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Article needs work[edit]

This article needs serious work. I'll call attention to two claims: 1) "could perhaps be considered a dialect of English. It might be classified as a Pidgin" NO encyclopedia article should havce the phrase "could perhaps." An encyclopedia article is meant to represent the current level of knowledge and debate over certain topics. What linguists have analyzed Yshivish? Do they argue over whether or not it is in fact a dialect of English? Which linguists take one side, and which take another? For what reasons? What are the linguistic arguments for classifying it this way -- and what are the linguisstic arguments for not doing so? If the article cannot describe such debats, then this sentence should simply be cut as it is empty of meaning and value.

Regarding my revision on this point, see pages xv-xxi in Weiser. Shmuel 03:27, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)oi

2) "People who speak Yeshivish do not approve of educated English" This is an empirical claim. What is the data? Has there been a survey? Support for such empirical claims must be provided, or else the sentence should be cut.

Assuming that their is good empirical evidence to support this claim, more analysis is needed. It is not enough to provide the local explanation -- this article is describing a sociological phenomena and there needs to be more analysis.

This is an encyclopedia, not an op-ed page. I see potential in this article but it needs work. I urge to author of the article to respond to my comments with improivements, or I will cut at least these two questionable claims. Slrubenstein

This is the English speaking section of Wikipedia - I think statements such as the below should be translated into English as well in order to educate English-only speakers. This would make this article more useful to a larger number of people.

Thus, for example, "he was moide that he was wrong" and "he'll always be machmir not to use the eruv."

Done. Along the way, I realized that I'd chosen a poor example in the latter case, as "machmir" itself is an adjective, not a verb; I've modified the sentence accordingly. Thanks for the catch! Shmuel 07:40, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Classification of Yeshivish & the state of this article[edit]

I do not speak Yeshivish, and I'm only able to understand about half of it. Not only does it use a great number of Yiddishisms and (imho grossly mispronounced) Hebraisms, it uses them in ways that violate the rules of both Yiddish and Hebrew...making them home therefore, only in Yeshivish. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the blanket statement that linguists do not consider it to be a distinct language requires clarification and substantiation. I would assert, and claim to be on more authoritative grounds than this shoddily constructed article, that Yeshivish is a separate language, and that the fact that all of its speakers happen to be bilingual in English is irrelevant to its classification as such. Nobody disputes that Kernewek (Cornish) is a distinct language even though all its native speakers also speak English, why Yeshivish should be subject to this claim then, eludes me. Tomer TALK 01:48, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

