Yiddish words used in English

There are some Yiddish words used in English language context. An English sentence that uses these words sometimes is said to be in Yinglish (or Hebronics).[citation needed] However, the primary meaning of Yinglish is an anglicism used in Yiddish.[citation needed]

This secondary sense of the term Yinglish describes the distinctive way certain Jews in English-speaking countries add many Yiddish words into their conversation, beyond general Yiddish words and phrases used by English speakers.[citation needed] In this meaning, Yinglish is not the same as Yeshivish, which is spoken by many Orthodox Jews, though the two share many parallels.[citation needed]


Many of these words have not been assimilated into English and are unlikely to be understood by English speakers who do not have substantial Yiddish knowledge. Leo Rosten's book, The Joys of Yiddish,[1] explains these words (and many more) in detail. With the exceptions of blintz, kosher (used in English slang), and shmo, none of the other words in this list are labeled as Yinglish in Rosten's book.

Primarily Ashkenazi Orthodox Jews will use Yiddish, Hebrew, or Aramaic while speaking a version of English. Many of these do not translate directly into English or have a different connotation. For example, a secular (English) "Book" but a holy (Hebrew) "Sefer"; or regular "lights" but a "Shabbos Leichter" (or "Lachter" depending on sub-group type). This will vary from 10% in "normal" speech to 40% in a lecture or Talmudic discussion. Sephardic Jews might do the same but do not normally understand Yiddish and would only use Hebrew or Aramaic terms.

As with Yiddish, Yinglish has no set transliteration standard; as the primary speakers of Yinglish are, by definition, Anglophones (whether first-language or not), Yinglish used in running speech tends to be transliterated using an English-based orthography. This, however, varies, sometimes in the same sentence. For instance, the word פֿאַרקאַקטע may be spelled farkakte, ferkockte, verkackte, among others. In its roots, though, Yiddish (whether used as English slang or not) is fundamentally mediaeval High German; although mediaeval German suffered from the same vagaries in spelling, it later became standardised in Modern High German. This list shall use the same conventions as Modern High German, with the exception of certain words, the spellings of which have been standardised. Furthermore, common nouns shall be left lowercase, as in English.