the big tsimmis

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 29 18:31:08 UTC 2010

Yet another--previously unknown to me--Yiddishism, in a guest Language
Log post, of all places. The discussion is about the follow-up on Prof.
Sutherland's research comments on Jane Austen editing.

> The big tsimmis that ensued when the online archive went live is no
> surprise, really, and it may in the end prove illuminating and useful.

There are, obviously, variations in spelling of (and recipes for)
"tsimmis", but all revolve around the consonants [TS-M-S]. For most
Ashkenazi Jews, the original word represents a carrot stew, usually with
a substantial amount of fat, that may contain meat, raisins, large or
small basic dumplings (e.g., "kishkeh"), even cabbage. But the main
ingredient is carrots. Turning it into this "big tsimmis" usage is
somewhat difficult, although it can be a logical counterpart to "soup"
or "stew" in similar Anglo expressions. Perhaps it's derived from a
Yiddish idiom. Or, perhaps, it's a mistake for "tsores" (a.k.a.
"tsuris"--or anything in between-- =="trouble"). I'd be very interested
in finding out more.


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