On Language


The People of the Books

By Philologos

An old Yiddish prayer book created only for women is experiencing a revival of interest, especially in ultra-Orthodox ciricles. Philologos explains why.Read More


The Yiddish Quran

By Philologos

Philologos examines how odd it would be for an ultra-Orthodox Jew to read the Muslim holy book in a tongue so inextricably linked to Judaism.Read More


Neither a Niftar Nor a Nishperer Be

By Philologos

You never know what’s going to happen when Philologos delves too deep into his mail sack. This week, he discusses the problem of nishperers, who rummage around too much.Read More


Yoshke of Nazareth

By Philologos

Jews have many name for Jesus, not all of them nice. Some Yiddish speakers used a dismissive epithet translating roughly as Little Joe. Others call him son of Panther.Read More


How To Get a Haircut in Lvov

By Philologos

There are plenty of ways to tell a Jewish boy to get a haircut. In Yiddish, a mom uses three languages to send a mop-haired son to the barber, Philologos writes.Read More


Nudge, Nudge. Wink, Wink.

By Philologos

A noodge is constantly nudging you to do something. The nudnik may simply want a listener. Thanks for clearing that up, Philologos!Read More


I've Been Thinking 'Bout the Railroad

By Philologos

The catchy Yiddish song ‘Di Ban’ depicts the reaction of Jews to the arrival of the railroads. Philologos says not everyone was happy with the technological advance.Read More


Strange Case of Daleds

By Philologos

The Hebrew letter daled comes from the word for door. But its name has changed in a linguistically unusual way. Our intrepid Philologos slams shut the debate.Read More


Sorcerer for the Goose and Gander

By Philologos

The Yiddish word for witch is a nasty word to use about your mother. It also provides sca-a-a-a-ry case study in the changing face of linguistics for Philologos.Read More


L'Chaim a Bad Grammatical Error?

By Philologos

Jews have been toasting with the expression ‘L’chaim’ for centuries. Philologos investigates a reader’s complaint that we may have been wrong for just as long.Read More





Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • 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.