Judaism/Common Jewish Expressions

Jewish culture covers an extensive number of languages and dialects. Throughout history, it was common for Jews to codeswitch between one or more Jewish languages and the non-Jewish languages they might encounter. Most Jewish dialects and languages are written in Hebrew script and can be demonstrated to each contain numerous Hebrew and Tanakhic influences on linguistic factors such as vocabulary and tone, reflecting their common origin. While not all Jews are religious, practically all contemporary Jewish culture can find religious and spiritual influence in its roots.

Hebrew & AramaicEdit

Baruch Hashem B''H

yasher koach

Chazak Chazak V'Nitchazek "be strong, be strong and have courage" the words spoken to Joshua after the death of Moses

tzadek a virtuous Jew and renowned Torah scholar

tzedakah charity

goyim

Israel

rabbi

rebbe

Yimak Sh'mo "may his name be blotted out" an epithet for particularly infamous, heinous and evil individuals, desiring the name be disremembered.

YiddishEdit

schlep

schmaltz

gornischt

tukhes


"If my sheep had a beard, it would be a goat"

"What is justice to the sheep when the wolf is the judge?"

"A worm at the bottom of a jar of horseradish, thinks its life is sweetest in all the world"

"A child's wisdom is also wisdom"

"If two soldiers could see what the other sees, there would be no more war"

"A language is a dialect with a navy and army"

Yinglish & YeshivishEdit

What am I, chopped liver?

Don't hide your light under a bushel

"For this," as in "For this, I came all this way? For this, I waited so long? For this, I raised you?"

You are giving me a conniption! -while conniption is not a Hebraic vocabulary word, it has been adopted as a favorite word of English-speaking Jews [1]

"The Yod, The Hey, the Vav, the Hey" a way of referencing the tetragammaton without invoking and disrespecting this divine name, sanctified in the Torah and forbidden from being erased or defaced. This is an important principle to many observant Jews. The names of God are regarded with increasing sanctity the closer they approach the true name of God. This name is treated with utmost sanctity, second only to the true name. Kabbalah indicates that a Golem can be created by the act of speaking the true name, which due to its many syllables requires several hours of intense concentration and reportedly carries mortal consequences for making a single mistake.

Yoshke - a dismissive name for Jesus, who is believed to be neither divine nor a prophet.

LadinoEdit

Judeo-ArabicEdit

yalla

  1. Brawarsky, Sandy; Mark, Deborah; Two Jews, Three Opinions: 1998 University of California 9780399524493