kalike (KAH-lih-kuh) listen


  • n. Cripple.

  • n. Someone who is sickly.

  • n. A clumsy person.

  • n. An ignorant, stupid person.

  • n. An inept performer; failure.

Example Sentences

  • "As a dancer, they are a kalike!" (Rosten)

  • "Granovsky has no arms. He is another 'kalike,' even worse off than Lissitzky. But being without hands entirely not only means that he is unsuccessful, but that he is a 'goylem,' a dummy." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • קאַליקע kalike 'cripple'

    • Who Uses This

      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


      • North America
      • Great Britain


      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      kolike, kalyike, kolyike, kalika, kolika, kalyika, kolyika, kalikeh, kolikeh, kalyikeh, kolyikeh, kalikah, kolikah, kalyikah, kolyikah

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