Arthur Kober's Bronx Jewish Dialect (1930s-1940s), Pt. II

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Thu Aug 16 03:38:55 UTC 2001

by Arthur Kober
Random House, NY
(Material from NEW YORKER and others, 1937-1941)

Pg. 8:  A Cheap Skate.
Pg. 16:  But liddle fella, when he got the _chutzpah_ to be a crook?
Pg. 20:  Liddle Shoiley, _zull gesundt zine_, she got more brains by her in pinkie than her grennfodder altogeddeh!"
Pg. 25:  There were cries of "Fa cryin' out loud, look what the cat brought in!"...
Pg. 33:  "Fegget it, Mac."
Pg. 43:  "Look what he's itting--cold cotts!"
Pg. 49:  "Cream cheese, pimento, sardines, _lox_,--a regella blowout you got here!"
Pg. 49:  "I'm oney taking a _nosh_, that's all," said Jennie, hungrily eyeing the platter of salami.  "Yeah, I know awready your _noshing_."
Pg. 62:  Mr. Gross looked at his wife and shrugged his (Pg. 63--ed.) shoulders in a gesture of helplessness.  "_Nu_ go fight City Hall!"
Pg. 66:  "Five-dollar words she's using!"
Pg. 74:  "You hear me, Mrs. _Nudnick_, you!"
Pg. 78:  "I know where she is, that _meshugineh_?"
Pg. 78:  "What'sa metta you can't fix by you the tie you should look like a _mensch_?"
Pg. 97:  "Fegget it!"
Pg. 111:  "Mrs. _Meshugineh_, you losing the mind udder what?"
Pg. 132:  "Listen," I say, "you _hocked_ me a _cheinick_ fomm verts on my face, and now is not there the pents even, and I shouldn't get excitable yet!"
Pg. 138:  "Jennie, I will have to ask you to curb your impatience and to keep your shirt on," said president Fine.
Pg. 138:  "All that's ancient history," heckled Miss Gershhorn.  "Go an awready."
Pg. 150:  You think he remembers, that _meshugeneh_?
Pg. 156:  "Dijja ever!"
Pg. 160:  "I'll _skenk_ you such a fine boggin!"
Pg. 182:  "Sooo," she caroled, "you _shmere_ here, you _shmere_ there, and when you finndished _shmereing_ hoomuch is left by you in pocket?"
Pg. 185:  "You think is gung to be quiet when the _mechpocheh_ hears foom the futchin-winning..."
Pg. 185:  "Will be evvey _shnorreh_ fomm the family!"
Pg. 195:  "After all, I wasn't born yestiddy."
Pg. 197:  "Finstance?" (Kober always uses this, rather than "frinstance"--ed.)
Pg. 199:  "All I'm good fa is to _plotz_ in a chair..."
Pg. 205:  "Is good to _chop_ a little _drimmel_ when is falling donn the rain outside."
Pg. 216:  "Because I'm _meshugeh_, that's why!"
Pg. 218:  "Oi!"

by Arthur Kober
Random House, NY
no date, but 1937-1946 magazine articles

Pg. IX:  ...fleshpeddler--oops!--an agent...
Pg. XIII:  A few such categorical expressions have become occupational cliches: "I kicked my agent in the heart and broke my toe," for instance, and "I wouldn't trust my agent any farther than I could throw Paul Whiteman."  (A very heavy man--ed.)
Pg. 49:  "Don't be such a schmope," he says.
Pg. 73:  Keep your shirt on.
Pg. 76:  Good riddance to bad rubbitch, if you ask me.
Pg. 77:  But Blabbermouth Benny hadda go and open his big, fat puss!
Pg. 84:  ...three hundred clams per week...
Pg. 88:  A fine hoddeya do!
Pg. 106:  What'm I supposed to do now?  Go fight City Hall?
Pg. 108: they were in the heavy brackets, how all that moo rolled in week after week.
Pg. 109:  ...he pours on the _schmaltz_, but good.
Pg. 116:  All that easy sugar, two C's a week...
Pg. 160:  "Bird food, that chef salad."
Pg. 187:  "I got more talent to my little pinkie than a lotta these clucks on the screen..."
Pg. 192:  "...relax awready and stop beefin'!"
Pg. 233:
   I don't know whether or not Mr. Goldwyn actually said, "Include me out," or "This is the greatest script I've ever read.  It's stupendous.  It's colossal.  And tomorrow we start rewriting," or "He's a very couth type of man."  But I've certainly heard him use a reasonable facsimile of same.
   A few years ago, at the recommendation of my former wife, Lillian Hellman, I was employed by Mr. Goldwyn to do some polishing on the screenplay of _The Little Foxes_, which Miss Hellman has written.  (...)  I wasn't too astonished to hear him refer to _The Little Foxes_ as _The Three Little Foxes_, because I had heard him garble the names of his other successes: _Bulldog Drummond_ became _Bullock Drummond_--Bullock is the name of a local department store--and _Wuthering Heights_ was always _Wutherington Heights_.
(...)(Other semi-interesting lines are mentioned--ed.)
(Pg. 235--ed.)
   And speaking of Dave Clark, Deems Taylor writes me, "Speaking of Dave Clark, his endorsement of a hit musical show--'Don't miss it if you can'--stands pretty high in criticism."

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