Words I Thought Were Yiddish

Yiddish has permeated our culture, probably due to the over-representation of Jews in the Entertainment industry.  Almost all Americans know the basic meaning of schmuck, chutzpah, oy vey, etc.

But there are English words that I always thought were Yiddish.  They sound Yiddish.  They should be Yiddish.  But they’re not.

Here’s my starter collection, please leave comments with  yours…

Spatula Always pronounced by everyone I know as spatch-uh-luh.  Look at the shaynah maydelah mit ein spatula.

Tumult – Tell me this shouldn’t be Yiddish!  Such a tumult he’s making

Finagle – This one really must be Yiddish.  The dictionary says no, but tell that to Finagle A Bagel

Smush – What kind of English word is this?

I’ll add more as I run into them.


PS: I think Amazon is missing out on a bet… for Chanukah they should have the Macabeats singing “Shaynala Kindel-ah”

About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty has three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects and is the author of 2 dozen books and a couple dozen Pluralsight & LinkedIn Learning courses. He was a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP and a Microsoft MVP.
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