Yiddish (YIH-dish) listen


  • n. The traditional language of Ashkenazic Jewry.

  • adj. Jewish.

  • adj. Of or relating to the Yiddish language.

Example Sentences

  • "My college roommate spoke Yiddish."

  • "It has that yiddishe taam"

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • ייִדיש yidish 'lit. Jewish, Yiddish'

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


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


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      Yidish, Yidush, Yiddush, yiddish, yidish


  • Yiddish is a descendant of High German, and its vocabulary is roughly 80% Germanic, 10% Hebrew and 10% Slavic (depending on author/speaker and setting/genre).

    See also mame-loshn.

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