Fun Yiddish Words You Can Use To Confuse Your Non-Jewish Friends

With Passover right around the corner (a fact I had to Google because I am truly a horrible Jew), what better than a little lesson in Yiddish?! If you’re unfamiliar, Yiddish is the historical language of the Ashkenazi Jews, borrowing a lot from German. And let me tell you, we’ve got some great phrases/words that you can use to spice up your everyday vocabulary.
Seinfeld
Seinfeld

Alter Cocker

An old and complaining person. Essentially, an old fart.
“Oy, stop being such an alter cocker!”

Bashert

Literal definition is “destiny.” It’s usually used to describe a soulmate, someone who was meant to be. *melts into a gooey pile of awwwww*

Boychick

A sweet term for a young boy.
(Fun fact, someone once left me an anonymous letter in the mailbox when I was in college and referred to me as a boychick. While yes, Ari is a unisex name, I AM A WOMAN!!!)

Bubala

A term of endearment, darling. It’s like, “oh sweetie!” But more fun. Because it sounds like boobie.

Fercockt

All fucked up.
“This situation is fercockt.”

Gevalt

Usually used with “Oy Gevalt!
An expression used for something upsetting.
“Oh how terrible!”

Kvell

To beam with pride and pleasure. It’s not uncommon to hear Jewish parents saying, “Oh, I’m just kvelling!”

Mensch

The literal definition is “human being” and is used to mean someone with great integrity and character. A real decent human being. We should all aim to be a true mensch.

Nosh

A word that has possibly already found a way into your vocabulary. It means to snack, or sometimes just refers to a snack.
“I could go for a quick nosh.”

Schmuck

It’s an insult for a jerk, or just someone who sucks in general. The opposite of a mensch.

Shanda

A shame, a scandal. Too bad it isn’t “Shonda” because then Shonda Rhimes creating a show called Scandal would be SO META.

Shmegegge

A petty person, an untalented person. Definitely a fun sounding way to insult someone.

Tuches

YOUR BUTT!

Verklempt

All choked up, emotional.
Lots of One Direction fans are feeling quite verklempt today. Bless you all. TC mark

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Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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