fumfeh (FUM-fuh)


  • v. To mumble, speak unclearly.

  • v. To double-talk, bluff, cheat.

  • v. To boast.

Example Sentences

  • "He’s not used to speaking in public. I hope he doesn’t fumfeh when he gets up to the podium." (JPS)

  • "Most people who know Yiddish will fumfeh around and probably give up when asked, ‘How do you say three coins in a fountain?’… 'The answer is very simple: three coins in a fountain = ‘oysgevorfeneh gelt' (wasted money)." (source)

  • “Don’t let him fonfe on the amount.” (NJY)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • פֿאָנפֿען fonfen

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements


      • 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

      fumfuh, fumfe, fumfu, fumfah, fumfa, fonfen, fonfeh, fonfe

Edit     Something missing from this entry? Inaccurate? Feel free to suggest an edit.