bli neder

Pronunciations

bli neder (bli NEH-der)
bli neder (beh-LEE NEH-der)

Definitions

  • interj. "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).

      Alternative Spellings

      b'li neder, beli neder

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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