balagan

Definitions

  • "a disorderly, confusing, and/or overwhelming situation" (Glinert)

Example Sentences

  • "The mall on Black Friday was a balagan!"

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish
  • Modern Hebrew

Etymology

  • Modern Heb בלגן (sometimes בלאגן) 'mess', Yiddish באַלאַגאַן 'mess'. Originally from a Slavic language: Polish bałagan 'mess, disorder'; Russian балаган 'farse'
    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there

      Regions

      • North America

      Dictionaries

      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      balegan, ballagan, balagon

      Notes

      • generally accented on the last syllable: bala-GAN

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