Antedating of "Bagel"

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 16 05:51:08 UTC 2012

I've been looking into this for some time, but, so far, the progress is
slow (too many people named Bagel or Beigel, plus Beigel's Disease).
Still, I can do a bit better than 1916--and, in fact, possibly better
still if the English original of the story can be found earlier, before
it's placed in the anthology. I plan to scour the volume for more
Yiddishisms as well.
Yiddish Tales. Edited by Helena Frank. Philadelphia: 1912
The Hole in a Beigel. By Tashrak (Israel Joseph Zevin). p. 309ff
> Pen name of Israel Joseph Zevin; born, 1872, in GoriGorkl, Government
> of Mohileff (Lithuania), White Russia; came to New York in 1889; first
> Yiddish sketch published in Jüdisches Tageblatt, 1893; first English
> story in The American Hebrew, 1906; associate editor of Jüdisches
> Tageblatt; writer of sketches, short stories, and biographies, in
> Hebrew, Yiddish, and English; contributor to Ha-Ibri, Jewish Comment,
> and numerous Yiddish periodicals; collected works, Geklibene
> Schriften, 1 vol., New York, 1910, and Tashrak's Beste Erzählungen, 4
> vols., New York, 1910.
> When I was a little Cheder-boy, my Rebbe, Bunem-Breine-Gite's, a
> learned man, who was always tormenting me with Talmudical questions
> and with riddles, once asked me, "What becomes of the hole in a
> Beigel, when one has eaten the Beigel?"
> This riddle, which seemed to me then very hard to solve, stuck in my
> head, and I puzzled over it day and night. I often bought a Beigel,
> took a bite out of it, and immediately replaced the bitten-out piece
> with my hand, so that the hole should not escape. But when I had eaten
> up the Beigel, the hole had somehow always disappeared, which used to
> annoy me very much. I went about preoccupied, thought it over at
> prayers and at lessons, till the Rebbe noticed that something was
> wrong with me.

This is just the first couple of grafs. Obviously, there are a few more
pages to the story and the word "beigel" appears throughout.
Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume IV. 1912
Cookery. p. 257/1
> The village folk of some parts of eastern Europe have still another
> form of soup, which is made by putting crisp "beigel" (round cracknel)
> into hot water and adding butter.

The volume has copyright dates of 1903, 1909 and 1912.


On 1/15/2012 10:07 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> bagel (OED 1919)
> 1916 _Jewish Advocate_ 9 Mar. 3 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  He was her son.  She, Deborah, the beigel-seller.
> Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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