Friday, December 03, 2004

BIGGS, O'BRIEN AND GIGGLE WORDS

In case you didn't know, Jason Biggs is not Jewish. He's Italian. But since Biggs is now in the new play "Modern Orthodox," wherein he plays an Orthodox Jew, he has to pronounce myriad Hebrew and Yiddish words.

As part of the promotional junket, Biggs just told Conan O'Brien that he doesn't have to know how to speak Hebrew to play Jewish in the play: "A lot of them are just giggle words," Biggs said, as he taught the extremely tall redheaded O'Brien to say "shmageggy"...

Isn't it nice to have one's linguistic heritage reduced to the term "giggle words"? But ok, I'll play along.

Of course there are the regular words like tuchas and kneidel. And the "dirtier" ones like alter cocker and shmeckel. That's Yiddish for ya. But in Hebrew? Mirkachat (pharmacy), harpatkaot (adventures) and, a seasonal duo, sufganiyot (jelly donuts) and chanukiyah (the proper name for the chanukah candelabrum, known as "menorah"). Oh, I know there are others. But I want to hear from you.

What are your favorite giggle words? Answers can be in Hebrew, Yiddish, English or any other language...

I'll start you off with an English one. Kumquat. Now you go.

20 Comments:

At 2:15 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Mel said...

"schvitz" and I always wonder if the word "which" is spelled correctly, it's a funny looking word.

 
At 8:23 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Z said...

I always liked "conundrum" and "quasar" - sadly, I don't know many yiddish words. In Hebrew? I always liked the way "kekedem" sounded.

 
At 9:33 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Ariela said...

How bout 'hootenany' and 'noodle'...

...and on a slightly similar topic, I hear there was a study done on the "most beautiful sounding" English word, and the winner was (wait for it): syphilis. Now there's one pretty pretty word!

 
At 10:28 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger writersbloc gal said...

Gornisht.. and Schmendrick. :) Happy upcoming Hannukah!

 
At 1:14 PM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Norma said...

I must have read a different survey, because I remember hearing that the most beautiful sounding words in the English language were : cellar door.

In children's choir, we always giggled when the pastor read "The Epistle" for the day.

I giggle at all Esther's Hebrew and/or Yiddish words, because I don't know any of them!

 
At 1:56 PM, December 03, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In English, ghoulish. And remember, you remove just one letter from slaughter and you get laughter!

Echoing writergal, my favorite Yiddish phrase, simply because it so eloquently sums up the Jewish attitude is girnischt mit gornischt -- nothing with nothing. Oh, you think YOU have nothing? Well, I've got nothing too, but with some MORE nothing slopped on top! That's how little I've got!

(c) 2004 Joel in LA!

 
At 1:59 PM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Shareen said...

I highly recommend this article:- Judge Alex Kozinski & Eugene Volokh, "Lawsuit, Shmawsuit" 103 Yale Law Journal 463 (1993
http://www1.law.ucla.edu/~volokh/yiddish.htm
An extract:-
" "chutzpah" has appeared in 231 reported court decisions...Variations on "kibitz" have appeared in seventeen cases... "Maven" has appeared in fourteen cases, "klutz" in three."

 
At 7:16 PM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Coelecanth said...

Can't think of a single word, dang-it. My lexiconal humour runs more towards puns. I once got threatened when I said to an orchard manager who was counting apple bins, "I can see you've bin here before." She grabbed the 15' ladder I was atop of an shook it, yelling "That's not funny!" Strange, I could have sworn it was.

Best word in the English language: spleen. There's something about the combination of sibilant, bi-labial plosive and whatever "lee" is that I really like.

Ok, bi-labial plosive makes me giggle, but that's more than one word.

 
At 5:52 PM, December 04, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought that Yiddish had a lot of "giggle" words, most of which I could never pronounce. Here's a link to a NYTimes food section article about a Holocaust survivor who cooks the foods of her childhood. Since it's Chanuka time, the Times always finds some Jewish recipes to feature. There are lots of Yiddish words printed there -- try to pronounce them and you'll start giggling too!

