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Dec 12, 2011
This week's theme
Words borrowed from Yiddish

This week's words
nosh
naches
schmutz
kosher
schlockmeister

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

We are taught to use the right tool for the right job. And when it comes to conferring insults, there's no better tool than Yiddish. It's the language that has given us such jewels as schlemiel and schlimazel, nudnik and schmendrik, schmegeggy and yenta. There are also schnook and meshuga and schlub. The list is seemingly endless.

While Yiddish speakers may seem to have specialized in the art of insult, they do much more than that. Their language, like all languages, has to help them go on with their daily lives. In this week's A.Word.A.Day we'll see five words that English has borrowed from Yiddish.

nosh

PRONUNCIATION:
(nosh)

MEANING:
verb tr., intr.: To snack or eat between meals.
noun: A snack.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Yiddish nashn (to nibble). Earliest documented use: 1873.

USAGE:
"We drank from a thermos of sweet tea and noshed on brown bread."
Josh Tapper; In Siberia; Toronto Star (Canada); Nov 3, 2011.

See more usage examples of nosh in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
That action is best which accomplishes the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers. -Francis Hutcheson, philosopher (1694-1746)

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