A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Tue Feb 29 18:20:56 UTC 2000

I talked to my mother, who used to speak fluent Yiddish (she doesn't have anyone
to talk to anymore).  She too has no sense of negative connotation from
"tchotchke", though it can be used in a negative sense.  I think this is
especially true when emphasizing the cost of the item, or in some cases the
uselessness of the item.

Then I looked up the term in "The Joys of Yiddish".  He has "tchotchke" and
"chotchke" pointing to "tsatske".  He has "tsatske and "tchotchke" listed as
interchangeable. The definition under "tsatske" is:

1. A toy, a plaything.
2. An inexpensive, unimportant thing; a gewgaw; a trinket.
3. A bruise, contusion, wound.
4. A nobody; no bargain.
5. A misfit, an unadjusted child, a problem and a burden to one and all.
6. A loose or kept woman.
7. An ineffectual person, a fifth wheel, a disappointment.
8. A cute female; a pretty little number; a chick; a babe; a playgirl.
9. A sexy but brainless broad.

Nice, eh?  My mother differentiated between "tsatske" and "tchotchke"; to her, a
"tsatske" is a person, and is pejorative.  A "tchotchke" is a thing.

Andrea Vine, avine at, iPlanet i18n architect
Guilty feet have got no rhythm.
-- George Michael

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