Tag Archives: yiddish


Pui Pui: Spitting the words off of your lips

Main Piece: What does Pui Pui mean? “It’s like ‘get the words off your lips,’ kind of a purification thing, but it’s also about spitting. It’s like when you don’t’ want to jinx something, like ‘I hope I start feeling better soon, pui pui pui.’ It’s so the evil eye… to get rid of the… Continue Reading »

Hudavaoff kinder

Context: This is a Jewish proverb (spoken in Yiddish). It was said to my father (a fifty-six year old man) growing up, and when he began raising children, he started saying it to us. It is used to treat an otherwise tense situation comedically, a way to blow off steam, and promise their children that… Continue Reading »

Yiddish Proverb

Context: The 20-year-old informant from Montclair, New Jersey was telling me how his mother’s grandfather, the informant’s great-grandfather, was a Yiddish teacher for many years. He often spoke fluent Yiddish to his granddaughter, and she picked up many interesting and sometimes hilarious phrases, jokes, and proverbs. I asked him if he could give me a… Continue Reading »