Born to Kvetch Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods

ISBN-10: 0061132179
ISBN-13: 9780061132179
Edition: N/A
Authors: Michael Wex
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Description: A delightful excursion through the Yiddish language, the culture it defines and serves, and the fine art of complaint Throughout history, Jews around the world have had plenty of reasons to lament. And for a thousand years, they've had the  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.99
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 8/15/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

A delightful excursion through the Yiddish language, the culture it defines and serves, and the fine art of complaint Throughout history, Jews around the world have had plenty of reasons to lament. And for a thousand years, they've had the perfect language for it. Rich in color, expressiveness, and complexity, Yiddish has proven incredibly useful and durable. Its wonderful phrases and idioms impeccably reflect the mind-set that has enabled the Jews of Europe to survive a millennium of unrelenting persecution . . . and enables them to kvetch about it! Michael Wex-professor, scholar, translator, novelist, and performer-takes a serious yet unceasingly fun and funny look at this remarkable kvetch-full tongue that has both shaped and has been shaped by those who speak it. Featuring chapters on curse words, food, sex, and even death, he allows his lively wit and scholarship to roam freely from Sholem Aleichem to Chaucer to Elvis. Perhaps only a khokhem be-layle (a fool, literally a "sage at night," when there's no one around to see) would care to pass up this endearing and enriching treasure trove of linguistics, sociology, history, and folklore-an intriguing appreciation of a unique and enduring language and an equally fascinating culture.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Kvetch Que C'est? The Origins of Yiddish
Six Feet Under, Baking Bagels: Yiddish in Action
Something Else to Kvetch About: Yiddish Dialects
Pigs, Poultry, and Pampers: The Religious Roots of Yiddish
Discouraging Words: Yiddish and the Forces of Darkness
You Should Grow Like an Onion: The Yiddish Curse
If It Wasn't for Bad Luck: Mazl, Misery, and Money
"Bupkes Means a Lot of Nothing": Yiddish and Nature
Making a Tsimmes Food-Kosher and Treyf
A Slap in the Tukhes and Hello: Yiddish Life from Birth to Bar Mitzvah
More Difficult Than Splitting the Red Sea: Courtship and Marriage
Too Good for the Goyim: Sex in Yiddish
It Should Happen to You: Death in Yiddish
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