Every Goy's Guide to Richler:

Yiddish phrases & Jewish cultural references in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

Don't you hate reading a book in which you can't understand many of the words? Well, I do, so I compiled this list of terms from Duddy Kravitz and asked various friends for translations (thanks especially to Colan and Sheridan Schwartz). Please write if you can offer corrections.

azoi
like this, like so; often used to mean "really?" or "is that so?"
B.T.O.
Big Time Operator
chazer-fleish
pork
chazers
pigs
chorine
chorus girl
chuzpah
nerve, gall, incredible guts
that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan
The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten
dreck
crap, excrement, cheap or worthless things (vulgar or semi-vulgar)
fershtunkene tuchus-head
stinking ass-head
gevalt
a cry of fear, astonishment, amazement; a cry for help; a desperate expression of protest
goniff
thief, crook, untrustworthy person
gottze dank
Thank God
goyim
non-Jew (masculine, plural)
goyishe
non-Jewish (adj.)
haftorah
assigned reading from the Torah for that week, esp. referring to the ceremony in which a boy coming of age reads it as part of his Bar Mitzvah
ho'mat
an alternative spelling for chametz
kaddish
Jewish prayer for the dead
kaduchus
nothing (also spelt 'kadoches')
katchka
duck (n.)
kazatchka
A Russian or Ukranian dance
kiddush
Jewish prayer on Erev Shabbat (the evening before Passover)
kismet
fate; destiny
kishkas
stomach, intestines (also a grain-filled sausage)
mamzer
bastard
mazel tov
congratulations
mensch
a person or human being; usually used to mean a decent or honorable person
Oneg Shabbat
(literally, "joy of the Sabbath") Reception after the Friday evening religious service for welcoming Sabbath, often including food, singing, or socializing. Also pronounced Oyneg Shabbos.
pisher
pisser - sometimes used to mean small child (esp. boy)
pusherke
someone pushy and competitive (pejorative)
You're a born pusherke. A little Jew-boy on the make. Guys like you make me sick and ashamed.
— Duddy's uncle
schmaltz
fat (n.) or grease, esp. chicken fat
schmo
a hapless, clumsy, unlucky jerk
schnorrer
beggar, cheapskate, bum, or bargain hunter
Schnorrer's Day
beggar's day
schnoz
nose
schonzola
slang for nose (esp. a very large nose); sometimes used to refer to entertainer Jimmy Durante, who had a large nose
schoss
shoot
shiksa
non-Jewish woman (esp. blonde)
shnook
a timid, meek, passive or unassertive person
shtunk
a stinker, nasty person, jerk or mean person; a big mess
shul
synagogue
tuchusleckers
ass licker
ver gerharget
literally: be killed — used as a curse to mean "you should get killed"
yeshiva
religious school
Y.M.H.A.
Young Man's Hebrew Association (Jewish analogue of Y.M.C.A., created because that organization only accepted Christians)
yoshka
diminutive of the name Yeshua
zeyda
grandfather

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