The reason linguists consider Cornish a separate language from English but are reluctant to consider Yeshivish a separate language from English is that Cornish has its own grammatical structure; it has a different syntax from that of English, and it has not only its own content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives) but also its own function words (pronouns, prepositions, adverbs, particles) and morphology. Yeshivish, on the other hand, is completely English in its grammatical structure, it uses English syntax, and it uses English function words and morphology. It even uses English content words for the majority of lexical items unrelated to Judaism. I don't speak Yeshivish either, but I strongly suspect a sentence like The cat was lying on the chair dozing in the sun would be "translated" into Yeshivish as The cat was lying on the chair dozing in the sun (and not, say, *The kats was ligndik on the shtul dremlendik in the zun). No one denies Yeshivish is a separate language from both Hebrew and Yiddish. --Angr 06:43, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think you hit the nail on the head here. The idea that Yeshivish could be classed as a separate language, or even as a separate dialect, is completely off the wall. I think of it mostly as a jargon. It is comparable in many ways to the speech forms of many ethnic communities in America who are descended from immigrants, like Hispanics or Italian-Americans, where they speak English with loads of terms from another language. I have to say, though, that your example about "translating" that sentence about the cat lying on the chair brought to mind the way the rabbi of my shul speaks when giving shiurim. (I think you can figure out from context what that last sentence means, even if you don't know the words.) He does indeed use such a high proliferation of Yiddish and Hebrew words that an outsider might be excused for thinking he's not speaking English. For example, he refers to a dog as a "hoont." When Jews speak Yeshivish, there could be entire sentences without a single English word. The example I always give is "Chasidim daven nusach sfard." (Rough translation: Hasids pray using Sephardic liturgy.) marbeh raglaim 08:42, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Ah! That's what it means, but it's a lie! Tongue.png Tomer TALK 06:43, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Not a lie, just imprecise. It's based on the Arizal's modifications to the Sefardic rite and also influenced by nusach Ashkenaz. MosheEmes (talk) 00:52, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Yeshivish certainly has its own grammar, which is partially Hebrew/Aramaic and leans heavily on Talmudic phraseology and idiom, as well as occasionally having a Yiddish sentence structure. JFW | T@lk 10:55, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Can you give an example of a Yeshivish sentence whose syntax is different from that of its English translation? --Angr 11:45, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
He was moide that he was wrong."
"He was" puts "moide" -- "to admit" -- into the third-person singular past tense, creating the present meaning of "He admitted that he was wrong."
"We'll always be soimech on Rav Plony's p'sak that the eruv is mutar."
"We'll always be" puts "soimech" -- "to rely" -- into the first-person plural future tense, creating the present meaning of "We'll always rely upon Rabbi So-and-So's ruling that the eruv is permitted."
The modification of the infinitive by various forms of "to be" is different from English verb forms.
--Briangotts 15:53, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Not really. "Moyde" and "soymekh" are behaving in Yeshivish (and in Yiddish for that matter) like adjectives, even if they are participles in Hebrew. As far as syntax is concerned, there's no difference between He was moyde that he was wrong and He was sorry that he was wrong or We'll always be soymekh on ... and We'll always be reliant on .... --Angr 16:11, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I have updated the grammar section to reflect that Yeshivish uses a primarily English grammar, with words of non-English origin behaving differently than in their languages of origin in order to fit in. If anyone has any other thoughts on the matter, let's discuss. --User:nudave04
I'm not sure of the proper way to phrase this, so I haven't [yet] edited the article, but Yeshivish seems more a jargon among a particular speech community than a dialect or language. It's not a question of grammar, it's a matter of who uses Yeshivish. No one speaks Yeshivish natively; it's something learned by students at yeshivot - sort of comparable to military slang, or the tech-speak of computer enthusiasts. This article should make that clearer. Note: the military slang article is, unfortunately, much more a slang dictionary than an article on that topic, but I think my point is still clear. -- Epimetreus 23:54, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I would have to disagree mildly...there are many "native" Yeshivish speakers... the fact of the matter is that it has a one-way mutual intelligibility with English... from English to Yeshivish, but not the other way around. Where to draw the line between language argot dialect and whatnot is the subject of whole libraries, however, and I'm not about to presume to know better than those who actually study this stuff in depth, so there you have my 2¢, and that's about all I've got... :-p Tomertalk 03:11, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Afraid I've got to disagree here. There aren't really many native Yeshivish speakers at all. It is a jargon primarily picked up in yeshiva, although it is true that Yeshivish can be spoken in the home. But there is no question that husbands do not speak to their wives as they do in yeshiva, even if they use a "mamash" here and a "lechoira" there--even if there isn't a discernible difference to one who isn't familiar with Yashivish at all. In fact, I think that's a point that needs to be explored: the different degrees of Yeshivish. A speaker uses it differently when heatedly arguing over a Maharsha from when he tells his wife he loves her. In addition there are definite differences between male and female use of Yeshivish, as well as differences in pronunciation which need to be exlpored. S.

