Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Forverts in English

New edition of landmark English-Yiddish Dictionary includes “lockdown” and “breakout room”

Read this article in Yiddish

The world has changed massively in five years – from new political movements to a global pandemic, and now your Yiddish can keep up with it.

Five years after the Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary was first published, comes a revised and expanded second edition. Both versions, edited by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, Dr. Paul Glasser and Dr. Chava Lapin, were published by Indiana University Press.

The source for many of the terms listed in the dictionary was 87 card catalogs and shoeboxes of Yiddish words and phrases compiled by the late lexicographer Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, with the intention of publishing the first English-Yiddish dictionary since Uriel Weinreich’s classic one was published more than fifty years ago. But Dr. Schaechter passed away before completing his life’s work, so his daughter, Schaechter-Viswanath, and Yiddish linguist Glasser took on the challenge of finishing the task.

Following the first edition’s widely-hailed release in 2016, which included a glowing review by the New York Times, the dictionary became the new standard for anyone searching for the answer to the question: “How do you say that in Yiddish?”

The second volume enables Yiddish speakers to update their vocabulary to stay current in today’s changing world. It comprises more than 84,000 entries, with nearly 1,000 additional words and expressions, including new contemporary terms from the fields of technology, science, and politics.

Among the new terms, are Yiddish translations for “to be in lockdown” – zayn farshpart and “breakout room” – der baytzimer.

To order the dictionary, click here.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.