Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Life

What’s the Yiddish for ‘Pussy Hat’?

Say you’re going to a Women’s March and have decided to knit, or wear, a protest Pussy Hat for the occasion.

Pussy hat creation in action Image by Getty Images

You may find yourself in need of brief moments of levity, and a fine diversion is contemplating possible Yiddish translations for “Pussy Hat”:

A hat in the style of the Pussy Hat is called a hitl. “Pussy” in Yiddish is a bit more complicated; no direct equivalent exists. Shandfleysh-hitl has a nice ring to it and may be ironic in a third-wave feminist sense. It’s literally “shame-meat-hat.” “Knish-Hitl” would sound good to an American ear. I grew up hearing Piregl to mean both vagina and the American sense of a man who isn’t masculine enough. So maybe Pireg-Hitl?

Pussy in the sense of cat is Ketsl which sounds a lot like Kitslen which is to tickle. A tickler (kitsler) is a euphemism for the clitoris. So “Ketsl-Hitl” is also a believable neologism with a triple entendre. The few remaining Ukrainian Jews from around Kiev would in fact pronounce it “Kitsl-Hitl.” Which I guess would be a “tickle/kitten/vagina” hat.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at help@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

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