Alternative Spellings

potchkey, potchke, potshke, patchkey, potschke


  • "1. To fuss or "mess around" inefficiently and inexpertly. 2. To dawdle, to waste time." (Rosten)

Example Sentences

  • "This recipe involves a lot of patshke." "She's been patshkeying around with that model airplane all day." "The project is almost due; I can't potchey with it any more."

Languages of Origin



from Yiddish פּאַטשקען patshken 'to daub, smear', פּאַטשקען זיך מיט patshken zikh mit (something) 'to bother with (something messy)' (verbal stem is פּאַטשקע patshke)

Who Uses This

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).
JPS: The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)


See also "patsh," which means "(playful) smack"

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