12:04, 05 June 2006 (UTC)
While many do indeed acquire Yeshivish in the Yeshivos, I personally know many families, Mi'naar Ve'ad Zakein, that are native "Yeshivish" users. While this is definitely original research, I feel that it may carry some weight since the entire article is essentially OR. In my experience, the underlying structure and shprach of Yeshivish is a mix of two separate things - 1) The use of Yiddish and Talmud words. -2) The use of a yiddish sentence structure. Lets use a simple sentence as our control:
"Actually, he went to the store and bought it."
First we substitute Yeshivish words and it becomes:
"But lemaisah, he went to the store and fakoifed the zach."
Then, in step two, we add a Yiddish structure and the final product is:
"He fakoifed the zach, lemaisah when he went to the store but."
A beautiful and elegant example of Yeshivish. Hope this entertains and informs! Shykee 03:54, 10 July 2006 (UTC)shykee
  • The but would cut from the sentence in the Yeshivishe Shprach. --Shaul avrom 01:10, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
That example is a riot! In Yiddish, farkoyfn means 'sell', not 'buy', and zakh wouldn't be used like English it. It is mamesh "a beautiful and elegant example", because it illustrates the fake erudition of Yeshivish. That is, Yeshivish is not simply the result of what happened when people whose parents spoke Yiddish, and who spoke a little Yiddish themselves, casually used Yiddish expressions in their English, but rather it is what happens when people who know very little if any Yiddish try -- unsuccessfully -- to imitate the English of their Yiddish-speaking teachers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Most Yeshivish speakers know the difference between koyfn and farkoyfn, even if that person did not. Also, he didn't mean that a person is literally translating "it" to "the zach". Everyone knows that zach means "thing" and not "it." He's paraphrasing in translation. However, without being mean-spirited, I would agree that many speakers of Yeshivish, especially younger ones who are more generations away from having a Yiddish speaker in the family, make mistakes from time to time. MosheEmes (talk) 00:58, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

gentlemen, what yeshivish is is really the beginning of a new dialect. there aren't really any native yeshivish speakers today but in a generation or two yeshivish may (and likely will) solidify itself as a valid dialect. in order to itself be a entirely separate language it would take several generations. considering the rapid growth and insularity of the ultra-orthodox communities a grounded yeshivish dialect with a firm grammatical structure is not far away. i don't believe yeshivish is an attempt to imitate yiddish speaking teachers or relatives; yeshivish is a method of discussing and learning Talmud, a study that has a very unique vocabulary. hence, a language filled with various aramaic and hebrew terms is necessary to truly grasp the concepts as english isn't a language equipped to handle such study. yiddish vocabulary is often used because yiddish has traditionally been the language of the yeshiva and popular phrases and sayings have been passed down (talk) 03:10, 14 September 2008 (UTC)jonah

There are only gentlemen here? ;) I strongly disagree. Yeshivish will never be a separate dialect. Haredim are not as insulated as you think and they are becoming less so. To refer back to S's comment, most women don't speak this way and most men don't speak to them this way. MosheEmes (talk) 01:01, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

New Dictionary Section[edit]

We need a section that gives the definitions of various Yeshivish words.

No, we don't. Wikipedia is not a slang dictionary. JFW | T@lk 07:46, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Shmuel 23:59, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Actually, there is another book about Yeshivish, however I can't remember the name.I remember that it had some pretty fine example of Yeshivish, including a translation of the Gettysberg Address into Yeshivish. If I can find it, perhaps I'll add it to the article to give people an idea of how Yeshivish sounds (if there is no objection). Shykee 04:04, 10 July 2006 (UTC)shykee
It was Wieser's book that had the Gettysburg Address. It ended with "that a nation that shtams by the oilam, by the oilam, by the oilam, will blaib fest ahd oilam." -- A brilliant demonstration of the many meanings of "by" in Yiddish, which then get unfortunately lost on anyone unfamiliar with the original. On the other hand, using "the oilam" both for the three cases of "the people" and also using "ahd oilam" to capture the implied "never" of the original, is a great example of how (on rare occasion) it is possible that a translation might improve upon the original. --Keeves 21:08, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

available here - crz crztalk 21:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Yeshivish as independent language[edit]

The idea that "Yeshivish may someday be considered analogous to English in the way that Yiddish is to German" is ludicrous. Yiddish developed primarily because Jews were isolated from the general population, within countries where the main language was often completely different from Yiddish. This bears no comparison to Yeshivish Jews today, who have regular contact with Gentiles and who have no difficulty speaking Standard English. Yeshivish itself is based on Standard English, not on the language of some faraway land.

