Alternative Spellings

bolbenik, bulbanik, bolbanik


  • One who is inept, clumsy, all thumbs, who fouls things up (Rosten) An actor "who talks as though he has a potato in his mouth"—that is, an actor who "blows" his lines, mixes them up, commits embarrassing spoonerisms, a malaprop.

Example Sentences

  • And there I heard heartrending tales of a famous bulbenik (Rosten).

Languages of Origin



Yiddish בולבעניק bulbenik

Who Uses This

Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


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

Edit     See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.