Did you know that the word “bagel” is taken from Yiddish?
Did you ever use the word “schlep”? Also from Yiddish!
Continue reading to learn about Common Yiddish Idioms in English: words that were originally Yiddish before they became part of the English language.
The word “kosher” is an adjective. It is derived from the Yiddish word “casher” and refers to food that has conformed to the directives of the Talmud and has been deemed clear or pure, thus lawful.
In the English language, “kosher” means something that is correct and acceptable, something suitable.
Synonyms include authentic, permitted, allowed.
The word “schlep” is a verb. It is derived from the Yiddish word “shlepn” which means to drag, to haul.
For example: “I schlepped down to the basement to bring up the laundry.” “I schlepped around the house and didn’t do a thing all day.”
Synonyms include tote, heave, lift, hoist, and shoulder.
Synonyms include a trek, a hike, and a walk.
The word “chutzpah” is a noun. It is derived from the Yiddish word “khutspe” which means incredible audacity.
Synonyms include cheekiness, guts, and boldness.
The word “glitch” is noun. Many dictionaries agree that it is derived from the Yiddish word “glitsh” which means a place that is slippery.
For example: “The main computer was experiencing a small glitch and was temporarily shut down.”
Synonyms include a breakdown, a defect, and a failure.
The word “klutz” is a noun. It is derived from the Yiddish word “klots” which means a beam made of wood.
In the English language, the word “klutz” was first used in the mid-1900s, and describes a person who is clumsy, who might easily trip or drop things.
For example: “The clown was a typical klutz who couldn’t walk across the stage without slipping on his own feet.”
Synonyms include an oaf, a blunderer, and a blockhead.
The word “bagel” is a noun. It is derived from the Yiddish word “beygl” and refers to a roll that is shaped in a round, donut fashion.
In the English language, the word “bagel” refers to a type of roll that is round and is made by boiling and then by baking.
The word “nosh” is both a verb and a noun. It is derived from the Yiddish word “nashn” which evolved from the Middle High German word “naschen,” which means both to nibble and to eat secretly or on the sly.
Synonyms include to eat lightly, to browse, or to graze.
Every modern language is built from a veritable salad of cultures that have generously donated their words. In this article, I have defined 7 English words that were originally part of the Yiddish language and have, over time, joined everyday English usage.
Feel free to continue searching the Web and you will see that the actual list is much longer. You will be surprised by the words that have come to us from Yiddish.
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