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Tushie, Tush, and Tuchus

What’s a tasteful way to refer to one’s rear end? Tushie and tush come from the Yiddish word tuchus. Also spelled tochis and tochas, it is regarded by some folks, such as the New York Times, as “insufficiently elegant.” This...

Putz Around

If someone’s being a bit lazy, or just moseying aimlessly, we say they’re putzing around. But the word put derives from the Yiddish for penis. Plenty of Yiddish words have made their way into the common vernacular, especially in the...


The old Yiddish word bupkis, referring to something of little or no value, has of late been split up for dramatic effect. As in, “that’s worth all of a bup and a kis!” This is part of a complete episode.

Terms of Endearment

What pet names do you have for your loved ones? In The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten shares the name his Mother used to call him — bubala, a term of endearment grandmothers might use in addressing children. We have all kinds of substitutes for the...

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