Yiddish for the Modern World

Never heard of a techne-yente or a shuloozer? They’re part of humor columnist Lev Novak’s lexicon.

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Yiddish is an important relic, one that shines with the vibrancy of Jewish culture. Also, it sounds funny. For both those reasons it remains adored even as it’s rarely spoken today. Well, to help jumpstart its resurgence, I took the liberty of creating new Yiddish for today’s Jews.

Let’s go on beyond oys, folks.

Kasherk: The joy you get receiving your one good Hannukah present followed by the slow disappointment that the other seven nights are just socks.

Shuloozer: One who attends shul exclusively for the food. He may bring tupperware.

Derezzle: The feeling grandparents get upon hearing their granddaughter ?nally married a wonderful doctor and overall mensch, Chad Warrington the Eighth.

Oyshalak: The slow shock every Jewish kid gets reading Portnoy’s Complaint and realizing their parents must have read “those parts,” too. And they still told you to read it. Gross.

Shlemaka: The creeping doubt that maybe Hebrew School should teach a kid more than a life-long love of falafel.

Costshumille: One who wears the same costume for both Halloween and Purim.

Fermezzle: The mixture of relief and disappointment you get when finding your missing cell-phone and seeing you have no missed text messages or emails at all.

Manyoys: The shock that there are somehow a dozen Woody Allen movies you’ve never heard of.

Techne-yente: A Jewish mother who insists both you and your laptop wear something warm in this weather, mister. She also wants to know if you follow any nice Jewish girls on Twitter.

Drinkelesh: A teenager who is suddenly more interested in the Birthright after hearing the drinking age in Israel is 18.

Disneyckle: The intellectual divide between your Netflix Queue and the movies you claim to watch.

Tastiym: The suspicion that bacon might be worth it.

Posted on September 14, 2011 and filed under Humor.