An Ode to ‘Feh’

Siegelmania

By Stanley Siegelman

Published September 07, 2010, issue of September 17, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An expletive beyond compare,
And one which every Jew can share!
We write of feh, a word robust
That’s used to register disgust.
It springs from distant tribal source
Of salty verbal intercourse.
(Quite similarly, we employ
The noted lamentation, oy.)
Ubiquitous, the feh is used
Where’er the Yiddish tongue is schmoozed.
It soars to unimagined heights,
Suggestive of poetic flights!
It’s reinforced by wrinkled nose.
(No need for supplemental prose!)
Shout feh and it is understood
There’s something evil! (Knock on wood!)
Implicit is a stern rebuke,
A signal that you’d rather puke.

Say feh at certain crucial times,
As set forth in these noxious rhymes:

The doc says you have hemorrhoids.
You’ve been excreted on, by boids.
A rotten fish you just have smelled.
Some anti-Semite insults yelled.
An open sewer you have passed.
You’re trapped in smog and almost gassed.
A politician spouts fresh lies.
The landlord ups your rent, or tries.
Your rabbi with a shiksa toys.
The library erupts with noise.
Your mate is seeking a divorce
(And alimony, too, of course.)
You’re fingered by the IRS.
Your pet has pooped and left a mess.
Madoff absconds with all your dough.
Your cellmate has extreme B.O.
Your pill, Viagra, doesn’t work.
The car stalls, with a sudden jerk.
A worm emerges from your jam.
Your Swiss cheese sandwich comes with ham.
An old crone taunts you with a curse.
The editor rejects your verse.

The list goes on — an endless flow
Of bothersome punctilio.
So here’s to feh, long may it serve!
Full access to it we deserve!
For centuries it’s buoyed the tribe,
One word that’s worth a diatribe!

Stanley Siegelman writes the Forward’s “Siegelmania” column, which appears online at www.forward.com.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.