gartel

Alternative Spellings

gartle, gartl

Definitions

  • belt, which varies in width, but is worn over the outside of the pants or coat and often tied in a symbolic way, as to differentiate it from a regular belt. It is primarily used by Chassidic Jews (and a growing number of Litvaks) for prayer, or may be used for everyday wear over a long frock coat. It symbolically differentiates the heart from the loins.

Example Sentences

  • David went to Israel for yeshiva, when he left he wore colorful shirts and slacks to shul, now he wears a black suit, white shirt, and gartel.

Languages of Origin

Yiddish

Etymology

גאַרטל gartl

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

Dictionaries

Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).

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