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The New Yiddish Dictionary, Part 3

March 16, 2014 | by Marnie Winston-Macauley

New Jewish words for Jewish young adults like…the “Tsourisphere.”

I am always happy to see Jewish Young Adults (JYA) using the “new Yiddish.” But my friends, I’d be proud if they don’t incorrectly “fapitz” when they’re “verklempted.” So, once again I’m adding a few new Yiddish words for the JYAs so when they post on Facebook/Twitter/Linked/YouTube/other new social media I’ve never heard of, they can sound right-ish, and not like a nebbish.

So, in my third installment, here they are: JYA-friendly Yiddishisms. I ask you, are We Jews adaptable or what?


Minyata”: This new event at shuls will entice you JYAs to come, enjoy, and feel like a true MOT. True, it comes from the Spanish, but what, we can’t borrow? After the Kiddush, put up a Yiddishe piñata where adults and children alike can take a whack and boom! Gold chocolate coins, gorgeous yarmulkes, a free season of Jewish Shul Singles, and even leftover brisket will reign from your minyata! Never again will your Shul want for young Jews to form a minyan. You and your bfs will be so thrilled, you might even form a Minyata Committee, to make sure the prizes are kosher, inspiring, and expandable.

Text: “JuYata.” Usage: “Zach, you want chocolate matzo in the minyata? What, we’re not bloated enough during finals?!”

Pilotzes”: Time to admit it. I know you’ve joined every gym, stretched, toned, and you’re still “zaftig resistant.” Enough with the stretching! A normal Jewish woman does much better talking horizontally than moving vertically. Too much with the new exercises and we’re asking for a chromosome clash catastrophe that will make you feel chaloshes.

Text: “PlotZ.” Usage: “Concentrate on my middle? Fuggetit! I’m concentrating on whether Adam was bageling me, or just shmearing. You expect me to “breath” when I haven’t got a text from Adam?! Now you’re hocking me with Powerhousing!. One more minute and I’ll plotz from the exertion!

Polypisker”: Your new boyfriend Jacob who just graduated N.Y.U. law could have been “the one.” Then, all of a sudden he starts with the stories! Each one is a little lie, which I know because I verified! All my bfs say he’s talking out of three sides of his mouth! I’ve had it with this polypisker!

Text: “PPK.” Usage: “Jacob! You tell me you were at a meeting at Shul, which I personally know is closed for repairs because my Uncle Hymie is also personally making them! Then, you say you want us to be “exclusive” – so why are you texting Roberta Goldfein and what’s with the three “xoxos?” Sha! There’s more. You claim you’re ready for commitment, so how come you gave your 15 year old dog Shmooie to the pound to sign a “no pet” lease for a 300 square foot studio on Park Avenue? Enough! I’m breaking up you, you … polypisker (unless you want to meet my mother)!

Tsourisphere”: First there was the biosphere then the ecosphere, but you and I know that We Jews have own very own “sphere” made up of “tsouris,” trouble, and oy veys. Yes, even during the best of times, you’ve already learned that when We Jews get together … someone will create from a simcha, an atmosphere of “tsouris.”

Text: “TSPH.” Usage: “Listen Marvin, when we go have dinner with my parents, take nothing personally. So you don’t stand straight, spittle a little, eat each food one at a time, and collect old photos of the Myrtle Avenue train. Do I mind? Of course not! To me this isn’t tsouris, it’s quirky ... for a podiatrist. But my parents can be a little picky. Not their fault. They live in a tsourisphere, which thank God I didn’t inherit.”

Zafticule”: My darling JYAs, it’s time we united against this egregious prejudice! Remember Camp Chief Zaftigkah in the Poconos? You thought those 12 hour nature hikes made you “tribal,” especially when you ate leaves and had a Hebrew blessing for broccoli? True, you lost 10 pounds for which mom and dad made a party and added tsourisphere by whispering to the guests: ‘Don’t mention to our Tamara the ten pounds. She’s a little sensitive.’ Remember your bffs saying you could lose a few? Enough ridicule young ladies! Spread the word.

Text: “ZCon.” Usage: “Patricia, I’m at the perfect Jewish weight for my perfect 5’2” height! We Jews were born to be a little zaftig! If you think Eve was a Q-Tip, look again darling. We were made in her image! Now this is a God-given gift. If you want to resemble a cotton swab for cleaning shmutsik ears … go, light a candle, and be gorgeous.”

Mamalas, I’m only one person. How much can I think … without whitefish? By all means send your ideas (or whitefish) in the comments section below so we can continue our mission to keep Mamaloshen alive among our JYAs.

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