[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 22.002

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Tue Jun 26 08:19:08 EDT 2012

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 22.002
June 25, 2012

1) tsitsilist (Akvile Grigoraviciute)
2) tsitsilist (Jordan Brown)
3) Gershon Freidlin (Gershon Freidlin)
4) "A pokerl" (Lucas Fiszman)
5) poyer/know-it-all/reb(b)e/tsitsilist (Hershl Hartman)
6) poyer (Jan Jonk de Koning)
7) poyer (Leyzer Gillig)
8) poyer (Alexis Manaster Ramer)
9) Niborski/Vaisbrot dictionary (Yakov Rabinovich)
10) song sought (Jane Enkin)

Subject: May 27
Date: tsitsilist

Veronica Belling is asking about the meaning of the word "Tsitsilist":
it is a corruption of
"socialist". The word also exists in Lithuanian, usually referring to
the revolutionaries of

Akvile Grigoraviciute

[Moderator's note: similar responses were received from Elozor Reich and Shimke

Date: May 26
Subject: tsitsilist

Just a guess for the roots of "tsitsilist":

Might this word be a jab at the gratuitous free-thinker for
incessantly asking questions or
weighing alternatives (i.e., overusing the Yiddish "tsi")?

Jordan Brown

Date: May 25
Subject: tsitsilist

"Tsitsilist" was used on the Lower East Side by immigrants who could not easily
pronounce "Socialist."  May have found its way to Europe and taken on
a sarcastic
meaning.  Remember, the word, "shap" was born the same way and made its way to

Gershon Freidlin

Date: June 6
Subject: "A pokerl"

tayere mendelyaner,

ikh halt bay arbetn mit a por lider vos Maks Perlman hot geshpilt un
rekordirt in Buenos
Ayres. ikh hob shverikaytn bay zaynem a lid, "A pokerl", vos banutst
verter fun shpiln.

inem tsuzung ken men tsuhern:

//iz dir a kort, mir a kort, im a kort in dem a kort,
//shpiln mir a poker biz baginen.
//ver es koyft dershikt es "loy[...]",
//ver es "tasht" in ver es "strasht",
//yeder trakht bazunder tsu gevinen.

un oykh zingt er:

//ikh kon di kunst in poker,
//vi men tasht in vi men git,
//ikh ken makhn a blefale, a "glatn".

tsvishn gendzn-fislekh shteyen di verter vos ikh ken nisht farshteyn
(oder vayl men ken nisht rikhtik tsuhern -di rekordirung iz alt- oder
vayl zey gehern tsu a shpil-leksikon vos ikh banuts keyn mol nisht).

me ken tsuhern dos lid do:

a sheynem dank,

Lucas Fiszman

Date: May 25
Subject: poyer/know-it-all/reb(b)e/tsitsilist/

Responses to:

1) Jules Levin: The German "bauer" for farmer or peasant is the
obvious derivation of
"poyer." I'll leave it to the etymologists to find the origin of the
German word...

2) Barbara Krasner: for "know it all" I'd suggest: a khokhem fun der
manishtane. Lit: A
wise man from the "ma nishtana" -- i.e., someone whose depth of wisdom
is limited to
knowing the simple question asked by children at the peysekh seyder.

3) Norbert Hirschhorn: The appeal to the confusion of "a non-Jewish
friend" hardly
invalidates the YIVO Standard. Remember the hapless politician who
pronounced the
"accepted" transliteration of "chutspah" to great deserved derision...

4) Veronica Belling: "tsitsilist" is a disparagement of a "Socialist"
apikoyris) with a sideswipe at Litvakes whose displacement of "s"
(samekh) for "ts"
(tsadi) was a source of great amusement for the pious -- khsidim, especially.