Janice

 
At 6:57 PM, December 04, 2004, Blogger Paula said...

Meshugenah!

 
At 6:58 PM, December 04, 2004, Blogger Paula said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:02 PM, December 04, 2004, Blogger DovBear said...

When my Israeli Uncle says beach I giggle. And what Orthodox teen didn't gigle about evan ma'asu haBONIM hayata l'rosh PINA?heh. I'm giggling now.

 
At 2:24 AM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

Shareen, v. interesting article! And further to Dov, there's apparently a prominent Zionist named Yechiel Michel Pines. So, that's two "ch" sounds followed by a phallic sounding word. Giggle gold.

Good work everyone! A's all around! Keep up the good work!

 
At 9:59 AM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Barefoot Jewess said...

Puce.

 
At 12:44 PM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Savtadotty said...

Hebrew words that are formed by pronouncing English ones with a Hebrew accent crack me up. On Israeli TV last night I heard an announcer say the words that sounded like a "calm bik" in the middle of a Hebrew sentence. It took me a while to figure out she was saying that somone was making a "comeback".

 
At 11:55 PM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Scarlett said...

Check out the Online Jewish Glossary on the new Jewish Community of Philly website: http://philadelphia.ujcfedweb.org/content_display.html?ArticleID=122253

It covers every imaginable Jewish/Hebrew term, it's great!

 
At 10:19 AM, December 06, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal fave: petunia!

 
At 3:25 PM, December 06, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word that has the goyim trying to pronounce the famous Hebrew "ch". Chanukah, kichel, or anything like that. It sounds like they're trying hack up a lung, which makes me giggle.

Howard

 
At 1:26 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Joshua Pines said...

Yechiel Michel Pines...that's me!

 
At 11:45 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

Yes, Josh. It is! And this from before I knew you...

 

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My Urban Kvetch: BIGGS, O'BRIEN AND GIGGLE WORDS

Friday, December 03, 2004

BIGGS, O'BRIEN AND GIGGLE WORDS

In case you didn't know, Jason Biggs is not Jewish. He's Italian. But since Biggs is now in the new play "Modern Orthodox," wherein he plays an Orthodox Jew, he has to pronounce myriad Hebrew and Yiddish words.

As part of the promotional junket, Biggs just told Conan O'Brien that he doesn't have to know how to speak Hebrew to play Jewish in the play: "A lot of them are just giggle words," Biggs said, as he taught the extremely tall redheaded O'Brien to say "shmageggy"...

Isn't it nice to have one's linguistic heritage reduced to the term "giggle words"? But ok, I'll play along.

Of course there are the regular words like tuchas and kneidel. And the "dirtier" ones like alter cocker and shmeckel. That's Yiddish for ya. But in Hebrew? Mirkachat (pharmacy), harpatkaot (adventures) and, a seasonal duo, sufganiyot (jelly donuts) and chanukiyah (the proper name for the chanukah candelabrum, known as "menorah"). Oh, I know there are others. But I want to hear from you.

What are your favorite giggle words? Answers can be in Hebrew, Yiddish, English or any other language...

I'll start you off with an English one. Kumquat. Now you go.

20 Comments:

At 2:15 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Mel said...

"schvitz" and I always wonder if the word "which" is spelled correctly, it's a funny looking word.

 
At 8:23 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Z said...

I always liked "conundrum" and "quasar" - sadly, I don't know many yiddish words. In Hebrew? I always liked the way "kekedem" sounded.

 
At 9:33 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Ariela said...

How bout 'hootenany' and 'noodle'...

...and on a slightly similar topic, I hear there was a study done on the "most beautiful sounding" English word, and the winner was (wait for it): syphilis. Now there's one pretty pretty word!

 
At 10:28 AM, December 03, 2004, Blogger writersbloc gal said...

Gornisht.. and Schmendrick. :) Happy upcoming Hannukah!