"someday" JFW | T@lk 22:06, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
But the conditions at the outset are entirely different. I don't think the article can make such a far-reaching statement based on the improbable notion that in the future, Yeshivish-speaking Jews will transfer to non-English countries and remain as isolated from the general population as Eastern European Jews were several centuries ago. (Sorry about not signing a name, yet. I'm new to this and haven't figured out how it works.) Marbehraglaim (talk · contribs)
Of course it's speculative. By the way, you sign with ~~~~, which automatically adds your signature and timestamp. JFW | T@lk 15:41, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
The whole section is pretty silly and speculative; it positively reeks of original research. Jayjg (talk) 04:51, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

"Yiddish developed primarily because Jews were isolated from the general population, within countries where the main language was often completely different from Yiddish."

That may be so for how it developed in eastern Europe, after being imported from the west--but a thousand years ago when Rhenish Jews began speaking Juedische-Deutsch (Yiddish), the isolation and ghetto situation hadn't yet developed. There was quite a lot of Jew/ Gentile contact. That's how the Jews picked up the German vernacular in the first place! Centuries later, in eastern Europe, contact was indeed less which is why Judeo-Polishes or Judeo-Russians didn't develop to supplant Judei-German (Yiddish).

Mississippifred 07:15, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

My point was that Yiddish did not become its own language until German-speaking Jews found themselves isolated in countries like Poland or Lithuania. This sort of isolation reflected the time and is not likely ever to occur in the future for Jews who speak "Yeshivish." marbeh raglaim 21:06, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

African American Vernacular English is now accepted as a true dialect of English. Yeshivish shares many of the characteristics of this, and should best be considered another true English dialect. Nu? Is isolation necessary for the development of Jewish dialects? How about Judeo-Italian? Mwinog2777 16:27, 3 June 2006 (UTC)mwinog2777

Yeshivish isn't even remotely as distinct as Black English. Black English doesn't merely have some unusual words, but also has some unique grammatical constructions, such as the "be"-dropping that expresses an aspectual distinction not found at all in Standard English. There is nothing of that sort in Yeshivish, which simply has a high proportion of loanwords and loan translations from Yiddish, hung upon a grammatical structure that is fundamentally Standard English. That's why Yeshivish-speaking Jews have no difficulty switching over to pure Standard English, whereas some African-Americans do. marbeh raglaim 01:50, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

My observation is that many many speakers of Yeshivish are incapable of easily speaking standard English. In addition, from what I have seen, you are incorrect, Yeshivish does have its own sentence structure which is fundamentally that of Yiddish. See my comment above for an example. Shykee 04:08, 10 July 2006 (UTC)shykee

The real question is whether a sentence can be identified as Yeshivish purely by its syntax or grammatical structure. There are many examples of Black English sentences that do not contain a single nonstandard word, yet are clearly recognizable as Black English. Can you give me an example of a Yeshivish sentence without any Yiddish or Hebrew or Aramaic? Plus, based on my experience with Yeshivish, I would say that the example you bring is rare. Yeshivish sentences rarely if ever have a nonstandard structure, and when they do, I suspect it is a result of loan translation rather than distinctive grammar. marbeh raglaim 04:26, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

I'll just say this- my knowledge of Yeshivish is not at all of the secondary type, and my example is not rare at all. The example I gave is a perfect one in that even without the Yiddish, it has a Yiddish structure: "He bought the thing actually, when he went to the store but." I would like to stress that there is another point of parallelism to Black English. Yeshivish has its own peculiar flavor and attitude even when only using English and a correct structure. There are certain ways of self-expression and interesting non-standard usages of English words that mark a Yeshivish user from a mile away. This is similar to certain Black usages and expressions that are peculiar to that dialect. There is also the matter of the accent. Consider this, if Black english was spoken with a white accent, would it be so easily identifiable? Would you really know that the speaker was Black and not from the South? Yeshivish also has an accent.Shykee 05:21, 10 July 2006 (UTC)shykee

By the way, I am not advocating the idea that Yeshivish is a separate language. Not at all. I believe it to be similar to any immigrant slang- a language in the sense that it may beautifully express specific cultural context, but not a language in the sense of expressing other ideas and thoughts.Other poetries and shades of grey. Other nuanced emotions and fleeting impressions. In short, not a beautiful, all encompassing language capable of looking outside itself and holding and describing the innumerable myriad thoughts and clashing philosophies of this planet we call earth! Shykee 05:05, 10 July 2006 (UTC)shykee

"Can you give me an example of a Yeshivish sentence without any Yiddish or Hebrew or Aramaic?"

