Ribono shel olam


Ribono shel olam (ree-boh-NOH shehl oh-LAHM) listen


  • n. A name for God meaning 'Lord of the Universe'.

  • n. The name of a song sung by Chassidim in times of soul searching.

  • interj. (positive or negative) Oh God!

  • interj. Thank God!

  • interj. God willing.

Example Sentences

  • "Although Ribono shel olam means ‘Master of the Universe’, in Chasidic and neo-Chasidic circles, this is a colloquial way of addressing God, and indicates a personal and warm relationship." (source)

  • "Don't let it depress you. The Ribono shel Olam has His own ways..." (Glinert)

  • "Ribono shel Olam! How can they have Chanukah lights and a tree!" (Glinert)

  • “Reboyne Shel Oylem, just look at that rain come down!” (NJY)

  • “We were finishing when—Reboyne Shel Oylem, in walked their lawyer!” (NJY)

  • “If only she would recover, Reboyne Shel Oylem!” (NJY)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • TH רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם‎ ribono shel olam > Y רבונו־של־עולם reboyne-shel-oylem

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
      • 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 Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      Ribono shel olom, Ribohno shel ohlom, Reboyne Shel Oylem, Reboine Shel Oilem, Reboyneh Shel Oylem, Reboineh Shel Oilem


  • Sometimes abbreviated to RSO.

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