• n. A contrarian.

  • n. An annoying person.

  • adj. Topsy-turvy, backwards, upside down.

Example Sentences

  • “He has a streak of Moyshe Kapoyr in him.” (NJY)

  • “Don’t argue; don’t be a Moyshe Kapoyr.” (NJY)

  • “He gets things so balled up, so topsy-turvy, his name could be Moyshe Kapoyr.” (NJY)

  • "Everybody wants to go out for Italian but he insists on Chinese! ...What a Moishe Kapoyr!" (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • Y משה קאַפּױער moyshe kapoyer, lit. 'opposite Moses'; popularized as a cartoon character in a Forverts series by B. Kovner; published as a book in 1919.

    • 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).

      Alternative Spellings

      Moishe Kapoyr, Moyshe Kapoir, Moishe Kapoir, Moyshe Kapoyer, Moishe Kapoyer, Moyshe Kapoier, Moishe Kapoier


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