[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 18.022

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Thu Apr 2 08:43:17 EDT 2009

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 18.022
March 29, 2009

1) Greenhorn (Aaron Kaplan)
2) Jealousy, Envy (Arnold Wishnia)
3) loksh (David Goldberg)
4) gliebes (Faith Nomi Jones)
5) Yiddish wedding invitation (Hershl Hartman)
6) "Di froyen in di getos" (Eliezer Niborski)

Date: March 12, 2009
Subject: Greenhorn

I am surprised that no one has offered the following word derivation:

It is a compound word deriving from green and horn.

Green:  This was the color of the identification card that was given to 
the new immigrants
when they arrived in this country.
  Horn:  This is a corruption of "Herren" or person.

  So, greenhorn is a person who carried the identification card when he 
came to this

A little story that actually happened to me:

I am a retired pharmacist.  At the time of this incident, I was working in 
a pharmacy
which filled prescriptions for welfare recipients.  It occurred in the 
1970's.  A young
Mexican boy brought a prescription order to me.  I asked him for his 
identification card
so that I could properly process the prescription.  At first he did not 
understand me.  I
told him, "verde carta" (green card).  Then, with a look of recognition, 
he said "una
momento"  ("One minute.")
  He dashed out of the store, leaving the prescription order in my hands. 
A short while
later, he returned with a big smile on his face, carrying his immigration 
identification card
and handed it to me.  The immigration card was colored green, the same 
color that was
given to the immigrants from Europe many years before.

Immediately, I understood his error. Needless to say, I filled the 
prescription.  The little
joke was on me.

Aaron Kaplan

Date:  March 25
Subject: Jealousy, Envy

Shulem aleykhem ale (mayne eltern hobn geredt a varshever yidish). Redt 
men bloyz
yidish oyf (keynmol nisht oyf Mendele?) Letstns hob ikh veynige 
gelegnhaytn tsu redn
yidish un s'iz shver (and error-laden--please correct). Zolt ir mikh 

I also subscribe to WordReference Forum, where I have tried, with no 
success, to arouse
some discussion of Yiddish.
A question came up about "Jealousy" and "Envy."  Weinreich gives "kine," 
zany," and "farginen" for "envy", the first two for "jealousy" in general 
and "eyferzukht"
for sexual jealousy.  Is that your usage as well?

Several asides:  boy is Weinreich pre- (and even sometimes pro-) 
scriptive.  He also never
gives the phonetic form of the Hebrew on the Yiddish side, which makes 
life difficult at
times (he also often refuses to give the definition of a perfectly good 
and common
Yiddish word that has German roots, and directs you instead to an often 
obscure Hebrew
equivalent).  "Eyferzukht" is the exact transliteration of the German 
"Eifersucht."  In
Varshever dialect, an "n" is usually included (apparently influenced by 
Polish ??? -- as in
Gesia Street = gey(n)she gas), as "aynferzikht"  (here, my memory fails: 
I may even have
heard "eynferzikht" and, as adjective, "eynfarzikhtig." I have only heard 
"farginen" is
such phrases as "Ikh fargin dir" where it conveys, "Am I stopping you from 
..." or "Do I
begrudge you?")

Apologies, and thanks in advance,
Arnold Wishnia

Date:  March 13, 2009
Subject: loksh

Noyekh Miller's reference to the English "string bean" for skinny reminds 
me of my
father's standard description of a skinny person: a loksh.

Dovid Goldberg

Date:  March 19, 2009
Subject: gliebes

In a story by Shira Gorshman I have found the word "gliebes" - giml lamed 
ayin beys ayin samakh. The context is, "Alte un yunge froyen, geboygene 
unter zek
kartofl un gliebes heytsung zenen undz antkegngekumen." Gorshman was from 
Krok but
lived many years in Moscow. If anyone can provide a gloss, I would be 

Faith Nomi Jones

Date:  March 14, 2009
Subject:  Yiddish wedding invitation

In response to Eli Rosenblatt's query (Vol. 18.021,) I recently turned up 
my in-laws' 1927
Yiddish wedding invitation which reads as follows (preserving the quaint, 
Germanic wording and transcribing the archaic spelling via the YIVO 

mr. und mrs. mikhal gilston
mr. und mrs. moyshe leyb shteyn

laden aykh heflikhst* ayn tsu der khasene fun zeyere kinder




am zuntag dem 2ten yanuar 1927

um 7 uhr abend

in rev. ritshman's privat restaurant

151 ist brodvey

nyu york

(*heflikhst = most respectfully/cordially)

Hershl Hartman

Date: March 9. 2009
Subject: "Froyen in di getos"

Rukhl Eissenstat fregt zikh nokh vegn dem bukh "Froyen in di getos",
aroys in 1946. Dos bukh ken men leyenen oder aroplodn gantserheyt funem 


mit di beste grusn,

Eliezer Niborski
End of Mendele Vol. 18.022

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