 
At 1:14 PM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Norma said...

I must have read a different survey, because I remember hearing that the most beautiful sounding words in the English language were : cellar door.

In children's choir, we always giggled when the pastor read "The Epistle" for the day.

I giggle at all Esther's Hebrew and/or Yiddish words, because I don't know any of them!

 
At 1:56 PM, December 03, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In English, ghoulish. And remember, you remove just one letter from slaughter and you get laughter!

Echoing writergal, my favorite Yiddish phrase, simply because it so eloquently sums up the Jewish attitude is girnischt mit gornischt -- nothing with nothing. Oh, you think YOU have nothing? Well, I've got nothing too, but with some MORE nothing slopped on top! That's how little I've got!

(c) 2004 Joel in LA!

 
At 1:59 PM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Shareen said...

I highly recommend this article:- Judge Alex Kozinski & Eugene Volokh, "Lawsuit, Shmawsuit" 103 Yale Law Journal 463 (1993
http://www1.law.ucla.edu/~volokh/yiddish.htm
An extract:-
" "chutzpah" has appeared in 231 reported court decisions...Variations on "kibitz" have appeared in seventeen cases... "Maven" has appeared in fourteen cases, "klutz" in three."

 
At 7:16 PM, December 03, 2004, Blogger Coelecanth said...

Can't think of a single word, dang-it. My lexiconal humour runs more towards puns. I once got threatened when I said to an orchard manager who was counting apple bins, "I can see you've bin here before." She grabbed the 15' ladder I was atop of an shook it, yelling "That's not funny!" Strange, I could have sworn it was.

Best word in the English language: spleen. There's something about the combination of sibilant, bi-labial plosive and whatever "lee" is that I really like.

Ok, bi-labial plosive makes me giggle, but that's more than one word.

 
At 5:52 PM, December 04, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought that Yiddish had a lot of "giggle" words, most of which I could never pronounce. Here's a link to a NYTimes food section article about a Holocaust survivor who cooks the foods of her childhood. Since it's Chanuka time, the Times always finds some Jewish recipes to feature. There are lots of Yiddish words printed there -- try to pronounce them and you'll start giggling too!

Janice

 
At 6:57 PM, December 04, 2004, Blogger Paula said...

Meshugenah!

 
At 6:58 PM, December 04, 2004, Blogger Paula said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:02 PM, December 04, 2004, Blogger DovBear said...

When my Israeli Uncle says beach I giggle. And what Orthodox teen didn't gigle about evan ma'asu haBONIM hayata l'rosh PINA?heh. I'm giggling now.

 
At 2:24 AM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

Shareen, v. interesting article! And further to Dov, there's apparently a prominent Zionist named Yechiel Michel Pines. So, that's two "ch" sounds followed by a phallic sounding word. Giggle gold.

Good work everyone! A's all around! Keep up the good work!

 
At 9:59 AM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Barefoot Jewess said...

Puce.

 
At 12:44 PM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Savtadotty said...

Hebrew words that are formed by pronouncing English ones with a Hebrew accent crack me up. On Israeli TV last night I heard an announcer say the words that sounded like a "calm bik" in the middle of a Hebrew sentence. It took me a while to figure out she was saying that somone was making a "comeback".

 
At 11:55 PM, December 05, 2004, Blogger Scarlett said...

Check out the Online Jewish Glossary on the new Jewish Community of Philly website: http://philadelphia.ujcfedweb.org/content_display.html?ArticleID=122253

It covers every imaginable Jewish/Hebrew term, it's great!

 
At 10:19 AM, December 06, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal fave: petunia!

 
At 3:25 PM, December 06, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word that has the goyim trying to pronounce the famous Hebrew "ch". Chanukah, kichel, or anything like that. It sounds like they're trying hack up a lung, which makes me giggle.

Howard

 
At 1:26 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Joshua Pines said...

Yechiel Michel Pines...that's me!

 
At 11:45 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

Yes, Josh. It is! And this from before I knew you...

 

Post a Comment

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