This is my penultimate post for the Challenge. And because it is the penultimate post I have decided to throw a permissions party and combine whimsy, weirdness, originality, curiosity and all the self-acceptance I can muster in this one post. Please note that normal introspective transmission will resume for tomorrow’s final Challenge post.
I, for one have never yodeled in Yiddish, but if I did, I know what I would call the musical, Leaderhozen On the Roof
Why yodeling? It is a much friendlier blog option than yelling or yelping and if I did either of those, I would be riddled with guilt. And we all know what mixing guilt and Yiddish can do. Just think George Costanza’s mother and Seinfeld.
Yiddish is a such a rich language and has brought us some extremely useful sounding words and expressions which have found their way into our daily vernacular. It also seems to me that Yiddish is such an economical language, designating one consonant rich word to a concept that would take a whole sentence to articulate in English. It’s one of those languages that you can throw your whole face into.
Here are some of my favorites including some words that I have always used and only just discovered originate from Yiddish:
- bupkes – said to be related to the Polish word for “beans” but it really means “goat droppings” or “horse droppings.” It is used to connote the concept of nothing, disappointment or a small amount. “There are some days when I spent a lot of time thinking of a blogging concept and came up with bubkes”
- chutzpah – courage, brazenness, nerve, courage or confidence. “He who hath participated in the A to Z Challenge has Chutzpah”
- glitch – a minor problem or error. “Your modem crashing out during the A to Z Challenge is more than just a glitch”
- klutz – literally means “a block of wood,” so it’s often used for a dense, clumsy or awkward person. “
- nosh – to nibble; a light snack. “You will have more time for noshing once you have finished the A to Z Challenge”
- nu – a versatile word to get someone’s attention and can mean “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” or “Hello?”. “Nu, dude”
- oy vey – exclamation of dismay, grief, or exasperation. “There are 26 posts to write in the A to Z Challenge – oy vey!”
- shlep – to drag, traditionally something you don’t really need; to carry unwillingly. “In the lead up to the A to Z Challenge, I shleped around my notebook and pen in case a wild bout of inspiration hit me”
- shlemiel – clumsy, inept person. “Laverne and Shirley both used “shlemiel” in the opening credits of their show”
- schlock – cheap. “I write schlocky poetry for fun but I restrained myself during the A to Z Challenge”
- shmaltzy – excessively sentimental, gushing, flattering, over-the-top, corny. From shmaltz, which means chicken fat or grease. “Schmaltzy movies are best watched with close friends, so you can out-shcmaltz one another”
- shmooze – chat, make small talk, trying to impress.”The A to Z Challenge is a great vehicle for schmoozing with other bloggers”
- schmuck – often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn’t use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy. Now there’s something I didn’t know. “I am sure I have made a schmuck of myself with this post”
- spiel – a set sales pitch. From the German word for play. “All of the A to Z Challenge convenors have a great spiel for why you should be involved in the Challenge”
- shtick – something you’re known for doing, an entertainer’s routine, an actor’s bit, stage business, routine. “My schtick for the A to Z Challenge was to give myself permission to be who I was meant to be”
“To have missed providing an example sentence for this word the first time around makes me a klutz or a schlemiel or both!”
Definitions prepared with assistance from dailwritingtips.com.
How many of these words do you use and never knew were Yiddish? Do you have any other Yiddish favourites? Have you worn leaderhozen before?
Today I give myself permission to yodel in Yiddish becuase I’ve never tried it before and it’s the second last day of the Challenge.