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).

Notes

accented on the last syllable: bala-GAN

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