patchke (POTSH-kee) listen
patchke (PUTCH-keh) listen


  • v. To fool, mess around.

  • v. To waste time.

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 potchkey with it any more."

  • “That kugel has three pages of instructions–who would ever patshke so much?” (source)

  • “I’m pooped from patshking all day over the shaloch manos“ (source)

  • “My sister, the unemployed one, she loves to patshke all day in the kitchen. Me, I have no patience.” (source)

  • “He patshkes around with paint and they call him a painter.” (NJY)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • 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
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


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

      Alternative Spellings

      potschke, patchkey, potshke, potchke, potchkey, potshkee, potchkee, pochkee, potshkee, potchkee, pochkee


  • "In English, patshke is most often used to describe a kind of fussy, painstaking cooking..." (source)

    See also patsh.

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