November 6, 2008

Mamaloshen

I grew up hearing German spoken, not Yiddish. It was hochdeutsch, the language of Schiller and Göthe, albeit spoken in my father's Viennese accent. I learned modern Hebrew in Israel in my teens. So it FEELS like I should know some Yiddish, an old German dialect with lots of Hebrew loan words, but I do not, nisht kein vort.*

But, ever a fan of word games and word play, I submit my own list of words that sound like they are Yiddish, but aren't:

align
aspire
assemble
cardigan
clink
dazzle
deck
dental
dock
evening
fable
falter
freckle
galoshes
glum
grapes
halt
harbinger
heckle
hock
malign
mantle
marker
mental
nickel
opera
pot luck
toy
twist
spark
upheld, uphold
whisk


For some real low-brow Jewish humor, I wonder if anyone can supply the rest of the lyrics to There Were Five Constipated Men in the Bible. I can only recall three:

Cain, he wasn't Abel
Noah, he had an arkful
Moses, he took two tablets

Herzl, he started the movement**

*"Not one word"

**While clever, this verse doesn't qualify because Theodore Herzl is not Biblical.

4 comments:

Noah said...

What about "ladle?"

Jim Levine will know the verses to the song.

runciblespn said...

Jim does indeed know the lyrics. There are apparently more constipated men in the Bible than I thought:

Ba’alam couldn’t move his ass

Elijah had a cupful

Titus…that explains itself

Samson, he brought the house down

Solomon, he sat for forty years

Thanks, guys.

Julia Talbot said...

For the full lyrics....


http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiFIVECMEN.html

runciblespn said...

Julia, thank you for sending the link and helping preserve the artistic integrity of this clssic song!