Profile Picture

Yiddish words, English words

6 years ago
English is a rich and colorful language, because Germanic, Old Norse, Latin, French, Spanish and Yiddish words are part of this melting pot of a language.
Do you know these words? They are borrowed from Yiddish, but they are so frequently used that many people don't know where they come from. Learn them and start using them, and you will be speaking English:

Chutzpah: it literally means “pushing arrogance” (not nice), but in common English it means being cocky, too self-confident and daring, but the connotation is not so bad.
Glitch: it literally means “slip and fall”, but in common English means “minor problem or error”.
Tush (pronounced toosh): someone’s rear end.
Spiel (pronounced shpeel): an elaborate speech or story, typically used by a salesperson.
Schmuck: someone who made an ass of himself (watch out! This is rude).
Shmooze: small talk but in a show-off way.
Meshugener: crazy (as an insult).
Mazel tov: it literally means “good luck” or “good constellation”, but it is used to say congratulations or, when someone gets married, it can be said sarcastically meaning “about time”.
Kosher: literally, food that can be eaten. In common English it means trustworthy, and someone who is not kosher is someone suspicious or untrustworthy.
Klutz: literally, a block of wood. In common English, someone who is clumsy or awkward.