Hershl Hartman

Date: May 31
Subject: poyer

Tayere mendelyaner,

In bezug auf die Frage van Jules Levin m=F6chte ich verweisen auf Schmellers
Bayrisches W=F6rterbuch' (Jubileumsausgabe, Muenchen 2002,  Bd. 1,
187. und 257)
und Wolfgang Pfeifers Etymologisches W=F6rterbuch,  Berlin 1989, A-G,
S.134. Sie
beziehen das Wort 'Bauer' auf das ahd. gib=FBro > mhd. geb=FBr (cohibitator
...rusticus). Als Bedeutungen: Familien- Stammesgenosse, Dorfgenosse. Mhd.
Geb=FBr(e)/ b=FBr =(Miteinwohner, Nachbar, Bauer, roher Mensch. Vgl. im
Holl=E4ndischen: nabuurschap, buur, boer.  Schmeller signalisiert den
Gebrauch von
'gpaur' auszusprechen als 'paur' ge/gi in der Bedeutung von
co/zusammen. Im Bayrischen
sieht man oft die Erscheinung von b>p im Anlaut;  und  mhd =FB >
'au' // im
Jiddischen als oi >> vgl.: h=FBs > haus/hois

Mit a sheynem grus,

Jan Jonk de Koning,

Date: May 25
Subject: poyer

poyer (meaning peasant or boor) is the same as the German word Bauer,
meaning the
same thing.

The German B becomes P in some Yiddish words, such as Butter becoming
Putter, and
the "oy" vowel in Yiddish is often the "au" vowel in German:
oykh/auch; hoyz/Haus, etc

Leyzer Gillig

[Moderator's note: a similar response was received from Vincent Homolka]

Date: May 25
Subject: poyer

Poyer is the same word as standard German Bauer and English boor. The
devoicing of b,
d, and g in some words is an old feature of Yiddish and it is also
shared with the vast
majority of High German dialects--though why some words have it and
others not has not
really been explained properly.

Alexis Manaster Ramer

Date: May 28
Subject: Niborski/Vaisbrot dictionary

I am attempting to but a copy of the famed Niborski/Vaisbrot
dictionary, which seems to
have been out of print for the entire decade since its first
publication. Does anyone have
any suggestions as to where one can buy a copy or what prices are
being asked? Checking
with the online antiquarian sellers, I find only one copy available,
(condition undisclosed)
for $55 and another 25 in shipping. Is this the best one can do.

Any advice would be welcomed.

Yakov Rabinovich

Subject: song sought
Date: June 13

I'm looking for a song that a senior I work with sings.  She gave me
some fragments:

Mit dayne klige oygn
Host di mikh tsigetzoygn...

.... tsuris host di mikh gebrakht
Kh'hob moyre, kh'hob moyre
Far vemen hostu moyre...

...bay nakht.

Does anyone recognize these lyrics?

Jane Enkin
End of Mendele Vol. 22.002

Please do not use the "reply" key when writing to Mendele. Instead,
direct your mail as

Material for Mendele Personal Notices & Announcements, i.e.
announcements of events,
commercial publications, requests to which responses should be sent
exclusively to the
request's author, etc., always in plain text (no HTML or the like) to:

   victor.bers at yale.edu (in the subject line write Mendele Personal)

Material for postings to Mendele Yiddish literature and language, i.e.
inquiries and
comments of a non-commercial or publicity nature:

    mendele at mailman.yale.edu

IMPORTANT:  Please include your full name as you would like it to
appear in your
posting.  No posting will appear without its author's name.
Submissions to regular Mendele should not include personal email addresses, as
responses will be posted for all to read.  They must also include the
author's name as you
would like it to appear.

In order to spare the shamosim time and effort, we request that
contributors adhere, when
applicable, as closely as possible to standard English punctuation,
grammar, etc. and to
the YIVO rules of transliteration into Latin letters. A guide to
Romanization can be
found at this site: http://www.yivoinstitute.org/about/index.php?tid=57&aid=275

All other messages should be sent to the shamosim at this address:
mendele at mailman.yale.edu

Mendele on the web: http://mendele.commons.yale.edu/

To join or leave the list: http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/mendele

More information about the Mendele mailing list