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#132979 09/13/04 06:53 PM
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Pooh-Bah
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Western Canada calling. I've heard of rubenesque (rare), voluptuous (occasional and well understood) and Wow!! but never zaftig.


#132980 09/13/04 07:08 PM
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In the Northwest Corner of the Left Coast, the word is used primarily by Jewish people and by those who are in frequent conversation with Jewish people. It may be German, but it is Yiddish to me.



#132981 09/13/04 07:42 PM
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It may be German, but it is Yiddish to me.

Saftig is German; it means literally 'juicy'. Saft 'juice' is related to English sap, Latin sapio 'to taste, savor, smack; to smell; to know, be wise', and Illyrian sabaium 'beer'; zaftik (but written in Hebrew letters) means 'juicy, succulent' (< zaft 'juice'). Yiddish is a German language related to English, Dutch, German, Icelandic, and a host of others ...


#132982 09/13/04 09:08 PM
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zaftik (but written in Hebrew letters) means 'juicy, succulent' (< zaft 'juice').

Do you know, nuncle, if the common English meaning is from a Yiddish usage? That is, is it used in Yiddish to refer to a pleasingly plump woman?


#132983 09/13/04 10:00 PM
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Do you know [...] if the common English meaning is from a Yiddish usage?

Yes, according to the OED, MW, and AH it's from the Yiddish, but both Weinreich and Harkavy just give the literal translation. I've only heard it used in an Anglo-Yiddish context. I wonder if it has a particular, literary provenance.


#132984 09/14/04 01:29 AM
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OED Online:
U.S. colloq.
[Yiddish, a. from German saftig 'juicy'.]
Of a woman: plump, curvaceous, sexy .

1937 Meyer Levin, The Old Bunch "He could see himself
on the road, whizzing by a flaming poster-- a
beautiful..girl, snappy, modern, zaftig."



#132985 09/14/04 09:48 AM
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I know the *word's from Yiddish. What I was wondering was if the 'pleasingly plump' meaning was used in Yiddish.


#132986 09/14/04 10:04 AM
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I'm taking a survey to see how common this word for a generously endowed woman is

I daresay most will agree that its obscurity is undeserved ... but perhaps fortuitous.

We have words enough in common use to describe "a generously endowed woman", including "voluptuous beauty" and other terms such as "bimbo" and "arm candy" which impress moral judgments on the figure [even as they impress contradictory judgments upon the eye ].

"Zaftig" leaves more to the imagination ... like a bathrobe, provocative in the right circumstances without being explicit.


#132987 09/14/04 02:15 PM
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I know the *word's from Yiddish. What I was wondering was if the 'pleasingly plump' meaning was used in Yiddish.

That's the only way I've heard it used in English. As I said above, the only meanings given in the two Yiddish-English dictionaries I have at hand gloss it as 'juicy'. othing mentioned about rubinesque women at all. That's why I was wondering if its use in English matches some translated use in Yiddish literature. Sorry about the confusion. I'll send a note to a Yiddish blogging buddy of mine and let you know.


#132988 09/14/04 02:32 PM
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fwiw, zaftig did not appear in the first few Yiddish dictionaries that popped up on Google.


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