bialy (bee-YAH-lee) listen


  • n. A flat bread roll with an indented center sometimes sprinkled with toasted onions or poppy seeds.

Example Sentences

  • "Cream cheese is always good on a bialy."

  • "'Forty cents a dozen for bialies?' protested Mrs. Becker. 'The baker across the street is asking only twenty!'" (Rosten)

  • "The bialy roll, a growing packaged favorite in food stores across the country, is second only to the bagel as a base for cream cheese and lox." (Rosten)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • Yiddish ביאַלי biali 'bialy', shortening of ביאַליסטאָקער קוכן bialistoker kukhn 'Bialystock's cake" from the city name Białystok in Poland.

    • Who Uses This

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


      • North America


      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      bialie, bealie, bealy, biały


  • "The bialy, an alternative to the bagel, originated in the town of Bialystok, Poland." (JPS)

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