"break <someone's> eggs"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 9 01:11:35 UTC 2010

At 6:45 PM -0400 8/8/10, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>  I am a couple of generations removed from Yiddish speakers in my
>family (contributing to the death of a language, as it were), but I
>distinctly recall references to "beitzim", which, if I am not mistaken,
>is an Ivritism in Yiddish (one of many that deal with ... uhm ...
>sensitive issues). This could be a dialectal difference or simple taboo
>     VS-)

It is, in any case, it's beitzim that are the entities such that if
my bubbe had them she'd be my zayde.
(i.e. if my grandma had balls, she'd be my grandpa, the Yiddish
version of "If wishes were horses, beggars would fly")


>On 8/8/2010 5:47 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
>>Yiddish also. I recall hearing about someone's (grandma?) who, on hearing
>>that someone had been classified 1A by the draft board (i.e., completely
>>qualified to be drafted into the Army) and quipped (imagine a heavy Yiddish
>>accent) "How can they take him into the Army with just one ey?" -- lit.
>>'egg', slang 'testicle' (testis? I didn't ask my grandma).
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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