Alternative Spellings

takhlis, tachles, takhles


  • practical details of a matter, "brass tacks" (as in, "Let's get down to brass tacks.")
  • purpose, aim

Example Sentences

  • "We should decide if we want to focus on the broad vision and philosophy or the tachlis" (a rabbi to her staff when deciding what the topic of the next meeting should be). "He is thinking about these questions in a very sophisticated but also very tachlis sort of way" (an academic to other academics).
  • "When you get down to tachlis it means you stop talking about generalities and get down to the heart of the matter. When a girl dates a boy for the purpose of finding a mate she is said to be dating with tachlis in mind; when you ask a boy who is dating your daughter if he has tachlis, you are asking him whether he is serious about your daughter."
  • "Tachlis! What do you want?"

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish


Heb תכלית takhlít 'purpose, aim, object; end, limit', Yiddish תּכלית tákhles

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Organizations: People involved in a professional or volunteer capacity with Jewish nonprofit organizations


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 Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)

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