goldene medina


goldene medina (GOLE-deh-neh meh-DEE-nah)


  • n. The term used by Eastern European Jews to refer to the United States.

  • n. A miraculous hope that ends in disappointment.

  • n. Paradise.

Example Sentences

  • "'Look!' someone cried. 'There goes the mayor of Dublin—and he’s a Jew!' 'Ai-ai-ai,' clucked the matron. 'Where could such a thing happen? Only in this goldene medine!'" (NJY)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • Y גאָלדענע מדינה goldene medine, lit. 'golden country'; from the belief that the streets in America were paved with gold

    • Who Uses This

      • 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]).
      • 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

      goldene medine, goldene medinah, goldene medineh, goldeneh medina, goldeneh medine, goldeneh medinah, goldeneh medineh


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