• n. "Scandal, shame." (JPS)

  • n. Misbehavior by a particular Jew or Jewish group that leads to embarrassment among the broader Jewish community.

Example Sentences

  • "It's such a shanda that you did not win the award."

  • Bernie Madoff "is the ultimate *shanda far di goyim*, the ultimate embarrassment, the perp-walk that our grandmothers most feared, the greatest con artist of all time *and* an identifiable Jew."

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • (שאַנד(ע shand(e)

    • Who Uses This

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


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


      • 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

      shande, shonda, shonde, schande, schanda, shandeh, shandah


  • Also used in the expression "shande far di goyim" or "shanda for the goyim" (embarrassment before/for the non-Jews).

    "To be a shanda for the goyim is to confirm the most hurtful stereotypes, thereby doing damage twice: a Jew who dishonors Jews by not only doing something bad, but doing something that confirms the worst fears of others about Jews in general." (source)

Edit     Something missing from this entry? Inaccurate? Feel free to suggest an edit.