Association of British Scrabble Players

Yiddish


baalebos the master of the house > BAALEBATIM.
bagel beigel a hard, leavened, ring-shaped roll. [Yiddish beygel].
bubkes bubkis bupkes bupkis bupkus a very small amount.
biali bialy an onion roll > BIALIS; BIALYS or BIALIES.
blintz blintze a thin filled pancake.
boychick boychik boy, term of endearment.
bupkes bupkus see bubkes.
chatchka chatchke a knickknack.
cholent a Jewish stew of boiling fowl, rice and vegetables.
chutzpa chutzpah hutzpa hutzpah sass, moxy; nerve, gall.
daven doven to utter Jewish prayers.
dibbuk dybbuk a dead person's soul inhabiting a living person.
dreck drek inferior merchandise, rubbish.
dreidel dreidl a 4-sided toy marked with Hebrew letters and spun like a top; a children's game of chance played with this especially at Hanukkah.
farfal farfel grains of dough used as a soup garnish.
fleishig fleishik made of meat or meat products.
futz to spend time aimlessly. [Origin uncertain: perh. alt. of Yiddish arumfartzen fart about.]
ganef ganev ganof gonef gonif goniff gonoph a thief.
gazump (coll.) to unfairly acquire a property by bidding more than an offer that has already been accepted.
gefilte gefullte as in gefilte fish, a dish of fish stuffed with various ingredients.
gelt money, profit
glitch an instance of imperfect functioning e.g. in a spacecraft or computer. [Origin unkn.: cf. hitch and Yiddish glitsh slippery place, glitshik elusive.]
golem an artificial human endowed with life by supernatural means. [Yiddish goylem f. Heb. golem shapeless mass].
goy a gentile.
gunsel (US slang) a stupid youth; a gunman. [Yiddish genzel, dim. of goose].
halavah halva halvah a sweet dish of ground sesame seed, fruit and vegetables.
hamantasch a three-cornered pastry traditionally eaten during the Jewish festival Purim > HAMENTASCHEN.
kibitz kibbitz to look on and offer unsolicited, meddlesome advice. [Possibly from German Kibitz, lapwing, a type of bird noted for its shrill and raucous cry].
kibitzer kibbitzer one who looks on and offers unsolicited, meddlesome advice.
kishka kishke seasoned mashed potatoes in a casing.
kittel a white robe used in Jewish ceremonies.
klezmer a style of music: part Jewish, part big-band > KLEZMORIM.
klutz a clumsy person, an idiot.
knaidel kneidel in Jewish cooking, a dumpling > KNAIDLOCH or KNEIDLACH.
knish in Jewish cooking, dough with potato, meat etc. baked or fried.
kreplach kreplech small dough dumplings usu. served in soup.
kugel a casserole, usu. of potatoes or noodles; (verb, slang) to tease.
kvell to be happy > KVELLS, KVELLING, KVELLED.
kvetch to complain habitually, to gripe.
kvetcher a whiner, complainer.
kvetchy whiny.
landsman a fellow Jew from the same town in Eastern Europe.
latke a traditional Jewish pancake.
lokshen noodles.
lox a kind of smoked salmon.
luftmensch an impractical dreamer having no definite business or income > LUFTMENSCHEN.
macher an important person.
mamzer, momser, momzer an illegitimate child > MAMZERS or MAMZERIM; MOMSERS; MOMZERS or MOMZERIM.
matzo unleavened bread > MATZOH, MATZOT, MATZOTH. Also MATZA, MATSAH, MATZAH, with normal plurals MATZAS, MATSAHS, MATZAHS.
maven mavin mayvin (US slang) an expert, a pundit.
mazeltov congratulations.
mazuma money, cash.
mensch a person of integrity and honor > MENSCHES or MENSCHEN.
meshuga meshugah meshugga meshuggah meshugge mad, crazy.
meshugaas mishegaas mishegoss madness, foolishness.
meshuggenah meshuggeneh meshuggener a fool, a crazy person.
milchig milchik dairy. Cf. FLEISHIG, PAREVE.
moiser an informer.
musar Rabbinic literature concerned with ethics.
nachas pride in another's accomplishments > NACHAS.
nebbich nebbishe nebbish nebbisher nebish a colourless, insignificant person.
nosh food; (verb) to eat.
nudnick nudnik a dense, boring, or bothersome person. [From Yiddish nudyen, to bore].
noodge nudzh to nag.
oofy wealthy > OOFIER, OOFIEST.
