hamentaschen

Pronunciations

hamentaschen (HUH-men-TOSH-en) listen

Definitions

  • n. "Small, triangular-shaped cookies filled with fruit or jam that are eaten on Purim." (JPS)

Example Sentences

  • "We are going to bake hamentaschen for the Purim carnival."

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish

Etymology

  • המן־טאַשן homentashn (singular המן־טאַש homentash) 'lit. Haman pockets; triangular jam- or poppy-seed-filled cookies'. The Yiddish word homentashn is a Yiddishized version of a German pastry name, mahntascheMahn - in Yiddish mon - is poppy seed, the original flavor of these pastries, and tash is a pouch or pocket. Somehow this pastry became associated with Purim, and Jews recognized the similarity between the word mon and the name of the Purim villain, homon (Haman). Eventually these pastries became known as Haman pouches - homentashn.

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage

      Regions

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

      Dictionaries

      • 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

      hamentaschn, hamantaschn, homentashn, hamentashn, homantashn, hamantashn, homentaschen, hamantashen, homantaschen, hamantaschen, homentashen, homantashen, hamentashen, homantaschn, homentaschn

Notes

  • In Jewish English the word is often used as a singular form: "Can I have another hamantaschen?"

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