Many assimilated Ashkenazi American Jews, whose grandparents or greatgrandparents only spoke Yiddish, or who spoke it as a first language, barely know any words at all. (a shame, a pity.) Many Yiddish words have entered the American-English lexicon.You will find maven (expert) and gonif (thief) in most dictionaries."r" is gently rolled, as the single "r" in Spanish or French.(pronunciation guide added only to words whose pronunciation might be questionable from the spelling.
The addition of a rhyme beginning with "shm" to denote something of little consequence ("Hospital, shmospital... This from Leo Rosten's wonderful book "The Joys of Yiddish": (The questioner as asking whether he/she should attend a concert being given by a niece.
This list is by no means complete, but it's enough to get you started sounding like a Member of the Tribe.
Notes: "ch" is pronounced like the "ch" in the Scottish "loch," as if you're cleaning a phlegm from your throat, unless otherwise specified..
(sometimes called, simply, AK) Years ago, my mother was trying to convince my then 8-year old nephew that he actually knew quite a bit more Yiddish than he realized. I don't know if my grandmother made up the alternate usage or if it was something she heard. bungalow colony) circuit, during the 1930's-1970's. Most of the Jewish (and some gentile) comics of the older generation got their starts or worked here, including Jerry Lewis, Joan Rivers, Robert Klein, Rodney Dangerfield, Shecky Greene, Woody Allen, Morey Amsterdam, Lenny Bruce, Don Rickles, Henny Youngman, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett, Shelley Berman, Alan King, Jonathan Winters and many, many more. ) The bunglalow colonies are too numerous to mention but my and my husband's personal faves are Pancrest Lodge (South Fallsburg) and Mountainview near Monticello. Let's just say the itinerant knish man wasn't just Broygis: (BROY-gas) angry, pissed off, with a mad-on, having a shit-fit, mad at someone, on the outs with someone, not on speaking terms. lah) a delicious bread made with lots of eggs, usually braided, and served at Sabbath dinner or other holidays meals (except Passover where no bread is allowed). "Chap a gang" means "catch a road" (or path or way) or, as we'd say in English, "Hit the road! Any kind of garbage, whether it's junk food, shoddy merchandise or stuff of little or no value. All my daughter-in-law feeds him is Chinik: (chi-nik; the "ch" in this case is pronouced as in the English "church") a tea kettle.
"For instance, you know what an America gonif: literally, "America the Thief" which has both positive and negative connotations. The hotels included The Concord, Grossingers, Kutchers, Browns, Granit, The Nevele -- mainly centered around the Monticello - Fallsburg, NY area (Sullivan -- aka "Solomon" -- County.) Sadly, almost all of them are now gone. "I just asked her if she was going wear that trampy outfit, and she got all Bubba Meisah: (bubba meye-seh) literally, a "grandmother's story," or old wives' tale, such as "You'd better stop making that face! " Basically, a story of dubious truth, often based on rumor, gossip or stemming from a desire to impress others or keep the kids in line. Has the consistency of an Italian panetone (without the add-ins) or French brioche. OK, my eyes are rolling back in my head just thinking about it!! (see "hock meir en chinik") "Chai" means tea throughout most of Asia (that's all kinds of tea; not just that spiced, sweet stuff you get at Starbucks!
On one hand, it referred to the New Land which robbed early immigrants of their culture, their language, sometimes their families and their fortunes. I recently read that New York area firefighters are training at The Concord by purposely setting rooms ablaze! ) So a "chai-nik" is the thing into which the tea is put.