yarmulke (YAH-muh-kuh) listen


  • n. Religious skullcap.

Example Sentences

  • "Don't forget your yarmulke."

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • יאַרמלקע yarmlke

    • Who Uses This

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


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      yameke, yamakah, yameka, yamaka, yarmulka, yarmlke, yarmulkah, yamuka, yamukah


  • Kippah has become more common among non-Orthodox Jews. According to Steinmetz's Dictionary of Jewish Usage, the Yiddish word yarmlke comes from Polish jarmulka, a kind of skullcap. Philologos, following Plaut, argues that it comes from medieval Latin almuce (source). Philologos also argues that yarmulke "generally refers only to the sewn satin or felt cap, commonly with a cotton lining, of Ashkenazi Eastern Europe," while a kipah can be knit or embroidered.

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