Earthy Yiddish

July 24th, 2020 § 0 comments

Very few speakers of Yiddish are left. The majority of speakers were wiped out by Hitler and further decimated by post-World War Two emigration. HG treasures this colorful, piquant, sardonic language of the Eastern European Jewish communities. HG grew up in a Yiddish-speaking home (yes, there was some English and a smattering of Russian). HG’s language today is speckled with Yiddish, words that have filtered from HG’s unconscious. (a psychoanalyst might speculate this is an effort to keep HG’s late mother and father alive). Yiddish provides an insight into a vanished culture. Violence: Many words for slaps, blows and punches. Sex: Just a few words for copulation, unlike the many English words for the act. Many, many words for prostitutes and brothels. Anatomy: Only one word for vagina and one slang word. On the other hand, there are a plethora of descriptive words for the penis. Intelligence: Scores of words defining an unintelligent person. Not as many defining wisdom, insight, etc.. Excretory functions: Voluminous. A mature man such as HG is referred to as an “alteh cocker.” That is: “an old shitter”. Not a dignified way to describe HG.

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