shayna Punim"

Pronunciation: \shay-nuh poon-em\

Definition: A pretty face; a cutie patootie.

*Every Granny ever* Just look at that shayna punim!

14. “Shlep”

Pronunciation: \sh-lep\

Definition: To carry; to exert effort moving something(s).

Will you help me shlep these bags upstairs? Just some light shopping.

15. “Shmooz”

Pronunciation: \sh-moo-z\

Definition: To gossip; small talk.

Dad, can you stop shmoozing with Rabbi? I'm going to miss "Grey's Anatomy."

16. "Shmuck"

Pronunciation: \sh-muh-k\

Definition: A foolish person.

He dumped you?! What a shmuck.

17. “Tuches”

Pronunciation: \tuh-kh-iss\

Definition: A better term for butt.

Cyc was rough today. Really killed my tuches.

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