Friday, July 5, 2013

Yiddish basics

iddish basics 

Yiddish was the secret code, therefore I don't farshtaist,

A bisseleh maybe here and there,

The rest has gone to waste.

Sadly when I hear it now, I only get the gist,

My Bubbeh spoke it beautifully; but me, I am tsemisht.

So och un vai as I should say, or even oy vai iz mir,

Though my pisk is lacking Yiddish, it's familiar to my ear.

And I'm no Chaim Yonkel, in fact

I was shtick naches, But, when it comes to Yiddish

Though, I'm talking out my tuchas.

Es iz a shandeh far di kinder that I don't know it better

(Though it's really nishtkefelecht when one

Needs to write a letter)

But, when it comes to characters, there's really no contention,

No other linguist can compete with honorable mentshen:

They have nebbishes and nebechels and

others without mazel,

Then, too, schmendriks and schlemiels,

and let's not forget schlemazel.

These words are so precise and descriptive to the

listener, So much better than "a pill"

is to call someone 'farbissener'.

Or - that a brazen woman would be better called chaleria,

And you'll agree farklempt says more than does hysteria.

I'm not haken dir a tsheinik and I hope I'm not a kvetch,

But isn't mieskeit kinder, than to call someone a wretch?

Mitten derinnen, I hear Bubbeh say, "It's nechtiker tog, don't fear,

To me you're still a maven, zol zein shah, don't fill my ear.

A leben ahf dein keppele, I don't mean to interrupt,

But you are speaking narishkeit.....

And A gezunt auf dein kup!"



Farshtaist = (Do You?) Understand

Bisseleh = A little

Tsemisht = Confused or mixed up

Och un vai = Alas and alack

Oi vai iz mir = Woe is me

Pisk = mouth

Naches = Joy, Gratification

Shandeh far di kinder = A pity/shame for the children

Nishtkefelecht = Not so terrible

Nebbishes = A nobody or simpleton

Nebechels = A pitiful person or playing the role of being one

Schlemiel = Clumsy bungler, an inept person, butter-fingered; dopey person

Schmendrik = Nincompoop; an inept or indifferent person; same as chlemiel

Schlemazel = Luckless person. Unlucky person; one with perpetual bad luck

(it is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on the Shlimazel!)

Farbissener = Embittered; bitter person

Chaleria = Evil woman. Probably derived from cholera.

Farklempt = Too emotional to talk. Ready to cry.

Haken dir a tsheinik = Don't get on your nerves (Lit., Don't bang your teapot!)

Kvetch = Whine, complain; whiner, a complainer

Mieskeit = Ugly

Mitten derinnen = All of a sudden, suddenly

Nechtiker tog! = He's (it's) gone! Forget it! Nonsense!

(Lit., a night's day) Beetles got it right

Zol zein shah! = Be quiet. Shut up!!

Leben ahf dein keppele = Words of praise like; Well said! Well done! (Lit., A long life upon your head.)

Narishkeit = Nonsense

Shaynna punim= Beautiful face 

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