n. "Something of little importance, an inconsequential thing or minor happening." (JPS)
n. "Old wive's tale"; an untrue story, sometimes related to superstition.
"Stop complaining about how much trouble it was to return this sweater. What a bubbe meise." (JPS)
"All the stuff about the oil lasting eight days is just a bubbe meise. What really happened is written down in the Book of Maccabees." (source)
Languages of Origin
- Textual Hebrew
באָבע־מעשׂה bóbe-mayse 'tall tale'
- Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
- Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage
- North America
- South Africa
- The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
- Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
- The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
- Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
Who Uses This
bobe mayse, bubbe mayseh, bubbe-meise, bubbe-meiseh, bubbe-myseh
Despite the common assumption that this comes from באָבע bobe, Yiddish for "grandmother," it actually stems from בבֿא־בוך Bove-Bukh, a Yiddish romantic epic published in 16th-century Italy (and the term is sometimes spelled בבֿא־מעשׂה).
Edit See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.