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Jan 30, 2017
This week’s theme
Words borrowed from Yiddish

This week’s words
verklempt
yentz
potch
futz
schmatte

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

In his Nobel lecture the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer said, “Yiddish is the wise and humble language of us all, the idiom of frightened and hopeful humanity.” In these troubled times maybe we all should speak Yiddish.

Where else can you find such expressive and colorful terms as kibitzer and schlockmeister and kvell and kvetch. Learning a language as an adult takes time, so in the meantime we can do with these words borrowed from Yiddish.

This week’s A.Word.A.Day features five words from Yiddish that are now a part of the English language. Sprinkle them in your conversation, memos, theses, email, texts, and tweets.

verklempt

PRONUNCIATION:
(fuhr-KLEMT, vuhr-)

MEANING:
adjective: Overcome with emotion; choked up.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Yiddish farklempt (overcome with emotion), from German verklemmt (inhibited). Earliest documented use: 1991.

USAGE:
“But it always makes me a little verklempt too, like my heart’s in my throat and I’m overcome with love.”
Christie Blatchford; All Connected to the Hip; The Ottawa Citizen (Canada); May 28, 2016.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Story, finally, is humanity's autobiography. -Lloyd Alexander, novelist (30 Jan 1924-2007)

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