the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York


The Yiddish word for vacation is "vakatsye."

"Daddy, are you going to spend your federal economic stimulus payment for a family "vakatsye" to Disneyland?"

"No!  With 'gazolin' prices so high, this year we're taking a 'staycation'--a holiday that takes place either at or near 'di heym' (the home)."

In 2006, a New York magazine promoted the "staycation," encouraging people to spend their vacation exploring what the city has to offer instead of leaving town.

On "staycations" you can rent movies, do little projects around the house, watch "televisye," read Michael Wex's book, "Just Say Nu," bring out the Lenox china, tablecloths and silver, and treat your family to a special candlelight meal with instrumental "muzik" in the background. You can purchase high-thread count sheets and even just pillow cases.  They'll make you feel like you are sleeping in a four-star hotel.

You can try new restaurants, picnic at a local park, and shop 'til you drop at a new mall or regional outlet center you've been wanting to check out.

Of course, there are always those people who "travel mooch" (AKA a "shnorer"). They take a trip to the Hamptons with a friend whose brother lives there and can offer FREE accommodations.  Or you can call up that that "universitet" (college) classmate that you ran into at the reunion-- surprise--I'm visiting here and the hotels are so "tayer" (expensive).

There's also  the "volontourist"--the person who uses his/her vacation time to help a worthy cause.

The Washington Post asked readers for help in creating cornball names for vacations.  And the winners are:

Pill Grim Age (Peter Metrinko) Visiting Canada solely for the cheap prescription drugs.

Cellabreaktion (Les Finster) A trip on which nodoby brings a cellphone (AKA a "tsellularer telefon").

Whine Country Tour (Steve Buttry) When the 4-year-old continually asks, "Are we there yet?"

Fakation (Jennifer Weitzner) You get the grandparents  (di zeyde-bobe) to watch the kids, lie and tell everyone you're leaving town, then luxuriate in your fakation.

Dumptrek season (Alice Kale) September is drumptrek season, that time of year when you generously agree to help the kids return to college.

Vacajuns (Jack Rackow) Louisiana weekends that skimp on neither gumbo nor zydeco.

Oblication (Jennifer Callahan) A trip to visit relatives you don't really want to visit.

Foreclojourney (John Webster) Disgraced CEOs of subprime lenders may well escape responsibility by going on a foreclojourney.

Oyveycation (Robert Wagman) Had enough of your nagging parents ("tateh-mameh")?  It's time for an oyveycation.

Elderhostiles (Les/Elaine Lawrence) A name for all those trips angry senior couples take.  (Do not confuse this term with Elderhostel, an organization that lures retirees out of their homes and Florida condos for weeklong meditations on subjects from architecture to physics.) Some sample courses:

"Computers For The Terminally Terrified"
 "Chicken Soup And Other Remedies"
  "Two Boys From Brooklyn:  Mel Brooks & Woody Allen"
  "Shalom Y'all:  Jews in The New Country"
  "What Do Moses and Elizabeth Taylor Have in Common?"  (Intermarriage!)


Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe and husband, Howard, are taking the entire family on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda in celebration of  their 50th anniversary. She hopes NOT to hear this announcement upon boarding:  "At this time, we'd like all passengers who paid full price for their stateroom  to stand up so you can be mocked."

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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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