Chavi Moskowitz has a series of columns in English about Yiddish (in
Israel) in the Jerusalem Post that are worth a look. (I look forward to
the one on Yoni Eilat.)
Still, it is clear she "didn't do her homework so well." At the bottom
of her articles, she usually has some very basic Yiddish vocabulary to
show and tell. In the article below, she presented three Yiddish
"curses" and achieves about a .500 "batting average." Can you find her
"... a few Yiddish curses for good measure…
Eyn umglik iz far im veynik, one misfortune is too few for him
Zayn mazl zol im layhtn vi di levone in sof khoydesh, his luck should be
as bright as a new moon.
Me ois vaxen svi a tsibele miten cup in vant, you should grow like an
onion with your head in the ground. "
SPOILER ALERT! Don't read further until you've decided where the
In the second phrase, the meaning may be more or less the same, but the
Yiddish says "his luck should "brighten him" not should "be bright." In
the third phrase, she really mangled the phrase "du zolst vaksn vi a
tsibele mitn kop in drerd." There is another expression, "hakn kop in
meaning "hitting one's head on the wall," that she mixed it up with.