Of course:

"He holds by him."

04:15, 24 July 2006 (UTC)anon

I think that's an example of loan translation, though. marbeh raglaim 15:45, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Im yirtzeh HASHEM, it will be our own loshen, but, until then, it holds Lo Shinu Es Loshonam Shaul avrom 00:36, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

New babel[edit]

Oy This user speaks Yeshivish.

Add it to your user page incase any one is confused with your Yeshivish grammar. :) I have talked to an admin, and they said it is fine. ems 12:35, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Oy, gevalt. marbeh raglaim 17:01, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Separation of Culture Article[edit]

This article is mainly about the language/pidgin Yeshivish, but inludes a vague paragraph about Yeshivish culture in general. Why not spin off this irrelevant article or integrate it into one about modern Orthodoxy? - Arithmomaniac 11:00 PST 4/20/06

That's not a bad suggestion, but it might fit more specifically into the article about Haredi Judaism. If it deserves an article of its own, then the lifestyle should get just as much attention as the language. That's how the word is used in Orthodox circles anyway: we say stuff like "That shul is very Yeshivish," and in that context it's basically a synonym to "black hat" Orthodoxy, or the group more accurately described as Haredi Misnagdim. "Yeshivish" as a speech form simply refers to Yinglish used to a particularly high degree and mixed with the jargon of Talmud study. Notice that the article's chief example of Yeshivish speech comes from a Talmudic discussion, yet the book that's mentioned as a supposed study of Yeshivish speech is called Frumspeak, not Yeshivaspeak. marbeh raglaim 19:54, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I added an intro pointing out that Yeshivish can also refer to the specific cultural/ethnic aspect of the users of the Yeshivish dialect. Shykee 12:40, 23 June 2006 (UTC)shykee

Yeshivish is mostly a culture! "The language" is really just the way yeshivish people tend to speak. The article should FOCUS on the movement/culture. It is not definently not synonymous with Chareidi or Modern Orthodoxy. Defendhim 13:46, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the word "Yeshivish" is more often used to refer to the culture rather than the language. And while it isn't synonymous with Chareidi, it is pretty much equivalent to "Chareidi non-Chasidic." Also it should be noted that the term "black hatter" is often used to describe a member of the Yeshivish movement/culture. Someone now needs to write this article. marbeh raglaim 06:45, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
This is the observation I came here to make, and of course it was made five years ago! This article should probably be renamed "Yeshivish (dialect)" and include a disambiguation section. To describe a group of people, "Yeshivish" is often used synonymously with "Litvish" and "Misnaged," albeit with shadings of meaning, to mean "non-Hasidic Haredi" and should be cross-linked with the page. Thus, many speakers of Yeshivish would not be considered Yeshivish Jews, but Modern Orthodox Yeshiva students (not Hasidim, though, since they all just speak Yiddish). Illinvillain (talk) 19:24, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Bad article[edit]

I've come back to this article several months after first commenting on it, and I'm still stunned by how ludicrous its assertions are. Among the many problems I have found:

(1) While I have not read Chaim Weiser's book Frumspeak, I seriously doubt it either was intended or has been received as a "serious" scholarly work.

(2) The examples cited in this article of Yeshivish grammatical features are nothing of the sort. Attaching English plural endings to Hebrew loanwords is completely typical of the way English speakers treat words borrowed from other languages.

(3) The article correctly notes that "speakers of Yeshivish clearly understand English," but it goes on to suggest that "The simply not the case." That statement is playing very loose with the word "understand." Using a few unfamiliar words and expressions does not render one's speech incomprehensible to outsiders. That would be like saying a New Yorker cannot understand a Texan.

Some changes I have made to the article:

(1) The article claimed that in Yeshivish writing, "words of Aramaic, Hebrew or Yiddish origin are usually written in Hebrew characters." I changed this to "words of Hebrew or Aramaic origin are often written in Hebrew characters." Trust me, I grew up with this form, and it was rare to write a Yiddish word of non-Semitic origin (e.g. shul, zayde, bentsh) in Hebrew characters, and even words of Semitic (Hebrew or Aramaic) origin were frequently written in the Roman alphabet.

