Yiddish Glossary

Glossary of Yiddish terms as used in The Violet Crow

Ganefs.  Artwork © E.C. Publications and MAD Magazine
Ganefs. (Artwork © E.C. Publications and MAD Magazine)

alter kocker: old shit

bubbemeise: old wive’s tale

chazerai: disgusting, inedible stuff

cockamamie: moronic

dopess: dope

dybbuk: demon

farbissiner: stubborn

feh: yuck

feygele: little girl, fairy

heymishe: down home, folksy

hoo-hah: multipurpose exclamation

hulyeh, hulyeh: yippee!

kvetch: a complainer (n), to complain (v)

furshlugginer: Mad Magazine’s all-purpose f-word

furshtinkinner: stinkin’

ganef: crook

kineahora: no evil eye

knish: dumpling, piece of ass

mazel tov: congratulations

megillah: rigmarole, a shaggy dog story

mentsch: a good person, someone with heart

meshuge: crazy mixed-up

mishpokhe: family, including the extended family

mitzvah: blessing

nafke: whore

nu: so…

paskudnyak: odious, contemptible person

patch in tuchas: spanking, kick in the ass

pupik: belly button, and other body parts in the vicinity (female)

shadchen: matchmaker


shiker: drunk

shlemiel: jerk

shlepper: loser

shlimazl: loser

shlump: drag

shmatte: rags

shmegegge: mo’-ron

shmendrik: wimp, doofus

shmo: “polite” term for shmuck

shmuck: prick

shmucko!: stupid prick

shnook: fool

shnorrer: moocher

shtetl: small village

shtik: routine, chops

shtunk: stinker

shtupper: ho’

tochis: tush

treyf: not kosher

tsuris: pain, trouble