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Alternative Spellings

gannif, ganif, gonnif, gonef, ganev, ganef, ganav, ganov


  • thief

Example Sentences

  • "That lousy gonef. I turned around and my sandwich was gone!"

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish


Heb גנב ganáv, Yiddish גנבֿ gánef (pl. גנבֿים ganóvim)

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older


North America


The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
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).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).


The Modern Hebrew equivalent--"gan-AV" -- is not commonly used in English.

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