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Foreign Languages

Yiddish - On the situation comedy THE NANNY/CBS/1993-99 Fran Drescher starred as Fran Fine, a Jewish American Princess who lost her job at a Flushing Bridal shop and found employment as a nanny for a wealthy Manhattan widower.

Fran Drescher as THE NANNY

As she cared for his children, or spoke with her mother, Sylvia Fine (Renee Taylor) Fran sprinkled her conversations with a number of Yiddish terms.

The following is list of some of those words with definitions:

  • bar-mitzvah - ceremony marking the 13th year of a Jewish male-passage into manhood
  • bashert - fated or destined
  • bubbie - grandmother
  • bubkes - nothing
  • farkakta - terrible or ridiculous
  • kvetch - to complain
  • meshugeneh - a nutty person
  • meschpuche - member of an extended family
  • mozeltov - good luck or congratulations
  • Oy! - a negative exclamation like "Oy, my back is killing me!"
  • punim - face
  • shlep - to carry or pull something
  • shnoz - short for schnozzolla meaning "nose"
  • shmootz - dirt or grime
  • shvits - to sweat
  • shikse - non-Jewish woman
  • tuchas - rear-end, butt, ass, derriere
  • yenta - a mouthy or gossipy woman

The Yiddish language is a combination (blending) of both the German and Hebrew languages that originated in Eastern Europe. See also  MUSIC & MUSICIANS: "Bupkiss"

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