yasher koach

Pronunciations

yasher koach (YAH-sher KOH-ach) listen

Definitions

  • interj. Good job!

  • interj. Congratulations!

  • interj. Thank you (used by Orthodox Jews).

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
      • 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).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

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

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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