Alternative Spellings

shvits, shvitz


  • sweat (v., n.)
  • steam bath (n.)

Example Sentences

  • "There is no air conditioning, so on days when Wilshire Boulevard Temple is filled, Leder says, it is more like a schvitz, a steam bath, than a synagogue." (from an article in the LA Times)
  • It was so hot in shul that everyone was shvitsing.

Languages of Origin



שװיצן shvitsn 'to sweat, perspire' (verbal stem is שװיץ shvits); שװיצבאָד shvitsbod 'steam bath, sauna'

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


North America


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).

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