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13 Amazing Yiddish Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

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13 Amazing Yiddish Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

Yiddish, originating during the 9th century, has an important influence on the grammar and vocabulary of the Hebrew spoken in Israel today. From it, we can learn a lot about Amercian Jewish history and culture, which is very interesting.

Below are 13 amazing Yiddish words that can’t be directly translated into english.

1. Kibbitzer

Through the nature of “Kibbitzer’s” definition, a Kibbitzer is a person who usually gives unwanted advice. Furthermore, a Kibbitzer continues to talk when a person is in the midst of work. Kibbitz is a word that means to socialize; Kibbitzer on the other hand has a negative connotation.

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2. Naches

Naches is the satisfaction, pleasure, or enjoyment a parent receives, in particular to the accomplishment and achievement of a child. It’s like excitement, pride, and joy all at the same time. If only this could be translated into English but alas it can’t.

3. Kvetch

A Kvetch is a person who complains all the time. I am a guilty Kvetch because I constantly find myself complaining to my family.

4. Plotka-macher

A “plotka-macher” is a person who loves to gossip and tell terrible tales of other people. This is the “Gossip Queen” or if need be “Gossip King.” A Plotka-macher stirs everything up, making it more juicy, or exaggerated. Stay clear of Plotka-machers.

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5. Nudnik

“Nudnik” is someone who is annoying, obtuse, and dull. Not a direct word but this is the meaning of what a nudnik can be.

6. Yichus

This is an extremely weird word with an even weirder kind of meaning that to me is a bit scary and a little bit quirky. A Yichus means “good blood” or someone who is “well born.” A person who is a Yichus lives up to their family and their family standards. However, this is something I can’t completely understand and I think is a terrible word for someone who is not a Yichus. I mean after all, who cares if someone lives to something. We all are meant for different things and comparing people is awfully taxing and needless.

7. Shvitzer

A Shvitzer is someone who sweats a lot. To make this a little bit funny, this is totally my brother, who can always be seen with sweaty palms and hands, and do not even get me started about after the gym workout. He is all sweaty afterwards after his gym routine.

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8. Luftmensch

Someone living on air or someone who may have accomplished a lot but does not have that much to be able to have a healthy or stealthy living.

9. K’velen

We all know that particular someone who constantly brags about their family member’s accomplishments, which in my opinion, is one of the most annoying qualities any individual can have.

10. Shlimazl

“Shlimazl” is a funny sounding word. It means that a person is highly unlucky.

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11. Farpotshket

In this case, the word here is a bit tricky to translate. To define it is not easy but doing my best I can say this: Farpotshket means that something is wrong or what we say “in a mess” or even “messed up.” It can even be making something worse while trying to fix it up.

12. Nu

“Nu” expresses a couple of things; it expresses both confusion and indifference when new information is learned. It is often translated as “So What” but to say it is its’ actual definitive translated word would be completely and utterly wrong.

13. Yahrzeit

The word above means that the one year anniversary of a family member’s death has arrived. Of course, it comes once a year, and a family member lights a 24-hour burning candle in memory. Alongside this, a special prayer is said, while the grave is also visited.

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Source: http://betterthanenglish.com/category/yiddish/

Featured photo credit: flickr via flickr.com

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