The Schmooze

Love Scrabble? Brush Up on Your Yiddish

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(JTA) — Next time you’re playing Scrabble, you can put down “schmutz,” “schtum” or even “tuchus” without fear of being challenged. (“Tuchuses,” the plural, is also acceptable.)

These are just some of the new Yiddish words to be added to Merriam-Webster’s “Official Scrabble Players’ Dictionary.”

The dictionary’s fifth edition, published this month, includes more than 5,000 new words in total, many of them recently coined ones like “beatbox,” “hashtag” and “chillax.”

But “schmutz” is one of the few newcomers to be highlighted in a promotional video on Merriam-Webster’s YouTube channel. In it, Jewish comedian Judy Gold, laying on a thick Long Island accent, shares several examples of how the word — which means dirt — might appear in a sentence.

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Love Scrabble? Brush Up on Your Yiddish

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