Category Archives: Yiddish

The Great Knaidel Konundrum

It’s been almost a week now, but we are still draying about the winning word in the 86th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Here’s a hint: After the definition as “a small mass of dough” and the question, “Is that … Continue reading

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Words Have a Life Too

We’ve been on the Jewish Book Council’s mailing list for years, ever since 2006, when The Word Mavens  were lauded as two of “the hottest new authors to hit the literary scene for Jewish book programs.” That’s because of our … Continue reading

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We Babka Chocolate…..

Just heard from my sweetie in Somerville. Jessie knows that her Mommy is always on the look-out for random misuse of Yiddish, so she snapped this photo for me in her local Panera Bread restaurant: Oy! Although it’s not as … Continue reading

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St. Anthony and a Sock Pile

The F word is getting a lot of attention these days. It used to get you a ticket to detention. Now it’s a ticket to fame and fortune: Consider the picture book Go the F- to Sleep and Chef Gordon … Continue reading

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Everyone’s A Maven

maven: Yiddish noun. An expert or connoisseur, a specialist. A person who considers him or herself to be an expert in a particular area. When we say “maven,” we conjure up the image of a Jewish expert, like an accountant … Continue reading

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Sounds Like…..

Joyce’s husband was surprised when a non-Jewish patient told him she would need to “finagle time from work” to have surgery. “How did she know that Yiddish word?” he asked. Turns out, even though it rhymes with bagel, finagle isn’t … Continue reading

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21st Century Yiddish

We love sprinkling our conversations with Yiddish words. After all, we are The Word Mavens. There’s nothing wrong with calling it shmutz when you’re sweeping up crushed Cheerios from the kitchen floor. But when we thought about it, we realized … Continue reading

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