ooftish money.
pareve parve parev made without milk, meat or their derivatives.
pastrami pastromi highly seasoned smoked beef.
pisher a small boy.
plotz to explode, esp. with intense emotion.
putz to waste time.
rebbe a rabbi or spiritual leader of a Hasidic Jewish group.
rebbetzin the wife of a rabbi.
rugelach ruggelach rugalach in Jewish cooking, small crescent-shaped pastries filled with fruit, nuts etc. N.B. these are plurals.
schav a cold soup of leafy vegetables.
schemozzle shemozzle shimozzle shlemozzle a mess, a scrape; (verb) to make off.
schlemiel schlemihl shlemiel shlemiehl an unlucky or incompetent person who is often duped.
schlep schlepp shlep shlepp to carry; drag, lug; drag one's feet; travel a great distance; (noun) lazy one; unkempt person.
schlepper shlepper an incompetent or nonentity.
schleppy incompetent.
schlock schlocker (something) of inferior quality. [Yiddish shlak, evil].
schlocky trashy, of inferior quality.
schlub shlub a stupid unattractive person.
schlump shlump to flop; (noun) a stoop-shouldered person.
schmaltz shmaltz fat, grease, oil; maudlin sentimentality.
schmaltzy schmalzy sickly sentimental.
schmear shmear an aggregate of related things.
schmeck shmek a taste or sniff; heroin.
schmeer to bribe.
schmo shmoe shmo a stupid person.
schmock shmock schmuck shmuck a pitiful, stupid or obnoxious person.
schmoos schmoose schmooz schmooze shmoose shmooze to chat in a friendly way.
schmoozer one who schmoozes.
schmoozy gossipy.
schmutter schmatte shmatte clothing, rags.
schnook shnook a pathetic, timid person.
schnorr to beg, esp. in such a way as to make the giver feel beholden.
schnorrer shnorrer a beggar; esp one who wheedles others into supplying his wants.
schnoz schnozz schnozzle the nose.
schtick schtik shtik shtick a familiar line of chat adapted by a particular comedian.
schtook shtook shtuck schtuck trouble, bother.
schtoom schtum shtoom shtum shtumm stumm silent, dumb, quiet.
schul shul a synagogoue > SCHULN (not SCHULS*); SHULN or SHULS<.
schvartze schwartze shvartze a black person.
shammash shammas shammes shamos (Yiddish) the sexton in a synagogue; the candle used to light the other 8 candles of a Chanukah menorah > SHAMMOSIM or SHAMMASHIM.
shegetz among Jewish people, a Gentile boy; a Jewish boy not observing traditional Jewish behaviour > SHKOTZIM.
shicker shikker (Aust. sl.) strong liquor; a drunk.
shicksa shiksa shikse shikseh a non-Jewish girl or young woman.
shidduch an arranged marriage > SHIDDUCHIM.
schlimazel shlimazel an unlucky person; one with perpetual bad luck.
shlumpy slovenly.
shtetel shtetl formerly, a Jewish community in an Eastern European town or village > SHTETELACH or SHTETELS; SHTETLACH or SHTETLS
shticky like a SHTICK > SHTICKIER, SHTICKIEST.
shtup to have sexual intercourse with.
smouse a Jew; (verb) in S. Africa, to trade as a pedlar.
taiglach teiglach small, fruit- or nut-filled pastries, dipped in honey.
tchotchke tsatske a knickknack, a cheap trinket.
tref trefa trefah treif treifa forbidden as food, not kosher.
tsimmes tzimmes a sweetened stew of vegetables, fruit and meat > TSIMMES, TZIMMES.
tsooris tsouris tsores tsoris tsuris tzuris tsorriss grief, woe.
tummler one, such as a social director or entertainer, who encourages guest or audience participation; one who incites others to action.
tush tushie tushy the bottom, the buttocks. [Yiddish tokhes].
vig vigorish the percentage of a gambler's winnings taken by bookkeeper. [Prob. f. Yiddish f. Russ. vyigrysh gain, winnings.]
vilde a wild animal; an uncontrolled person.
yahrzeit an anniversary of the death of a family member observed by Jews.
yamalka yarmulka yamulka yarmelke yarmulke a religious skullcap.
yenta yente a gossipy woman, esp. one who pries.
yutz a socially inept person.
zaftig zoftig pleasingly plump.



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