yasher koach

Alternative Spellings

yashar koach, yasher koyekh, shkoyekh, yishar koach, shkoyach, shkoyakh

Definitions

  • Thank you (used by Orthodox Jews)
  • Congratulations!
  • Good job!

Example Sentences

  • During a service, after someone reads Torah or gives a sermon or drash, community members may say, "Yasher koach!"

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Heb יישר כוח yasher koakh, Yiddish יישר־כּוח (ya)sh(er)-kóyekh, lit. 'straight strength/power'

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

Regions

North America, Great Britain

Dictionaries

Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
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)

Notes

Literally it means "May it be for strength ("koach," in Hebrew);" that is, may what you just did be a source of strength.

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