Tony Snow, Yiddish Maven

The following exchange took place at the start of the May 18 briefing held by Tony Snow, the recently installed White House press secretary.

MR. SNOW: Okay, let’s begin. Welcome, one and all. Good afternoon. For those of you who weren’t here, we have coined the term “bupkes list” for items that the press secretary may not have had complete and full answers for during the gaggle. So, in response to this morning’s bupkes list, who is —

Q: How do you spell “bupkes”?

MR. SNOW: Bupkus — b-u-p-k-u-s.

Q: Yiddish.

Q: E-s.

MR. SNOW: Thank you, corrected. E-s.

Actually, our sources have it as i-s. Perhaps, when Mr. Snow has found his sea legs, he should check out Philologos’s August 19, 2005, column, “A Hill of Bupkis” (

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Tony Snow, Yiddish Maven

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