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Jul 17, 2006
This week's theme
Words from Yiddish

This week's words
yenta
schmooze
maven
schlub
shtick

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, is reported to have said, "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse." One wonders how he would have completed, "and Yiddish to..." Yiddish, a language full of wit and charm, embodies a deep appreciation of human behavior in all its colorful manifestations. This week we'll look at a few Yiddishisms that have enriched the English language. Add these words from Yiddish to bring a little tang to your conversation.

yenta

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

(YEN-tuh) noun

A busybody or a gossip.

From Yiddish yente, originally a female name.

"Q. How do you describe what you do? A. I'm a yenta. I can't wait to learn new things. And then to tell people about them."
Claudia Dreifus; Latter-Day Mr. Wizard Expounds on the Joy of Science; The New York Times; Apr 4, 2000.

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

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Good prose is like a windowpane. -George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)

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