• v. To complain about minor issues.

  • v. To squeeze.

  • v. To eke out.

  • v. To fool around, be lazy.

  • v. To shrug.

  • n. Someone who complains.

  • n. One who works slowly.

  • n. Someone unpleasant to be around.

Example Sentences

  • "All my 90 year old grandmother does is kvetch about not being able to do the things she used to do."

  • “Don’t kvetch the peaches.” (NJY)

  • “He manages to kvetch out a living.” (NJY)

  • “She kvetches all day long.” (NJY)

  • “He kvetches his shoulders.” (NJY)

  • “It will take forever, he’s such a kvetch.” (NJY)

  • “That kvetch comes up with a different excuse every Monday and Thursday.” (NJY)

  • “Don’t invite him to the party; he’s a kvetch.” (NJY)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • קװעטשן kvetshn 'to press, squeeze, pinch' (קװעטשן זיך kvetshn zikh 'to strain'), verbal stem is קװעטש kvetsh

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


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


      • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      kvetsh, kvech, kvetsher, kvecher, kvetcher


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