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Your Ultimate Guide To Yiddish Slang

Helping our goyim friends to schmooze, plotz, kvetch, schlep and not let the mishpocheh drive you completely meshuggah.

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3. For the TL; DR Types

4. AlteKaker

An “old fart.” It’s not a nice word. Don’t say it in front of your bubbe.

5. Balebuste

An excellent homemaker and wife. The landlord or boss’s wife.

6. Batamt

Delicious. But in slang it can refer to anything you really enjoy.

7. Bashert

Predetermined. Can be used as a noun to refer to a soul mate.

8. Bisl

Little bit. A bisele is a tiny bit.

9. BobaMayse

Old wive’s tale.

10. Bubbe

Grandmother

11. Bopkis

Literally, it means “beans.” Nothing, zip, zilch, nadda.

12. Dreykop

A confused guy. Literally “his head is turned around.”

13. Ekvelt

The end of the Earth. Like huppitzville. In the middle of nowhere.

14. Emes

Beautiful

15. Epes

Something. Can be used as emphasis. Epes a meshuga! Really a crazy guy!

16. Es

Eat. Es mayn kind! Eat my child!

17. Farbisene

Bitter… often referring to people. A sourpuss.

18. Farblondzhit

Confused

19. Farkakt

Screwed up. Don’t say this one in front of your bubby either.

20. Fargenign

Delight

21. Farklemt

All choked up. Literally or emotionally. [Mike Meyers made this one famous with his “Coffee Talk” sketch (schtick) on SNL. I still don’t know what a “genektagazoynk” is. His character used to say “I’ve got shpilkes (needles) in my genektagazoyk.”

22. Farkrumte

Twisted or crooked.

23. Farmisht

Mixed up. I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m all farmisht.

24. Farshikert

Extremely drunk.

25. Farshtunken

Rotten. Literally or figuratively.

26. Feygela

A little bird. In the US it is used by Yiddish speakers when referring to a gay man.

27. Feh!

An expression of disgust. Woodie Allen… Feh! Mayonnaise on white bread? Feh!

28. Freylokh

Happy

29. Fres

To wolf food down. What a fresser! Is like, what a pig.

30. Frask

Slap

31. GroyseMakher

A man of influence… or maybe he just thinks he is.

32. Geshmak

Delicious. Tasty.

33. Geshray

A scream.

34. Goyim

Non-Jews. The singular is a goy.

35. Groyse

Large

36. Heymish

Homey. One of the guys.

37. Kakameyne

Rude

38. KhayimYankel

A hick, or just a Joe Shmoe.

39. Kleyne

Small

40. Klots

Clumsy.

41. Kvel

To glow with pride.

42. Kvetch

To complain a great deal or someone who complains a great deal.

43. Mensch

Literally, “human being.” Used as a high compliment, like a real gentleman.

44. Mishegas

Crazy or insane behavior.

45. Mishpakhe

Family

46. Mitendrinen

Right in the middle. Often in an out of context way.

47. Mutshe

To get on someone’s nerves.

49. Nebbish

Nobody special.

50. Nudnik

A boring person

51. Nosh

Eating. Or food that you are eating. Probably when you are not hungry.

52. Nu

So. So? So?! Nu. Nu? Nu?!

53. Plotz

Collapse or be beside oneself with frustration or other strong emotion.

54. Potshki

Experiment, dabble, mess around, play around with. “I don’t really paint. I just potshki.” “I was just potshki-ing around in the kitchen with whatever I had in the fridge, but it turned out pretty good.”

55. Punim

Face. A “sheyna punim” is a pretty or beautiful face.

56. Seykhel

Intelligence.

57. Shiksa

A non-Jewish woman.

58. Schlep

To carry or drag. You can shlep yourself too.

59. Schmatta

A cheap, raggedy piece of clothing.

60. Schmear

A spreadable something. Or the act of spreading something. Like on a bagel. Or elsewhere.

61. Schmegegge

Not the brightest person.

62. Shpilkes

Impatience. Literally “needles.” You get it in your genecktigazoink.

63. Shvits

What you do when it gets hot. Like this.

64. Takhshet

Brat

66. Tuchus

You twerk with it.

67. Vash

Alcohol

68. Vildayeha

A degenerate, hooligan or wild person.

69. Yenta

A matchmaker. Less frequently someone who is nosy.

70. Zeenish

Hallucinate or one who is hallucinating. Also delirious.

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