Alternative Spellings

pishkey, pushkey, pushka, pushkie, pishke


  • "The little container...in which money to be donated to charity is accumulated." (Rosten)

Example Sentences

  • "Every week you put a little in the pushke." - teacher, speaking about the "Old Country"

Languages of Origin



פּושקע pushke '(tin) can; (alms) box'

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


From the Slavic word for 'box'. In some games popularly played by Jews, such as mah jonh, 'pushke' can also mean the money gambled.

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