the schmooze


Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

I am an aficionado of the comic strip, Mallard Fillmore, which is written and illustrated by Bruce Tinsley. It was launched in 1994. The strip follows the exploits of its title character, an anthropomorphic "grin" (green) plumaged "katshke" (duck) who works as a politically conservative reporter at fictional TV station WFDR in Washington, D.C.

Mallard's "nomen" (name) is a pun on the name of the 13th president of the U. S., Millard Fillmore.

In the July 19, 2011, cartoon, Mallard says, "Among other signs that the 2012 Presidential race is now in full swing... the President held a Rose Garden ceremony yesterday to announce the official temporary dropping of his 'G's...

Mornin'...How are y'all doin'?..."

And on July 20, Mallard quotes President Obama: , "A lot of people say I'm too 'stiff' and 'aloof'....

They apparently don't remember how 'folksy' I can be during campaign season...

Ummm, I meant 'durin' campaign season..."

That cartoon is even funnier than the New York husband who grumbles that his wife has an annoying speech "menie" -- (impediment) - she won't shut up!

Most politicians have four speeches: what they have written down, what they actually say, what they wish they had said, and what they are quoted as saying the next day.

After hearing Obama drop his "g"s, I began to wonder how many Yiddish words end in the letter "g."

The first word that came to mind was "shveig"--to be silent. Michael Wex ("Just Say Nu") said that the word "shveig" was used by Y. L. Perets, one of the pioneers of modern Yiddish literature. He writes that the "protagonist of one of his most famous short stories, Bontche Shveig, usually called Bontche the Silent in English translations, became a cause celebre, he was a Jew--a Yiddish-speaking Jew--who never complained. He accepted a life of direst need with gratitude and grace. When heaven decides to reward him for a lifetime of forbearance by offering him anything--whatever he wants--Bontche, unmanned by a lifetime of failing to kvetch, can't think of anything to ask for except a roll with butter."

And what are some "anderer" (other) Yiddish words that end in "g"?

"tsung" (tongue)
"tog" (day)
"shlang" (snake)
"yortog" (anniversary)
"yung" (young)
"tsig" (goat, fem.)
"zamlung" (collection/compilation)
"lebyung' (playboy)
"yam-tsing" (sole fish)
"tsviling" - twin(s)
"tuung" (action/act)
"umveg" (roundabout way/detour)
"unternemung" (undertaking/enterprise)
"vig" (cradle/crib)
"vog" (weight/scale)
"voynung" (dwelling/apartment)
"yog" (chase/pursuit)
"zaftig" (full-bodied/well-proportioned)
"plutsling" (suddenly/abruptly)
"regirung" (government)
"rikhtung" (direction)
"shtayg" (cage)
"shteg" (path/lane)
"shtreng" (severe/strict)
"tsaytung" (newspaper)
"bagrisung" (greeting)
"ful mit hofenung" (hopeful)
"on holenung" (hopeless)
"zoknvarg" (hosiery)
"farvaylung" (entertainment)
"paynikung" (torture)
"tsug" (train)
"tsvayg" (branch/bough)
"timering" (cinnamon)
"tsesheydung" (separation)
"tsirung" (jewelry)
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe asks, "How am I doin'?" If you haven't got a good word or a compliment, "zits in krits in shveig"-- sit and gnash your teeth and be silent.


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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!

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