Oy vey! A primer like no other!

5 years ago

The book opens to a pastel drawing of a young housewife in the doorway of a neat brick home, as her bespectacled husband wheels a big green garbage can to the curbside. The text?

See Jane.
Jane is married to Bob.
Jane loves Bob very much.
Bob is a real mensch.

This is no ordinary "Dick and Jane" primer. No, it's "Yiddish with Dick and Jane" and it'll make you laugh your tuchas off.



After I posted a photo of my car's new bumper sticker, "Keep Portland Meshugenah," Lori brought home a yellow hard-cover book with two familiar-looking, cherubic children spinning a dreidel while their spaniel watches. The book, co-authored by the husband-and-wife team of Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman, was a loaner from our friend, Karen, who was also the one who gave me the bumper sticker, never expecting she'd see it online.

"I about plotzed when I saw the photo of your car with the 'meshuganah' bumper sticker on it posted on your blog," she wrote in a note tucked inside the book. "Like a shtimmer, I was at a loss of words. What can I tell you, nu? This dear shaifeleh could have been knocked over with a feather!"

Well, after publicly expressing my fondness for learning handy phrases in foreign languages, this was the perfect gift -- even if it really wasn't a gift. Feh!

I inhaled the book in about a half-hour, breezing through 80 pages of text and drawings and a 24-page glossary and pronunciation guide. I'm already familiar with schlep, schlock and schnoz. With a little practice, I'll be able to slip plotz, pupik and shtunk into everyday conversation and either impress my Jewish friends or befuddle my gentile homies.

Need a little help with these words? Don't be a shlemiel!  Better check out "The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know."

Book cover: www.ellisweiner.com

Tweet me @georgerede

This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from living

by Kimberly Peta Dewhirst
| a day ago
by Kimberly Peta Dewhirst
| 8 days ago
by Lynne Curry
| 11 days ago
by Lynne Curry
| 12 days ago
by Kimberly Peta Dewhirst
| 15 days ago
by Hannah Hickok
| 18 days ago