shpilkes

Pronunciations

shpilkes (SHPEEL-kis) listen

Definitions

  • n. Nervous energy, anxiousness, restlessness. Lit. 'pins.'

Example Sentences

  • "Sit still!", said Gwen. "I can't, I've got the shpilkes," responded Marti.

  • "I'm sitting on shpilkes I'm so anxious."

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish

Etymology

  • שפּילקע shpilke 'pin', plural שפּילקעס shpilkes; usage comes from Yiddish zitsn (vi) af shpilkes 'sitting as if on pins'

    • Who Uses This

      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older

      Regions

      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa

      Dictionaries

      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).

      Alternative Spellings

      schpilkes, shpielkes

Notes

  • Pronounced SHPEEL-kuhs, SHPEEL-kiss, or SHPEEL-keys. Made famous within English by Mike Myers in the Saturday Night Live skit "Coffee Talk."

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