flips and gasmeters

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Mar 8 02:48:51 UTC 2001

At 10:28 AM -0500 3/8/01, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>>  ... "Vol Vistu Gaily Star" (Spanish? Portuguese?)
>>No, this is Yiddish too, at least partly
>What does it mean?
>Listening to the piece, I hear something like /... val visto geili sta, val
>visto geili sta, val visto geili sta, laam[b]Elou; manja manja manja mi,
>.../. I can see "val vistu" as something like "was willst du" but the
>pronunciation of /val/ here is not /vas/ although it might be /van/ in some
>iterations. At the end of the piece, somebody asks what the title means,
>and the answer is "Don't mean a thing ... jive talk ...."
>>You sure it wasn't the gefilte fish with the horseradish?
>"Matzoh balls [and] gefilte fish ... Now you put a little horseradish on it
>... Bring me a side order of matzoh balls! ... Matzoh balls, gefilte fish,
>with a little horseradish on the side ... Horseradish with matzoh balls!
>... Matzoh ball stew!"
>-- Doug Wilson

Stew indeed.  I'm not quite sure what's being said here, but I guess
the matzoh balls ("Best part of the matzoh!") aren't in their usual
soup, in which case I suppose they can be served with horseradish,
even the red kind that is always served with gefilte fish.  As for
the "val vistu", I'm even less sure.  Yes, I was parsing it as "vas
vilst du" (to use something approximating standard Yiddish
transliteration), but you've evidently considered and rejected that
hypothesis, and indeed the rest does sound a bit more like Romance
(Italian, maybe?).  Go know.


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