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The Politically Correct Yinglish Dictionary

July 19, 2009 | by Marnie Winston-Macauley

Ever wonder the politically correct way to say “kvetch?” Well it’s “Contentment-Challenged.”

Irving was not selectively separated for his alternative body image, but because of his ethical disorientation!” Got it? No? OK. “Irving was not fired for being fat but because he’s a liar!” The great PC news was the extinction of negative racial and religious pejoratives. The bad news? When we stretch the language more than Spandex – and come up with worse, yet. Is “little person” really more PC that “midget?” “Least Best” clearer that “Worst?” Or “metabolically different” superior to “dead?”

Face it! Yiddish and Yinglish, despite all its majesty, isn’t what I’d call “subtle.” Especially when describing “persons of flaw.” Most of us heard it from our mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Listen:

“That moron’s a shmeggege, his wife’s the biggest yenta in town, and their son is King of the Yutz’s.”

In under 20 words, my Bubbe Bella could annihilate not only people, but whole countries, all through the magic of Yiddish.

So, in the spirit of keeping Mama-loshen “Timelessly Relevant,” “Shared-Capable, and “A Linguistic Survivor,” I give you the POLITICALLY CORRECT YINGLISH DICTIONARY.

I hope you find it a Knowledge-Based Mitzvah!


Baleboosteh: One terrific housewife! Not a speck of dirt!
P.C. YINGLISH: A Shmutz-Oppressor
USAGE: “She’s some fantastic shmutz-oppressor! You could operate on her kitchen floor.”
Boychik: A small male child.
P.C. YINGLISH: Childchik (gender-free)
USAGE: “Someday, little Hymie will grow from a childchick to a humanchik.”
Bupkes: Nothing! Nada! A big zero!
P.C. YINGLISH Negatively -Valued
USAGE: “When he started playing the horses, they went from rich to negatively-valued!”
Bulvan: A crude, rude ox!
PC YINGLISH: Boorishly-Oriented
USAGE: “My boorishly-oriented brother-in-law ripped off the “fridge” door to swig the milk.”
Chaim Yankel: A mister nobody.
PC YINGLISH: Differently-Interesting
USAGE: “Exciting he’s not, but the way he blends in perfectly with the beige wallpaper makes him differently-interesting.”
Chaleria: A tantrum thrower.
PC YINGLISH: A Person With Difficult-to-Meet-Needs
USAGE: “Not only does she have difficult-to-meet-needs, the last time she claimed her pastrami was fatty, it became a small police matter.”
Chazzer: A pig. (Or a person who acts like one.)
PC YINGLISH: Parasitically-Gifted
USAGE: “He’s so parasitically-gifted he’ll take home your leftovers.
Chutzpah: Gall.
P.C. YINGLISH: Brazen-Enhancement
USAGE: “That witch has so much brazen-enhancement, she brought her own chicken for Shabbos because, she told me, ‘yours is so raw, it’s still clucking!’”
Dreykop: A swindler.
PC YINGLISH: Emmes-Impaired
USAGE: “Don’t buy real estate – or a used car from that emmes-impaired thief!”
Farmisht: Confused; befuddled.
P.C. YINGLISH: Directionally-Disoriented
USAGE: “For Hannuka, you gave a person who is directionally-disoriented an archery set?! Are you meshugge? (See below.)
Gantseh Macher: He thinks he’s a big shot.
PC YINGLISH: A Non-empowered -Elitist
USAGE: “He directed Fiddler for his shul, so suddenly this non-empowered-elitist think he’s Spielberg.”
Klutz: Clumsy.
P.C. YINGLISH: Spatially-Disadvantaged
USAGE: “He’s so spatially-disadvantaged, he trips over sneakers–he’s wearing!”
Kvetch: A chronic complainer.
P.C. YINGLISH: Contentment-Challenged
USAGE: “Sophie’s so contentment-challenged, her glass isn’t only half-empty—the other half doesn’t taste too good.
Luftmensch: A perpetual dreamer.
P.C. YINGLISH: A Person who Lives in an Alternative-Reality
USAGE: “In his alternative-reality, he could be an Isaac Mizrahi, if only he could sew – and had taste.”
Mensch: A person of substance!
P.C. YINGLISH: Wensch (gender-free)
USAGE: “Those Weinbergs are true Wenshes. I accidentally found out they donated a fortune anonymously to the shul building fund.
Meshugener: Crazy. Nuts. Brays at the moon – or anything.
P.C. YINGLISH: Creatively -Logical
USAGE: “Who but Lulu would be creatively-logical enough to wear her underwear outside her dress?”
Mieskeit: Ugly.
P.C. YINGLISH: Uniquely-Attractive
USAGE: “She has a wonderful ... personality – even if she’s uniquely-attractive.”
Nudnik: A pest. A pain in the neck
P.C. YINGLISH: Accomplished-Annoyer
USAGE: “He’s such an accomplished-annoyer, he should hand out complimentary earplugs!”
Nuchshlepper: A hanger-on.
P.C. YINGLISH: Agreeably-Socially-Exploited
USAGE: “OK, alright! Millie can come along. She’s so agreeably-social-exploited, she’ll pay for the gas and shlep the camping gear!”
Shikker: A boozer.
P.C. YINGLISH: Chemically-Compromised
USAGE: “He could’ve held that sales job – if his boss hadn’t found him chemically-compromised over the cash register–every day.”
Shlimazel: A luckless loser.
P.C. YINGLISH: Mazel-Deprived
USAGE: “Talk about mazel-deprived! He could’ve aced that job interview – if that sudden lightning storm hadn’t temporarily short-circuited his memory, causing him to forget his name ... and where he was going.”
(NOTE: Not only is he mazel-deprived, he spreads it to others, wrongly referred to as “shlemiels.” See below.)
Shlump: A sloppy, unkempt person.
P.C. YINGLISH: Shmatte-Appeal
USAGE: “Hetty has raised her shmatte-appeal to create a new fashion movement: ‘Super-Shlok.’”
Shmeggege:also: Shlemiel;Shmendrik; Zshlub VIP losers, fools, and idiots who may also be lazy and unkempt.
P.C. YINGLISH: Sense Non-Possessor
USAGE: “That sense-non-possessor thought Tupak Shakur was a Jewish holiday.”
Shnorror: Forever borrowing, taking advantage. What’s yours – is his. Or “should” be.
P.C. YINGLISH: Non-Traditional Sharer
USAGE: “My brother-in-law is such a non-traditional sharer, he moved in with us and I pay him rent!
Shtunk: Smells, as in “bad!”
P.C. YINGLISH: Aggressive-Nondiscretionary-Fragrance
USAGE: “His aggressive-nondiscretionary-fragrance causes anyone within five miles to “nondiscretionally” faint.”
Tsoures: “Trouble” with a Capital “T.”
P.C. YINGLISH: Inconveniently Mazeled
USAGE: “They were audited in April, in May, they found termites, their son enrolled in Hamburger U in June, and in July – the painters are coming! Are these people inconveniently mazeled or what?!”
Yenta: She’s a big-mouthed gossip!
P.C. YINGLISH: Yenthim (gender-free)
USAGE: “Those Shmecklers saw the receipt and told the neighbors how much we paid for our new dining set! Are these two yenthim or what?!”
Yutz: Clueless ditz.
P.C. YINGLISH Socially-Suboptimal
USAGE: “He may be socially-suboptimal, but at least he won’t hide it. Why? Because he’s a yutz!!

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