Alternative Spellings

momzer, mamzor


  • bastard [see note]; "A detestable [person] like the colloquial English "He's a bastard"" (Rosten)

Example Sentences

  • "It's shocking that there is a mamzer status in the Israeli legal system."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish


Heb ממזר mamzér, Yiddish mámzer

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older


North America


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).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).


According to Jewish law, a mamzer is not one whose parents aren't married but someone whose two parents were married to other people at the time of his birth.

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