An Ode to ‘Feh’

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

Written by

Stanley Siegelman

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