• Smoked, seasoned deli meat

Example Sentences

  • "I'll have pastrami on rye, mustard, no mayo."

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish
  • Rumanian, Turkish


  • Yiddish פּאַסטראַמע pastrame; Rumanian and Turkish pastirma
    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


      • North America


      • None

      Alternative Spellings

      pastrome, pastrame, pstromi


  • The word was introduced into American English by Yiddish-speaking Jews from Rumania in late-19th-century New York, based on Yiddish "pastrame / pstrome" (which is borrowed from Rumanian, originally from Turkish) and influenced in pronunciation by another deli meat, "salami" (Italian-origin). It has become so common in America that it is no longer considered a Jewish word.

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