Alternative Spellings

seykhel, seychel, saykhel


  • "Common sense" (JPS), intelligence

Example Sentences

  • "She should use her saykhel for such an important decision."
  • “This time, we are not dealing with a rasha (an evil person) but a person who lacks sechel” (

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish


Heb שכל sékhel, Yiddish שׂכל séykhl

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


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).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).


This word originally stems from Hebrew but is more closely associated with Yiddish discourse.

Edit     See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.