n. Male head of a household.
"We should let the balabos decide what song to sing."
"A lot of balebatim in this neighborhood are against the new mall." (Glinert)
Languages of Origin
- Textual Hebrew
Heb/Yiddish בעל־הבית bal(e)bós 'owner/master of the house', plural בעלי־הבתּים bal(e)bátim (also spelled באַלעבאַטים, באַלעבאָס)
- Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
- North America
- The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
- 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).
Who Uses This
baleboss, balaboss, baalaboss, balebos
Used in the plural ("balabatim" or "balabosim") to refer to the regular folk of the community, or sometimes to congregants/non-clergy, sometimes derogatorily. Example: "The balabatim don't want a long analysis of the sugya; they want a nice, inspiring dvar Torah."
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