Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If You’re A Schmuck, You’re A Penis

TORONTO (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Calling someone a “schmuck” or a “putz” is the mother of all Yiddish insults.

Michael Wex has written Just Say Nu: Yiddish For Every Occasion (Harper) and he says the common terms really refer to a “male’s member.”

That means calling someone a “schmuck” or “’putz” is much worse than calling them a jerk – you’re actually calling them a penis.

Wex explains, “These words have become cute in English, but in Yiddish they’re much dirtier. It’s worse than calling someone a dick or a prick. It’s the equivalent of English words that start with ‘mother.’”

Wex says uttering the terms carelessly around Yiddish speakers could guarantee a kid or adult a mouth full of soap.

Another surprising fact about Yiddish is that it may be one of the lost romance languages.

Wex says there are tons of Yiddish pick-up lines – including 11 ways to refer to breasts and 12 ways to refer to female privates – and judging by the large size of Jewish families, the language of love must’ve worked it’s magic at some point.

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