shanda

Pronunciations

Definitions

  • 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

Etymology

  • (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)

      Regions

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

      Dictionaries

      • 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

Notes

  • 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)

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