Emerging among 10th-century Jews living in Germany, the language is a delicious mishmash derived from a stew of Hebrew, Aramaic, German and Slavic words. Today, there are fewer than 155,000 Yiddish speakers in America, though the language has made a profound impact on our lexicon.
Lest you start kvetching, let’s launch right into a collection of delightful Yiddish terms to spritz into your writing:
1. Schtickle—a small amount, a little bit of something.
“Chrissie, give me a schtickle of fluoride.”
2. Schluff—a nap.
I’m going to need a brief schluff before this bris.
3. Schvitz—to sweat.
It’s so hot, I’m schvitzing over here!
4. Kvell—to swell with pride.
Mona was kvelling after her son won the award.
5. Mensch—a respected person of solid repute.
You’re a real mensch for helping us move that treadmill.