bli neder

Alternative Spellings

b'li neder, beli neder

Definitions

  • "Literally, 'without vowing', this is added to any casual promise to avoid it being taken as an absolute undertaking." (Glinert)

Example Sentences

  • "Bli neder, I'll have the schedule posted by Friday."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Heb בלי נדר bli néder, Yiddish בלי־נדר bli-néyder

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education

Regions

North America

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 Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

Often abbreviated B"N. Jewish law regards undertaking even minor oaths or promises very seriously. Therefore, this phrase is often said just before or after expressing the intention to do something in the future so that one is not responsible for breaking a vow.

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