Speak like a native with a bit of extra help from Yiddish.

When listening or reading, mainly American English, you may often come across Yiddish words.

‘Yiddish is a Germanic language, originally spoken by the Jews of Central and later Eastern Europe’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiddish_words_in_English

I reduced the list from Wiki to a Top 10. So here goes with the ‘Top Ten Yiddish words’ in English.

  1. bagel: a ring-shaped bread roll made by boiling, then baking, the dough
  1. Chutzpah: pronunciation IPA* (hʊtspə) or hutspa (my version), (to have the) guts, audacity. *International Phonetic Alphabet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_English
  1. Dreck: worthless, and distasteful
  1. Glitch: a minor malfunction
  1. Kosher: correct according to Jewish law, typically used about Jewish dietary laws. (slang) appropriate, proper, “It’s not quite kosher.”
  1. Nosh: snack (noun or verb)
  1. Schlep: to drag or haul (an object); to walk, esp. to make a tedious journey
  1. Schmuck: (vulgar) a contemptible or foolish person; a jerk. It literally means ‘penis’.
  1. Shtick: comic theme; a defining habit or distinguishing feature.
  1. Spiel or shpiel: a sales pitch or speech intended to persuade.

Now you know, try to keep tabs on how many you read or hear – you’ll be surprised.

to have nerve ( mutig sein), (to have the) guts (Mumm (haben)), audacity (Dreistigkeit), distasteful (unangenahm), minor (hier: klein), appropriate, proper (hier: sauber), “It’s not quite kosher” (nicht ganz hasenrein), tedious (hier: mühsam), contemptible (verachtungswürdig), a jerk (Trottel auch: Wichser!), defining habit (bestimmende Gewohnheit), distinguishing feature (besonderes Merkmal), a sales pitch (Verkaufspräsentation), to persuade (jdn überzeugen), to keep tabs on sth (etw (genau) beobachten)

2 thoughts on “Speak like a native with a bit of extra help from Yiddish.

Leave a Reply