• n. ((a) toytn bankes) A hopeless situation; wasted effort.

  • interj. (es vet helfn vi a toytn bankes or it will help like a toytn bankes) It's hopeless, useless.

  • v. (to help/helf vi a toytn bankes) To be hopeless, useless.

Example Sentences

  • "Someone in the real estate business is trying to sell his condominium in Staten Island, but no one has bought a condominium there in sixteen years. He says, 'I've got an idea. I'll put in a swimming pool. I'll put in a tennis court. I'll get a doorman.' His friend says, 'Forget it, Harold. It's a toyten bankes.'" (source)

  • "There's no way to send your kids to Hebrew School in Staten Island. And who can get married there? Do you know how big Staten Island is? Stop kidding yourself. It's a toyten bankes." (source)

  • "Mrs. Kitzman, weight 170, brought home a new dress, size 12, plus a new miracle 'korset' (girdle), which she claims will enable her to get into the new 'kleyd' (dress). Will it? 'It will help vi a toyten bankes!'" (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • העלפֿן װי אַ טױטן באַנקעס helfn vi a toytn bankes 'to be useless', lit. 'to help like cupping (for letting blood of the sick) can help a corpse'

    • 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

      es vet helfen vi a toytn bankes, es vet helfen vi a toiten bankes, es vet helfen vi a toyten bankes, es vet helfn vi a toyten bankes, es vet helfn vi a toiten bankes, es vet helfn vi a toytn bankes, toyten bankes, toitn bankes, toiten bankes, a toytn bankes, a toyten bankes, a toiten bankes, a toitn bankes, vi a toiten bankes, vi a toitn bankes, vi a toyten bankes, vi a toytn bankes

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