KIKE: a derogatory reference to people of Jewish heritage


There’s a lot of angst over the use of the “N” word, a derogatory name for black persons.  I am very sensitive to that word, and reject its use as well. But there are other similarly negative words for people of Irish, Italian, Hispanic people which are just as offensive.  The one I have chosen […]

SCHMALTZ: overly sentimental


Yiddish is one of the most colorful languages in existence.   It is a created language, in the sense that it combines German, Russian, other Eastern European languages,  and Hebrew.  It is an informal language, often employed by comedians, but it is also a language of preference of many people who have grown up in primarily […]

GLITCH: a defect, malfunction or error that interrupts a plan


We’ve all heard all that we need to hear about the glitches in the registration process for the Affordable Care Act.  There is no question that some serious problems caused the system to malfunction, bringing about severe criticism of the administration for failure to test the system appropriately before going on line.  To the administration’s […]

VERKLEMPT: choked with emotion

I love Yiddish.  It’s a very truthful language.  Some people consider it a “fake” language, but they’re wrong.  It’s very real.   People who speak Yiddish express themselves with honest, unfettered language which is an onomatopoeia in itself: it is what is says.   That’s why stand-up comedians turn to Yiddish so frequently.   When they say something […]

KVETCH: persistent complaining

Yiddish is more than a language.   It is a way of life put to words.  I am awed by the number of Yiddish terms that have become part of our everyday language without needing identification as being from another language.  From schmooze to shtick the words creep into our dialogue with such ease that we […]