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  • balaboosta

    n. Female head of household.

  • besamim

    n. "Literally, 'spices.' It almost always refers to the spices in the spice box used for the Havdalah ceremony" (JPS).

  • bris

    n. Circumcision ceremony; the celebration surrounding it. Lit. covenant.

  • bubbe meise

    n. "Something of little importance, an inconsequential thing or minor happening." (JPS)

  • cheder

    n. Hebrew and religious classes (often on Sundays) for elementary school children.

  • dybbuk

    n. A spirit, "often thought to be the soul of a dead person, that wanders the earth looking for a living body to inhabit" (JPS).

  • goyish

    adj. "In the manner or style of a non-Jewish person" (JPS), especially something WASPy or "white bread."

  • hazarai

    n. Treyf (non-kosher) food.

  • keinehora

    interj. "No evil eye" (Rosten). "An expression said to ward off the evil eye or bad luck in general; the verbal equivalent of knocking on wood." (JPS)

  • Maariv

    n. The Jewish evening prayer service.

  • mechuten

    In-law (http://www.pass.to/glossary/gloz2.htm#letm).

  • naches

    "Proud pleasure, special joy--particularly from the achievements of a child... 2. Psychological reward or gratification." (Rosten)

  • yontif

    a Jewish holiday, especially one on which work is prohibited (in contrast to chol hamoed)