the schmooze


(Health is better than illness)
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Susie Essman ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") knows from illness. In her book, "What Would Susie Say?" she writes:

"I grew up a household that loved disease. Not like, loved. Sound weird? My father was a doctor and made a living off it, and my mother, according to her self-diagnosis, has been dying since 1963. My father always had medical paraphernalia around the house, syringes and tubes of blood in the refrigerator, and promotional items from drug companies in drawers and cabinets. I remember the pad next to the phone for writing down messages was in the shape of a colon. I'm not kidding. Disease was discussed at the dinner table with regularity. Between the soup and salad we usually had botulism, stroke and retinitis pigmentosa. Someone in the family or extended family always had something."

Susie adds, that after checking all the Web sites for illnesses and conditions that she's certain she has, "this month alone, I've had Lyme disease, hysterical blindness, and an enlarged prostate."

The next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders may well include such new mental illnesses as "Internet Addiction," "Parental Alienation Syndrome," "Compulsive Buying Disorder," and "Apathy Disorder. Many people will agree with David M. Bader ("The Book of Murray: The Life, Teachings and Kvetching of the Lost Prophet") #7. Thou shalt not Google thy symptoms and then phone thy internist at two A.M., claiming to have a terminal disease."

In 2006 Newsweek had an article about an individual who is in the Emergency Room of a hospital but is unable to communicate with the doctors and nurses. The hospital lacked interpreters...and the patient could only speak Yiddish.

In some hospitals videoconferencing systems that connect health-care workers and patients ("patsyents") with faraway translators. Mercy Hospital in Miami, for example, unveiled a "nay" (new) interpreting service created by Language Access Network. A "dokter" can call LAN's translation center in Columbus, Ohio, at any hour of the day, pick among 150 languages, and gain access to an interpreter who pops up on the screen.

If your local hospital does not offer such
services, perhaps they need a list of common Yiddish medical terms/sentences/

They should start by saying, "zeyer ongenem." (Pleased to meet you.)

1. "Vi heystu?"
(What is your name?)

2. "Vos makht dos oys?"
(How are you?)

3. "Vos tutzikh?"
(What's going on?)
"Vos iz mit dir?"
(What's wrong with you?)

4. "Vu vonstu"?
(Where do you live?)

5. "Tsi kenstu english?"
(Do you speak English?)

6. "Shem zikh nit."
(Don't be bashful.)

7. "Zunenbren"?

8. "Tsukerkrenk"?

9. "Tenis elnboygn"?
(Tennis elbow?)

10. "Oyer-veytik"?

11. "Fiber"?

12. "Gal"?
(Gall bladder?)

13. "Krekhtsn"?
(To groan)

14. "Kopveytik"?

15. "Harts-brenenish"?

16. "Kile"?

17. "Krank"?

18 "Imigrant"?

19. "nit-fardayung"?

20. "Grepts"?

21. "Krizhes"?
(Lower back?)

22. "Meditsin"?

23. "bokhveytikn"?
(Stomach aches?)

24. "boykh"?

25. "Ruknbeyn"?

26. "Tsung"?

27. "Ponem"?

28. "Veytikdik"?

29. "Lungen-entsindung"?

30. "Influentsie"?

31. "Infektsye"?

32. "Termometer"?
Marjorie Wolfe reminds doctors:
"Keyner zogt nit "oy" az es tut nit vey." (One doesn't cry "ouch" if he's not in pain.)


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