beitza "Irishman"--thanks; two more messages

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Feb 10 23:32:05 UTC 2004

At 11:47 AM -0800 2/10/04, Sarah Bunin Benor wrote:
>Dalit Berman looked it up and found:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 02:10:58 +0200
>From: Dalit Berman <dalitberman at>
>It appears in Harkavy's dictionary, under "beytzimer"
>(American Yiddish for "Irishman") a suitable name for
>someone who comes from "the land of the eggs" (ayerland).

My thanks to Sarah Bunin Benor for for checking on this. Also, I've
received two  more messages, which I now pass along:

1) [e-mail from Leonard Zwilling (zwilling at]:
I haven't been following this thread (if there is one) but if someone
hasn't already informed you (or the list) this question was discussed
in the English language Forward a month or so ago in Philologos'
column. As I recall P said that this had little or no currency and
his conclusion re the etymology was as that reported to Bunin-Benor
by her friend. ...

2) [e-mail from Mikhl Herzog (mherzog at]:

Why "phonetic matching"? _beytsimer_, in its Central Yiddish
pronunciation _baytsimer_
'Irishman', from the Central Yiddish _ayer_ 'eggs', 'testicles'.
Remember the Jewish lady who plunked herself down on a gentleman's lap; "Lady,
you're raising my ire", he said. "Oy", she replied, "a galitsyaner".
Mikhl herzog

>At 11:06 AM -0800 2/6/04, Sarah Bunin Benor wrote:
>>Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004
>>From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor at>
>>To: jewish-languages at
>>Subject: Server, "beitza," seal
>>...Here's an interesting anecdote. A friend came across the word "beitza"

>>(Heb. 'egg') as a name for a non-Jew in Ireland. He was told that it comes

>>from Yiddish "eyer" ('eggs') through phonetic matching with "ire"
>>('Irish'). ...

Gerald Cohen

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