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10 Yiddish Words You Should Know!

10 Yiddish Words You Should Know!

Yiddish holds some of the most common phrases used in Jewish households, here are a few of them to broaden your vocabulary. You may or may not say "I didn't know that was Yiddish!" 

Oy Vey: 

 One of the most widely used Yiddish phrases in the modern day? Oy vey. "Oy vey" (אױ װײ) is a way to express dismay or exasperation. It's also used in response to something that annoys you!

Example: Oy vey, I can't figure out this recipe.‎

Check out our Oy Vey collection!

Schmuck: 

What's a schmuck, you ask? A schmuck (שמאָק) is a foolish person. It's often used in the same way "idiot" would be. 

Example: That guy Brian is such a schmuck!

Nosh:

 Yum! Nosh (נאַשן) means food, a snack, or to eat. 

Example: I'm so hungry, ready for some nosh!

Want a shirt with some nosh on it? Check out our Passover 2021 Matzah Collection!

Tchotchke: 

Does your bubbe have a ton of little knick-knacks? Those are also known as tchotchkes! 

Example: Do you need me to clean the tchotchkes? 

Schmooze:

Schmooze (שמועס) means to network, sweet talk, and to speak in a way that sells yourself. Think of a car salesman - they're the ultimate schmoozers!

Example: I think I'll go to the job fair to schmooze!

Kvetch:

Complain, that's what kvetch (קוועטשן) means! Kvetching means complaining or to complain.

Example: Stop kvetching at me!‎

Kvell:

Kvell is the opposite of kvetch. Kvell (קװעלן) means to be delighted and talk positively about something or someone. 

Example: You're going to medical school? Your parents must be kvelling!

Schmutz:

Schmutz (שמאַטע) means something unidentifiable. Dirt, food, dust, or whatever else can be "schmutz".

Example: You've got some schmutz on your face!

Mishegas:

Mishegas means eccentric or crazy. Another spelling is meshugas! A meshugener, however, is a crazy man.

Example: He's a little mishegas, but he's great!

Zeeskeit:

Zeeskeit is a term of endearment. It's used in the same way you'd use "sweetheart" or "honey" in English, but it actually means sweetness! 

Example: Is everything alright, my zeeskeit?

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