Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
We’ve Taken Down the Forward Paywall: An Open Letter to Our ReadersRead Now
The Schmooze

Quiz: Do You Really Know Yiddish Slang?

Unless you’re living under a rock that is somehow impervious to think pieces, you know that we are now living in the “Golden Age of Television”. If you watched the Tony awards Sunday night you heard one winner’s victorious announcement that this is a “Golden Age of American playwrighting”. And if you have been to the New York City cafe that sells only raw cookie dough, you might argue that we are living in a Golden Age, no qualifiers.

But did you know that we are living during a Yiddish revival?

In the early 1930s, planet earth was home to 11 million Yiddish speakers. Now experts think around one million people speak Yiddish worldwide.

But a growing interest among young Jews in speaking Yiddish is leading them to Yiddish language classes on college campuses and unique immersion programs like Yiddish Farm.

Apparently hoping to take advantage of people’s curiosity with the 1000-year old language of Ashkenazi Jewry, Women.com has come up with a Yiddish quiz. Too bad they didn’t consult someone who actually knows Yiddish. The words and phrases are kitschy examples of what’s known as Yinglish (also referred to colloquially as Hebronics) and bears little resemblance to the language spoken by Tevye and his daughters or by Hasidim today in Williamsburgh.

Take a look, if only for a laugh. But if you ace it, don’t go bragging to your friends that you’re a Yiddish speaker.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny.

Engage

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.