(2) According to the article, "As Yiddish was to Middle High German, Yeshivish may be to Standard American English." I added the sentence, "However, modern-day Jews are more integrated into Gentile society than they were in the past, and their speech is not likely to diverge as far from the standard languages as it once did."

(3) To sound a little more respectful, I changed "ultra orthodox Israelis" to "Israeli Haredim," and "proper Modern Hebrew or proper Yiddish" to "standard Ivrit or standard Yiddish."

Still, the article needs a lot of work before it will sound remotely reasonable. marbeh raglaim 01:00, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I have read the book, and while it was clearly written as to be a humorous book, that was because of the fact that somebody would do out of their way to make a dictionary on it. It is scholarly sound.

Arithmomaniac 5/12/06

I have also read the book. Not only was it meant to be humorous, but it was not actually written by Weiser. Shmuel Weiser was/is a high school English teacher in a yeshiva in Philadelphia. The book was written by his class as an assignment in grammatical studies. Yserbius 22:00, 26 Nov 2006

"(1) While I have not read Chaim Weiser's book Frumspeak, I seriously doubt it either was intended or has been received as a "serious" scholarly work."

It's been cited a number of times in scholarly works in peer reviewed journals. See here:

In addition, linguist Dovid Katz refers to it in his book about Yiddish, Words On Fire.

The author has some linguistic training. While the book itself may not be solidly scholarly (e.g., it seems to accept the idea of a literal Tower of Babel language split in a tangential reference) it is, as of now, basically the only published document of Yeshivish's existence.

Nathan of Rome's magnifigicent Talmudic dictionary, 'Arukh, is also not technically a scholarly work, you know.


Interesting. Sol Steinmetz's somewhat scholarly 1986 book Yiddish and English examines excerpts from numerous Orthodox Jewish newspapers showing what is essentially Yeshivish, though he doesn't use the term, and he seems a bit confused about the difference between Modern Orthodox and Haredi. marbeh raglaim 15:42, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Non-involved people most definitely cannot understand Yeshivish. A nice example of Yeshivish is the English Yated Neeman, which can be found online at . Many of their articles simply cannot be understood by a non-Jew or a non-Orthodox Jew. That is a simple fact. It is 99% English, but those few Hebrew (and Aramaic and Yiddish) words mixed in make many articles totally unreadable for the average person. I removed the disputed tag. It has been there for months and barely anything was done about the article since, so I presumed it was safe to remove it. --Daniel575 | (talk) 15:56, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Sure. And many non-physicists will have trouble understanding a physics discussion. That doesn't mean that physicists aren't speaking English. marbeh raglaim 17:48, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. This article is wildly undersourced and undertheorized and reads like a parody or, perhaps worse, a self-important excursus on the thesis of a single book that is described as 'tongue in cheek." Without more serious scholarly analysis, the article should be shortened and treated more seriously, say, in the context of a serious article on the sociology of ultraorthodox Chasidic enclaves and their yeshivot. It is hard to see the forms of speech described here as even rising to creole status let alone dialect. Actio (talk) 02:31, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Wrong Focus/Rewriting[edit]

I beleive that this article is foucusing on the wrong aspect of yeshivish. Yeshivish is a culture and though the way they speak is called yeshivish the basic meaning of yeshivish is the culture; the language is secondary. The article needs rewriting. the new article should focus on yeshevish yeshivas (chaim berlin, ner yisrael, ect.) dress (black hat) culture daily life and ect.Defendhim 13:46, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Lexical gaps?[edit]

Though I have no specific sources to back myself up, I have begun to notice that Yeshivish or frumspeak has lexical gaps. For example, there is the verb to daven, and the gerund form davening is used to denote either "the act of praying" or "the prayer service." But Yeshivish has no simple, noun equivalent of the English word "prayer" in a sentence like "I have written a prayer for you." marbeh raglaim 18:35, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

IMHO, it doesn't need to, since it's stolen the Hebrew "tefillah". Kolindigo 20:31, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The word tefillah is mostly used in the same way as davening. It doesn't work as well when replacing the English word prayer. Or at least it doesn't sound very natural. marbeh raglaim 02:52, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

poor example[edit]

