the schmooze


Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Upon visiting a Brandeis bookstore in Lake Worth, Florida, I came across a 1964 book by Ruth and Bob Grossman titled, " The Italian-Kosher Cookbook," It's a gem of a cookbook, which originally sold for $2.95. (I paid $3.00!)

The husband and wife team offer mouth-watering recipes with a sense of humor. They include:

"Shmutzik Rice With Chicken Livers"
"Risotto Alla Shabbos Goy"
" Qvelling Cod Filets"
" Fraylikha Fish Stew"
"Gefilte Breast of Veal Ahftzza Luchas"
" Veal Chops Grepsella"
"Chicken Cacciatore Vino Rosse Mogen David"
"Chicken Alla Nudnik"
"Chicken Oreganate Con Hutzpah"
"Gay In Draird String Beans"
" Bupkas Baked Cauliflower"
" Stuffed Cabbage Via Shmatah"
" Anise Cooking Zol Zein Mit Glick"
" Julius Caesar Salad Alla Gahtkus"
"Lamb Stew Gezuntheit"
"Shnorra String Bean Salad"
Most of the spellings used in these recipes do not meet the style suggested by YIVO, nor do the terms offer "standard" definitions.

1. TERM by Ruth & Bob Grossman

2. TERM by Leo Rosten, Fred Kogos, Herman Galvin, Stan Tamarkin, and others

1. "Qvelling" Mom's pride when she finds out her new daughter-in-law is going to keep Kosher

2. "Kvell" To chortle with pride and glow with pleasure (usually over the achievement of your child or grandchild)

1. "Fraylikha" Describes the day Arnie told the folks he was giving up the Peace Corps to become a doctor

2. "Frailech"/"Freylekh" Happy

1. "Grepsella" The first thing out of your mouth after you drink the bi-carb

2. "Greps" A belch

1. "Ahftzza Luchas" When the maid who's been coming every week for 5 years quits the day before the Bar Mitzvah

2. "Ahf tsi 'lehaches" In spite of everything you do, it still comes out wrong

1. Nudnik" The persistent door-to-door salesman who couldn't understand why you wouldn't buy a New Testament

2. "Nudnik" A persistent nag or pest

1. "Hutzpah" What Molly had when, just because she went down to a size 18, she bought a bikini.

2. "Chutzpa" Brazenness; gall

1. "Gay in Draird" What the Garfinkles said when that hotel in Palm Beach used the excuse "all booked up"

2. "Gey in drerd arayn" Go into the earth (and die)

1. Bupkas" What you tipped the waiter in Milan who spilled Chianti on you

2. "Bubkes"/"Bupkis"/"Bobkes" Beans; a mere bagatelle

1. "Via Shmatah" A Street in Rome where they sell second hand clothing.

2. "Shmatte"/"Shmatteh" A rag; anything worthless. Remember the Yiddish proverb, "If velvet and silk hang in your closet, you can step out in rags."

1. "Zol zein mit glick" My goodness she's ugly! but you should both live and be well...

2. "Glik"/"Glick" Good fortune and happiness

1. Fashtunkena" Venice at low tide

2. "Farshtunken" Smells bad; stinky And there's another Jewish proverb, " Guests, like fish, begin to smell on the third day."

1. "Gahtkus" What Julius Caesar's mother made him wear under his toga on cold days

2. "gatkes" Long underwear; underpants, drawers

1. "Ah Bissel borsht" What Mrs. Michelangelo put in her son's thermos everyday when he was working on the Sisteen Chapel

2. "Bisl" A few; a little "Billik vi borsht!" Cheap as beet soup; a real bargain

1. "Gantze Mishpoche" The family Board of Directors who tell you what you want to be when you grow up, and with whom!

2. "Gants" Whole; complete "Mishpocha" (family) Ann Landers wrote about her "mishpocha"- " We know some of our relatives are nutty-- tricky--irresponsible and downright double-crossers, but then we take 'em... warts and all because there is no way to make them different. They are what they are."

1. "Indigestione" The Italian answer to Jewish heartburn

2. "Nit-fardayung" Indigestion

1. "Gezuntheit" The thanks for this blessing is always said through a handkerchief

2. "Gezunt" Healthy; sound

"Gezunthayt iz beser vi krankhayt" (Health is better than illness.)

1. "Shnorra" Sees his dentist twice a year to read all the magazines he can't afford

2. "Shnorrer" A beggar; a cheapskate; sponger; chisler

According to Avi Hoffman ( in "KIng of Schnorrers"), "You can't learn to shnorr; it's a gift."

1. "Shmageggi" He thinks an audience with the Pope is both of them watching a movie together

2. "Shmegegi"/"shmegege" Buffoon; idiot; fool

1. "Farcrimta Puhnum" Mom's description of the girl who jilted her son, Herbie

2. "farkrimt" Distorted (sour faced)

3. "ponim" Face

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
thanks Ruth and Bob Grossman for providing her with
a " bisl fraylakhs" (bit of fun).


Search for Stories Beginning with the Letter
N O P Q R S T U V W   Y Z
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

Yiddish Stuff
Jewish Humor
Schmooze News
More Majorie Wolfe
Jewish Stories
All Things Jewish
Jewish Communities of the World
Site Designed and Maintained by
Haruth Communications