An Etsy facemask that meant to say "NYC Strong" in Yiddish but ended up saying "NYC Crotch." by the Forward

Etsy vendor’s misspelled Yiddish ‘NYC crotch’ mask is selling out, so she’s making one for L.A.

The Etsy vendor who accidentally created a face mask reading “NYC Crotch” in Yiddish is now doing so on purpose, and ramping up production to meet rising demand on both coasts.

“We are all laughing again!! I love that!! The sales have gone through the roof!!! I quit counting!! LOL! (Hurray!! I’m able to pay bills!!!!) I would love to do more Yiddish masks but right now l’m so busy trying to get orders out!!” the proprietor of the Etsy shop “Tees Go Bling,” wrote to the Forward.

The owner, who goes by Sue and is based in Wyoming, had intended to do something nice for the Jewish community in New York, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus. She was already selling masks that bore slogans like “Detroit Strong,” so she decided to make one for New York, in Yiddish.

She looked up the Yiddish word for strong, shtark. But while Yiddish is written right-to-left, like Hebrew, she printed the Yiddish letters in shtark left-to-right, meaning that anyone looking at it the correct way would read shtark backwards - as “crotch.”

When notified of the error, Sue took down the “misspelled” mask. But she quickly realized people wanted to buy it. She put it back up; it’s selling well and now she’s making more — in addition to a version for L.A., per request.

Sue is now laughing all the way to the bank.


Helen Chernikoff

Helen Chernikoff

Helen Chernikoff is the Forward’s News Editor. She came to the Forward from The Jewish Week, where she served as the first web director and created both a blog dedicated to disability issues and a food and wine website. Before that, she covered the housing, lodging and logistics industries for Reuters, where she could sit at her desk and watch her stories move the stock market. Helen has a Master’s of Public Administration from Columbia University and a BA in History and French from Amherst College. She is also a rabbinical school dropout. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter at @thesimplechild .

Etsy’s misspelled Yiddish ‘NYC crotch’ mask selling out

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