Yiddish is a hybrid language and takes much of its vocabulary from medieval German and Hebrew, but with a smattering of words from Aramaic, Slavic and Romance languages as well. Many of the words come from the specific cultures within Central and Eastern Europe.
Yiddish has a structure all its own. While the language is based on a mixture of Hebrew and medieval German, its alphabet is based on the Hebrew alphabet. The rules of Yiddish are not the same as either of the parent languages.
Yiddish went through a decline in popularity over the past 100 years but has found a resurgence in recent times and is taught at several prominent universities around the world. Next time you use a word of Yiddish origin, remember that you are speaking a foreign language.
Goldeneh chasseneh – Fiftieth wedding anniversary
Goniff – Crook, thief, burglar, swindler, racketeer
Gopel – Fork
Gornisht – Nothing
Gornisht Helfin – Nothing will help
Got in himmel! – G-d in heaven! (said in anguish, despair, fear or frustration)
Got tsu danken – Thank G-d
Got zol ophiten! – G-d forbid!
Gote-Vorte – A good piece of information or short concise Torahy commentary.
Gotteniu! – Oh G-d! (anguished cry)
Goy – Any person who is not Jewish
Goyeh – Gentile woman
Goyim – Group of non-Jewish persons
Goyishe kop – Opposite of Yiddishe kop. Generally used to indicate someone who is not particularly smart or shrewd. (Definitely offensive.)
Greps – Blech; a burp if it’s a mild one
Grob – Coarse, crude, profane, rough, rude
Grober – Coarse, uncouth, crude person
Grober finger – Thumb
Grois-halter – Show-off, conceited person
Groisseh gedilleh! – Big deal! (said sarcastically)
Groisser gornisht – Big good-for-nothing
Groisser potz! (taboo) – Big penis! Big prick! (derogatory or sarcastic)
Grooten – To take after, to favour.
Groyser finger – Middle finger
Guggle muggle – A concoction made of warm milk and honey for sore throats
Gunsel – A young goose. Also used to describe a young man who accompanies a tramp or a young tramp.
Gut far him! – Serves him right!
Gut gezugt – Well said
Gut Shabbos – Good Sabbath
Gut Yontif – Happy Holiday
G’vir – Rich man
Hob dir in arbel – Lit., I’ve got you by the elbow (Used as a response to a derogatory remark as you would use “sticks and stones”
Hob nit kain deiges – Don’t worry
Hoben tsu zingen un tsu zogen – Have no end of trouble (Lit.,To sing and to talk)
Hobn groyse oygn – To be greedy
Hock mir nisht en chinik – Don’t hit me in the head. or Dont’ give me a headache.
Hoizer gaier – Beggar
Hoizirer – Peddler (from house to house)
Holishkes – Stuffed Cabbage
Host du bie mir an avleh! – So I made a mistake. So what!
Hulyen – A hellraiser