[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 22.003

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Thu Jun 28 08:46:25 EDT 2012

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language


Contents of Vol. 22.003

June 25, 2012

1) poyer/know-it-all (Leonard Fox)

2) know-it-all (Eliezer Greisdorf)

3) know-it-all (Leybl Goldberg)

4) know-it-all (Morrie Feller)

5) reb(b)e (Oron Joffe)

6) lekakh (Oron Joffe)

7) "Glikl Hameln" sought (Irwin Keller)

8) announcement of translation website (Jane Peppler)

9) identifying Yidl mitn fidl, Elyakum mitn bas (Ruthie Wilnai)

10) spelling of "tseyakhmert" (Shimke Levine)


1) Date: May 25

Subject: poyer/know-it-all

Jules Levin (Mendele Vol. 22.001) asks about the etymology of "poyer,"
"peasant." It comes from the German word "Bauer," also meaning

Barbara Krasner, in the same issue of Mendele, asks about a Yiddish
term for "know-it-all." The word would be "kolboynik."

Leonard Fox


Subject: know-it-all

Date: June 3

The closest I can think of for a "know it all" is a "groyser makher."
Also, I believe that a groyser kapelush (a formal hat which was
commonly worn by a gentleman back in the thirties) makher also means
something similar.

 Eliezer Greisdorf


Date: May 25

Subject: know-it-all

Barbara Krasner inquired (April 26, 2012; Mendele Vol 22.001) about
ways to express the idea of a "know-it-all" or "pompous ass." One way
to describe a pedant is by using ONBLOZN ZIKH (VI AN INDIK) "to puff
oneself up (like a peacock/male guinea fowl)." ER BLOZT ZIKH ON (VI AN


Leybl Goldberg


Date: May 25

Subject:  know-it-all

I would suggest "a gantser meyvn."

Morrie Feller


Date: May 26

Subject: reb(b)e

The spelling is a moot point, although in YIVO transliteration is
would be rebe. Both vowels are pronounced. The reason why the word is
sometimes transliterated with two b's is that it is of Hebrew origin,
and in Hebrew, the b has a dagesh, which indicates a doubling of the
letter, or in this case a "hard"pronunciation (i.e. B not V).

Oron Joffe


Date:  May 26

Subject: lekakh

I don't know the song, but a quick Google search brings up the
expression, e.g. at


Lekakh, in this case is the Hebrew word for lesson (esp. a moral
lesson) rather than Lekekh, honey cake.

 Oron Joffe


Date:  June 6

Subject: "Glikl Hameln" sought

Hello folks,

I teach a monthly Yiddish Tish in Sonoma County, California. I wanted
to bring in a text specimen from Glikl of Hamlin. I've been hunting on
line, but have only been able to find her words in translation -
including one translation into "modern Yiddish."

Does anyone have an idea about where I can look to find an excerpt in
the original, either online (yay!) or for purchase (okay, fine)?

A dank.

Irwin Keller


Date: June 1

Subject: announcement of translation website

Hello friends,

I've waited for a long time for somebody to start a site like this and
finally decided to do it myself. It's just a few days old.


I want to collect all historic and current translations of Yiddish
books into English at this site, and if the translations are currently
available, either for sale or for free online, I will link to those
purchase opportunities. Eventually I will add a search mechanism and

also the names of the Yiddish works in standard YIVO transliteration
but for now, if you have a list of English translations of Yiddish
books, or have done some yourself or know somebody who has, please let
me know at jane at mappamundi.com and I will add them to my list, which
is very short so far!

If you know of someone who has already done this work please let me
know - I would like to avoid duplicating others' efforts.

I would also be happy to add a section for translations which are in
progress. My main concern is for potential translators to avoid
duplicating efforts when there are so many wonderful works that have
never seen the light of day in English.

Jane Peppler


Date: June 9

Subject: identifying Yidl mitn fidl, Elyakum mitn bas

Dear Researchers!

In the Rakov Yizkor book my mother's uncle, Yehuda Lifshitz, tells the
following  story:

"I had two uncles, my father's brothers. Both of them were, during
their time, famous musicians. One of them was Yudl Lifshitz. I am
named after him. He was a famous violinst and a conductor in the
Nikolaiv regiment of Kiev. The other brother was Josef Lifshitz. He
was maestro of many musical instruments. He got, at the time, the
prize of the conservatorium of St. Petersburg for composing a famous
music. It is a tradition in our family that the song "Yudl with the
Violin, Elyakim with the Bass" is a composition written by Josef
Lifshitz about his brother Yudl."

When I searched the internet for the song I found a site in the Hebrew
Wikipedia, where there is a reference to the song, but the words of
the songs are related to Izik Manger.

Does any of the readers have any advice how can I search for the fate
of the two brothers?

Is there a possibility to verify the story in Kiev Military Orchestra History?

Is there any possibility to verify the part of the story about St.
Petersbug Conservatorium?

Any idea is welcomed.


Ruthie Wilnai


Subject: spelling of "tseyakhmert"

Date: May 26

The Yiddish On-Line Dictionary, using Yivo transliteration, writes
"tseiakhmert" (one of the responses when one types in "upset").
Shouldn't this be "tseyakhmert"?

Shimke Levine


End of Mendele Vol. 20.003

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

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

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.

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)

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:

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