sheymes

Alternative Spellings

sheimos

Definitions

  • n., such content
  • adj., of or relating to printed material, such as a book or even an audio recording, that contains the name of God, and therefore must not be erased, put on the floor, etc., out of respect for the Divine Name

Example Sentences

  • "I think I'm going to drive to work today because it's raining and I don't want my sheymes books to get wet on the way."
  • "Don't put those books on the floor, sweetie--some of them might have sheymes in them..."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Yiddish שיימע sheyme (pl. שמות sheymes) 'a stray leaf of a Jewish holy book, or any book with Hebrew characters', derived from Heb. שם shem (pl. שמות) 'name'

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage

Regions

North America, Great Britain

Dictionaries

The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

Notes

According to Max Weinreich, the meaning of 'a torn or stray page of a sacred book' is unique to Yiddish, although the root of the word is Hebrew; hence its unusual Yiddish spelling in the singular.

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