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

Oy vey!

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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"

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892945427916467436179193_oy.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=14&h=1b3cda05ffd1f1a5d2d1163de88d7a9ce4c33b5a27513e1bee8e59e00e0d27d8&size=980x&c=4281309483 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892945427916467436179193_oy.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D14%26h%3D1b3cda05ffd1f1a5d2d1163de88d7a9ce4c33b5a27513e1bee8e59e00e0d27d8%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4281309483%22%7D" expand=1]

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

2. “Shvitz”

Pronunciation: \sh-vits\

Definition: To sweat

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F6358929460171268301727451906_shvitz.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=666&h=a28d3dc2d6ff8fa28b828ce5ba5f4ee0fd7e3f82d9858d27eef45f024ebaa891&size=980x&c=4184371991 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F6358929460171268301727451906_shvitz.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D666%26h%3Da28d3dc2d6ff8fa28b828ce5ba5f4ee0fd7e3f82d9858d27eef45f024ebaa891%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4184371991%22%7D" expand=1]

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.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F28%2F6358955877742685651135309980_giphy.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=610&h=386103f7afd5d1f5e4f3d42cd6d6d1e9636e5f65eeb3dbe28dde43e4e1813b82&size=980x&c=2554886790 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F28%252F6358955877742685651135309980_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D610%26h%3D386103f7afd5d1f5e4f3d42cd6d6d1e9636e5f65eeb3dbe28dde43e4e1813b82%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2554886790%22%7D" expand=1]

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.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892947581929249920095529_chazerai.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=1007&h=c03ae48fdd9b7f848bd6db79caf232a7c84b3345fa3152019160e4805a1c4526&size=980x&c=1973694169 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892947581929249920095529_chazerai.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D1007%26h%3Dc03ae48fdd9b7f848bd6db79caf232a7c84b3345fa3152019160e4805a1c4526%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1973694169%22%7D" expand=1]

These store bought latkes are chazerei.

5. “Chutzpah”

Pronunciation: \khutz-puh\

Definition: Nerve.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892948037899331-497935947_chutzpah.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=910&h=b2a57ff4f02493ed0e100fa5bf526241619be916e4d2ba0dc7f6374f8af9784d&size=980x&c=211450007 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892948037899331-497935947_chutzpah.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D910%26h%3Db2a57ff4f02493ed0e100fa5bf526241619be916e4d2ba0dc7f6374f8af9784d%26size%3D980x%26c%3D211450007%22%7D" expand=1]

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.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F6358929491927538152055556355_fercockt.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=150&h=3d632872f664a554ccc328305d3f3055f11c1a050b812f4b9269b2e1cfd952cb&size=980x&c=2873786474 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F6358929491927538152055556355_fercockt.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D150%26h%3D3d632872f664a554ccc328305d3f3055f11c1a050b812f4b9269b2e1cfd952cb%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2873786474%22%7D" expand=1]

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

7. “Fermisht”

Pronunciation: \fe-mish-ed\

Definition: Frazzled, overwhelmed.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892950125193212381051663_fermished.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=650&h=b6db8e57d4c2b69d3084b24ef16c36d013b490d56cf232ff2ac6284e4d9831d1&size=980x&c=3209640543 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892950125193212381051663_fermished.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D650%26h%3Db6db8e57d4c2b69d3084b24ef16c36d013b490d56cf232ff2ac6284e4d9831d1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3209640543%22%7D" expand=1]

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

8. “Klutz”

Pronunciation: \klu-ts\

Definition: An awkward, uncoordinated person.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F6358929510322578632114097862_klutz.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=855&h=baa165dc72cf22caccc7eb5280bfdac2237a58fdbbfad4e88252ffc0212d4f30&size=980x&c=552826020 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F6358929510322578632114097862_klutz.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D855%26h%3Dbaa165dc72cf22caccc7eb5280bfdac2237a58fdbbfad4e88252ffc0212d4f30%26size%3D980x%26c%3D552826020%22%7D" expand=1]

