Y is for Yiddish

Leo Rosten also defined chutzpah as ‘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.’


My wife, who teaches English as a Second Language, sent me this article about how “certain words from other languages express meanings that no English words can.”

The author, Connie Tuttle, notes: “Part of the richness of English comes from the thousands of words derived from other languages. Nevertheless, there are occasions when no English word expresses the nuance of a situation. A friend who is a linguist once commented that English was the language of commerce, but was lacking in vocabulary expressive of complex social relations. Maybe so. If she is right, that could explain why over the years I’ve found myself resorting to an increasing number of words from languages other than English, not only in conversation, but also while writing.”

Unsurprising to me, six out of the ten examples comes from Yiddish Continue reading “Y is for Yiddish”