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Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, is reported to have said, "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse." One wonders how he would have completed, "and Yiddish to..." Yiddish, a language full of wit and charm, embodies a deep appreciation of human behavior in all its colorful manifestations. This week we'll look at a few Yiddishisms that have enriched the English language. Add these words from Yiddish to bring a little tang to your conversation.
yenta (YEN-tuh) noun
A busybody or a gossip.
[From Yiddish yente, originally a female name.]
-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)
"Q. How do you describe what you do? A. I'm a yenta. I can't wait to learn new things. And then to tell people about them." Claudia Dreifus; Latter-Day Mr. Wizard Expounds on the Joy of Science; The New York Times; Apr 4, 2000.
Good prose is like a windowpane. -George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)
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