al regel achat

Pronunciations

al regel achas (ahl REH-gel AH-chahs) listen
al regel achat (al REH-gel ah-CHAT) listen

Definitions

  • adv. lit. "On one foot"; off-the-cuff; in short; (of a question) "[answered] very briefly and cursorily" (Glinert).

Example Sentences

  • "Rabbi, can I even touch a writing utensil on Shabbat?" "Al regel achat, no."

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish

Etymology

  • From Heb על רגל אחת al régel akhát > Yiddish על־רגל־אַחת al-regl-ákhes 'on one foot; quickly'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there

      Regions

      • North America
      • Great Britain

      Dictionaries

      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      al regel achas, al regel ahat, al regel akhes, al regel akhas

Notes

  • From a Talmudic story about Rabbi Hillel summarizing the Torah to a potential convert while standing on one foot. This corresponds word-for-word (and in meaning) to the other Yiddish expression אויף אײן פֿוס af eyn fus, derived from the Germanic component.

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