When discussing "foon", the article cites what the author clearly believes to be a unique-to-Yeshivish phrase..."For example: Litvaks are different from Chassidim.". The weakness here, is that American English almost never uses anything other than "from" as a modifier for "different". Other Englishes, notably British and Australian, generally use the [incredibly uneducated-sounding (to the American ear)] "to" (as in "different to"). The only example I can think of in which any reasonably literate English speaker would think "different than" was normal English, is as a synonym for "unique than", as in, e.g., "We're more different than we thought." ... which is really just shorthand for "We're more different from each other than we thought." Anyways, long and short, "different from" in Yeshivish is proper English, "different than", in either, as a substitute for "different from", is if someone has a better example for foon, please put it into the article. שבת שלום. Tomertalk 20:58, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

An Ode to Yinglish[edit]

There is actually a song about Yeshivisheh Shprach, called, not suprisingly, "Yeshivishe Raid". Here are some lines (to the best of my recollection):

In the hallowed halls of yeshivos far and wide,
our young men have found a new way to verbalize.
With Yiddish, English, Hebrew, it's a mixture of all three,
and a dash of Aramaic- a linguistic potpourri
Yeshivisheh raid, yeshivisheh shprach,
takeh eppes gradah ah gevaldegeh zach,

That's all I remember. Quite entertaining. I believe it was written by Abie Rottenberg on a Journey's CD. Maybe someone can find the actual words and work it into the article- it was not only very funny, but also had some great examples of Yeshivish speak. 07:12, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Yeshivisheh reid yeshivisheh shprach,
It's the talk of the town, mamesh tog unt nacht. Yserbius (talk) 15:10, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

A book written in yeshivish[edit]

There is a book actually written in 'yeshivish' for students of yeshivos called the kuntrus. While it is not meant for outsiders to understand it, if one puts in the time to figure it out, it provides a really unique and accurate look of the culture and language of 'yeshivish'. The only place I could find online to order it is [[1]] 20:21, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge to Yeshivish Jews articles[edit]

It makes absolutely no sense to have two article. This article should be merged into the Yeshivish Jews article. For full discussion and to vote on this see Talk:Yeshivish Jews#Merge/s. IZAK (talk) 04:48, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Yeshivish and Yinglish are distinct languages. Yeshivish refers mainly to American-Born Yeshiva students who are trying to incorporate jargon of the Talmud in its commentary (which sometimes involves some sparse usage of traditional Yiddish) with English and Hebrew (Yeshivish is not specifically bound to English and exist between Yeshiva students in Modern Israel as well) as opposed to Yinglish which is specific to an older generation of immigrants and some communities in which Yiddish is a mother-tongue. The grammar and vocabulary between the two is immensely different. (edit:)

Likewise, Yeshivish is not spoken universally among Yeshivish Jews and vice versa. In general the demographic is a bit confusing and is generally split between the Lithuanian and Hassidic communities, some of the latter vehemently rejecting said demonym. Nevertheless they will agree to their dialect as being "Yeshivish", and thus the language itself should be left in its own article so as not to marginalize and offend said groups. Mordynu (talk) 01:36, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Some heavy editing[edit]

Did some heavy editing and mainly attempted to stress the fact that "Yeshivish" is not unique to English, and that this phenomenon exists in other languages as well, although I do not know if it is referred to "Yeshivish" in other languages either. I'm actually under the impression that "Yeshivish" is a term given to the dialect by the Modern Orthodox community, and not the speakers themselves, although speakers calling their vernacular "Yeshivish" is not that uncommon anymore.

The piece on YIVO needs some more expansion, and there should be an article on "Yiddishisten" somewhere (also this is mainly related to the debate on Hebrew vs. Yiddish in respect to the official language of the state of Israel).

I took care not to delete anything that had a reference to it, or anything that displayed examples, although I will admit that those parts were badly authored as well (although I am not the one that put them there) Mordynu (talk) 01:35, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Definitions incorrect[edit]

This article is pretty inaccurate, as shown above. I'll just focus on one word here, as the writer spent two paragraphs pointing out a mistake, but it was the writer that was mistaken.