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.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F6358929518876756632001030913_mensch.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=465&h=3c049de9879adce29cbde56800ddc47e3e92c7ab2fc242108128a18d02aaf8c0&size=980x&c=405547572 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F6358929518876756632001030913_mensch.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D465%26h%3D3c049de9879adce29cbde56800ddc47e3e92c7ab2fc242108128a18d02aaf8c0%26size%3D980x%26c%3D405547572%22%7D" expand=1]

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.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892952453630978-675129486_meshuginna.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=172&h=f2d0389c3f33e6965885992f64ddd4bc013b8c5bdd4e610c5a99daef5d64e625&size=980x&c=1326167247 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892952453630978-675129486_meshuginna.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D172%26h%3Df2d0389c3f33e6965885992f64ddd4bc013b8c5bdd4e610c5a99daef5d64e625%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1326167247%22%7D" expand=1]

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

11. “Nosh”

Pronunciation: \nah-sh\

Definition: To snack; or a snack.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892953226183776-258576650_nosh.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=989&h=40f704a0214d9a9f8466cca1e849ee99b0614f6a9bdd2ad8f2a1782d79f80939&size=980x&c=2359858920 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892953226183776-258576650_nosh.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D989%26h%3D40f704a0214d9a9f8466cca1e849ee99b0614f6a9bdd2ad8f2a1782d79f80939%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2359858920%22%7D" expand=1]

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

12. “Plotz”

Pronunciation: \pl-ah-ts\

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

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892954475745297111854419_plotz.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=973&h=61eeac5090d458c00b92ba927035b1481b7cf49ef16fd8a1d9d83dc689d83774&size=980x&c=3420526780 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892954475745297111854419_plotz.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D973%26h%3D61eeac5090d458c00b92ba927035b1481b7cf49ef16fd8a1d9d83dc689d83774%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3420526780%22%7D" expand=1]

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.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892955708707047-525002944_shayna.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=773&h=262bea764f047aee9e38e6a33bb9d2ddbf6001d73c0d107e7978ef74bad1b3fe&size=980x&c=2578490679 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892955708707047-525002944_shayna.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D773%26h%3D262bea764f047aee9e38e6a33bb9d2ddbf6001d73c0d107e7978ef74bad1b3fe%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2578490679%22%7D" expand=1]

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

14. “Shlep”

Pronunciation: \sh-lep\

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

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635893377120571142-1938284075_shopping.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=662&h=b7a07daefe9e97c9cbf4faa8c4733b20614125a1b227d92417896cf9dc4fc4b7&size=980x&c=1041465450 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635893377120571142-1938284075_shopping.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D662%26h%3Db7a07daefe9e97c9cbf4faa8c4733b20614125a1b227d92417896cf9dc4fc4b7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1041465450%22%7D" expand=1]

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

15. “Shmooz”

Pronunciation: \sh-moo-z\

Definition: To gossip; small talk.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892958437975055901147018_shmooz.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=985&h=f4e39e0394cd4b498a9ac65a889d6df1ab99695624ea0becb163776bff047396&size=980x&c=1881930511 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892958437975055901147018_shmooz.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D985%26h%3Df4e39e0394cd4b498a9ac65a889d6df1ab99695624ea0becb163776bff047396%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1881930511%22%7D" expand=1]

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.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892959004150538-547661919_shmuck.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=859&h=6fc22465a61c56024984008dd7c819032a82a2e08c8530c249970e3aca6e3754&size=980x&c=1334359660 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892959004150538-547661919_shmuck.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D859%26h%3D6fc22465a61c56024984008dd7c819032a82a2e08c8530c249970e3aca6e3754%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1334359660%22%7D" expand=1]

He dumped you?! What a shmuck.

17. “Tuches”

Pronunciation: \tuh-kh-iss\

Definition: A better term for butt.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F01%2F25%2F635892959592042378747845450_tuches.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=999&h=69e5092b99fa58d831e9ebeefbcdc24be6b2927898bae1a8c7fd428c3bc7e26e&size=980x&c=3959081916 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F01%252F25%252F635892959592042378747845450_tuches.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D999%26h%3D69e5092b99fa58d831e9ebeefbcdc24be6b2927898bae1a8c7fd428c3bc7e26e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3959081916%22%7D" expand=1]

Cyc was rough today. Really killed my tuches.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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