In perhaps the most quintessentially New York interaction of 2016, Nicole Kidman showed up to the Manhattan premiere of her new film “Lion” this past week to receive an unexpected Yiddish lesson from Page Six columnist Cindy Adams.
“You won’t believe this conversation,” Adams confided, before providing a transcript, which colorfully opened with Adams complimenting Kidman on her “shmatta.” (It was a Rodarte gown.)
Kidman revealed her lack of familiarity with the term, earning an impassioned response from Adams: “Whatthehell’s wrong with you? You’ve spent time here, done Broadway, lived in New York. You don’t know the Yiddish street word for clothes, rags, the fashion trade?”
Not one to take such criticism lightly, Kidman immediately launched into a friendly recounting of all the Yiddish she does know. Unfortunately for her, Adams was relentless at correcting her pronunciation. “Tsotsky?” Kidman ventured; “Tchotchke,” Adams retorted. (And so on: “fermisshed”-“farmisht,” “pipuck”-“pupuck,” etc.)
Kidman got her own in the end, though, correcting Adams as to the filming location of “Lion” — Adams thought it was India, but it was, in fact, Tasmania. Maybe not such a farmisht after all.