"Dime iss money," Judisch (1885); More Wolfenstein (1905)

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Sun Jun 23 18:16:55 UTC 2002

by Sidney Luksa ("pseud. of Henry Harland" is handwritten--ed.)
New York:  Casell * Company, Limited
1885 ("Copyright by O. M. Dunham")

   A "Yankee dime" is worthless?  "Dime iss money!"
   Check the online, full text, historical NEW YORK TIMES for "Yiddish" and

Pg. 162:  "Doctor," I demanded, without ceremony, "am I a _Mamzer_?"
(...)(Pg. 163--ed.)  "What am I?  Tell me all about my father and mother."

Pg. 171:  He had a strong Jewish accent, thus: "Dime iss money."

Pg. 172:  Ah yes, yes: you are right.  He had a white beard.  He was also a
Jew.  We spoke in _Judisch_.  I remember."
(This is New York City in the 1880s.  "Judisch" or "Judisch Deutsch" is used
instead of the word "Yiddish"--ed.)

Pg. 176:  On her arrival, they held a brief conference together in _Judisch_.

Pg. 227:  ...I heard snatches from the chants the _Chazzan_ sings in the


by Martha Wolfenstein
Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America

   The expressions here are much the same as in IDYLS OF THE GASS (1901),
four years earlier.  I was running out of gas as I got to typing  "Mogen
   There are a few things new to this book, but no "bagels" or "latkes."

Pg. 35:  Then, that his text-books were used in every school in Austria, and
that he was making money "like hay."

Pg. 54:  "Nu,--Maseltow (good luck!)!"

Pg. 54:  "Kuchel (cookies)," cried the Gass.

Pg. 56:  "The Fresser (glutton)!" wailed the twigs.

Pg. 80:  "Reb Chaim Melamed (the teacher) has got the rheumatism," he went
(The revised OED has 1892 for "melamed," of course from Zangwill.  Zangwill
is good, but in no way did he coin all of these words, or coin any of them.
That just shows the work that needs to be done to find earlier

Pg. 81:  "My breakfast.  Every day a thick slice of bread, on Tuesdays and
Thursdays flour-soup, and on Sunday a piece of Barches (Sabbath bread), if
may-be there is any left over," said Loebele.
(OED has no entry for "barches"?--ed.)

Pg. 84:  "Nu, and if!" cried Reb Chaim, angrily.
(He was trying out for the movie CLUELESS--ed.)

Pg. 85:  On the whole, he felt flattered that a solid Balbos (householder)
should accept him as a son-in-law...

Pg. 104:  "A Shlemiel, nebbich (poor fellow)," said the people, "to die of
starvation at his own father-in-law's door-step."
(OED has an 1892 Zangwill "nebbich," and then 1907--ed.)

Pg. 114:  "Meshugge (crazy)!" gasped Reb Noach, striking his
forehead--"stark, staring mad!"
(The revised OED has the 1892 Zangwill, then 1900, and then 1922 Joyce

Pg. 115:  "He has been such a big Trefa-Fresser (eater of the unclean) all
his life that the Lord will not even notice this little bit in the pile."

Pg. 117:  "May God defend everyone from the Makkes (beating) which will be
his portion in the Hereafter."
   "Trefa-Fresser!" they called him.
   "Poshe-Yisroel (sinner in Israel!)!" said the pious, and spat at the
mention of his name.  But the sage ones merely shrugged their shoulders, and
said, "A meshuggener Yud (crazy Jew)."

Pg. 121:  "...thou Omhoretz (ignoramus)!"

Pg. 124:  "Sit!" cried Shaye then, forcing Mendel into a chair, "and there
thou sittest until thou tellest me, once for all, what means all this
Meshuggas (craziness)."
(The revised OED has 1898, then 1907 for "meshuggas."  The 1898 is from
Zangwill, as usual, because no one reads anything else--ed.)

Pg. 187:  First of Genedel this: spiritually she represented the very essence
of beauty, but the visible part of her was just a dried up little mother with
a wizened face, stoop-shoulder, and a "Scheitel."
(OED has an 1892 Zangwill "sheitel," and then seemingly no one used the term
until 1957--ed.)

Pg. 195:  ...gave him wine and cake.  Nay, nay--none of your raisin wine and
(Pg. 196--ed.) home-made Dalklech.

Pg. 261:  Shpass, friends!

Pg.  264:  Laws--Shtuss!

Pg. 265:  Isaac used to say that the world is like a basket of onions.  Shake
it up as well as one will, by the time one arrives at the market, the wagon
will have jolted all the little ones to the bottom and all the big ones will
be on top.  So it is with people.
(Isaac was trying out for a part in the movie FORREST GUMP.  Seriously,
though, I've seen this proverb many times before in my work on "the big
apple."  Big apples are always seen as "top of the barrel"--ed.)

Pg. 316:  The Chutzpah!
(OED has the 1892 Zangwill, and then no one said "chutzpah" until 1945--ed.)

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