"Shogeg in its original context means an incident which was caused unwillingly, but was a result of partial negligence."

Absolutely not. Shogeg is something done willingly based on one of two incorrect assumptions. Either that it is mutar, or it is assur, but not right now. And that is why it is used used instead of ones. There is no reason not to use ones because of the Ivrit meaning. In the Yeshivish world they would use "M'anes". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

No.. the article stresses the definition of "Shogeg" in tort law.. to which the definition of shogeg (stated in the article) applies. The definition of shogeg which you pointed out applies mainly pertaining to the laws of Shabbos and other such laws where there is criminal and not civil offenses. אדם מועד לעולם בין בשוגג בין במזיד בין באונס בין ברצון -- פרש"י -- גם לא בכונה

Also "M'anes" -- depends on the location. You are free to add input that you have stated. I have personally never heard that term before, and have never found it anywhere within a שו"ת or מפרשים which would heavily decrease the likelihood that it's used altogether. Actually I have heard "Oines" used too, but not as much as "shogeg" precisely because the pseudo-scholarly definition makes it less of a liability and responsbility than it actually is. וד"ל. (talk) 00:00, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

+ "it may be argued that there is less preference for oines in Yeshivish due to its meaning in Modern Hebrew of rape." Um, no. As a speaker of Yeshivish, I can most definitely testify that oines and b'oines are used without compunction. Also, it can mean "rape" in Rabbinic Hebrew also, not just MH. (talk) 04:01, 8 August 2014 (UTC)


"Thus, the plural of "yeshiva" is "yeshivas," not "yeshivos" or "yeshivot"

Actually, in written Yeshivish, the usual spelling is "yeshivos". The pronounciation is identidcal to that of "yeshivas" (jɛʃiːvəs) since that sort of Hebraisms would roughly follow the way they're pronounced in Yiddish, thus it would never be pronounced (jɛʃiːvɔɪs), although you do sporadically hear (jɛʃiːvoʊs). It's obvious that it would never be "yeshivot" since Yeshivish is primarily influenced by Ashkenazi Hebrew via Yiddish and not by Sephardic Hebrew.


The first use I saw of the term was in a short paragraph in the The Zeirai Forum (Zeirai being the Agudah's teen-age movement, an organization with a long and illustrious history) around 1977. It was a titled Yeshivish, and humorously described a fictional journey to a job interview, which failed because of language. The paragraph is intentionally written in Yeshivish, and I believe I recognized it quoted in Frumspeak. I have seen the magazine again more recently, but do not have a copy. BTW, I could have used that book when I started High School. And I can assure you that Y.U. shiurim were also in mild Yeshivish. Mzk1 (talk) 19:43, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Extended meanings?[edit]

I can't understand this edit and this edit. Yeshivish is not for instance "a method of identifying with and obtaining inclusion into the exclusive society of torah scholars." No source is provided for anything like that. The book, "Frumspeak: The first dictionary of Yeshivish", by Chaim Weiser, is primarily concerned with language. It is not inconceivable that the term "Yeshivish" can be used in other ways as well. But the above two edits I think are going way out on a limb to make specific points that I don't think we know to be accurate. That I think would be original research if no sources can be brought to support it. Bus stop (talk) 03:17, 26 December 2010 (UTC)


This unsourced contention is very strange to me. From broad personal exposure to and usage of Yeshivish, I can attest that this meaning has not made its way from M. Hebrew to Yeshivish. In Yeshivish a woman can be described as "ne'ensa" = "raped" (verb) or "anusa" = "raped woman" (noun). The word "oines" however does not mean "rape" typically and no one would hesitate to use it in a colloquial context to refer to being forced against one's will to do some action, innocuous or otherwise. This whole "pshat" in a sentence that was made up in the first place seems strange. I'll leave it alone for a few days but if no one comes up with a good source or eisene svara ;-) I will delete it. MosheEmes (talk) 00:44, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Actually, I just noticed a comment above from 8 Aug 2014, almost a year ago, making the same comment. In fact (to allay any accusations of sock-puppetry) I freely admit that may have been my non-logged-in self. But it hasn't been addressed or challenged since then so I'm going to change the article now.MosheEmes (talk) 00:49, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

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