1. Introductory and Phonology

The changes undergone by Hebrew and Aramaic words as used in Yiddish may be considered under the following heads:

1. Phonology, changes in sound.

2. Morphology, changes in form: gender, inflection; formation of compounds.

3. Semasiology, changes – or better, developments – in meaning.

In Yiddish speech the pronunciation of Hebrew does not differ markedly from that in prayer. The main difference is the reduction of final vowels. Thus in reciting the Kaddish a Polish Jew would say Oisseh shooloim (“He who makes peace”), and when singing zemirot, Sabbath table hymns, he would intone Shoohloim ulleykhem mullukhey hushoohloim, “Peace unto you, angels of peace”, but in exchanging greetings he would say Shoohlem (“murmur” e) eleykhem/ulleykhem. In Hebrew prayer he would say Humullokh hughoi’eyl oissee, “The angel who redeems me”; in Yiddish speech the vowel of the final syllable of mullokh is reduced to -ekh (mullekh “angel”), and in combination with humooviss “the death”, the hu (Hebrew ha-, definite article) is assimilated progressively to the kh and contracts with it to give mulkhemoo’vis “angel of death”.

The penultimate syllable bore the stress both in (Ashkenazic) Hebrew prayer and in Yiddish speech. In prayer the Polish Jew would pronounce toiro oomitsvoiss, “a Torah and commandments”; in speech the final syllables would be weakened and he would say: Gott ot inss geghibben u toire in mitsves, but the tonic accent in both prayer and speech was on the initial syllable: toi’ro, toi’rre; mits’voiss, mits’ves. This “trochaic” stress is characteristic of the Ashkenazic pronunciation of Hebrew when Yiddish came into being, in the eleventh century. The modern fetish of “getting the accent right (namely on the final syllable), even if you don’t daven in the Sephardic pronunciation”, should give way to a more permissive attitude. The rhythm of Ashkenazic Hebrew is trochaic, and need not be influenced by the iambic rhythm of Sephardic. Although, admittedly, the cantillation signs of the “Tiberian” system ensure that even among Ashkenazim the stress in the “Reading of the Law” and in the reciting of the Haftarot agrees with the Sephardic tradition.) [i]

In Hebrew compounds in Yiddish the definite article, if followed by a single syllable, attracted the stress (“recessive accent”): berkhubbe, Hebrew baruch haba literally “blessed (is) the (one who) comes”, “welcome”; oilem hubbe, Hebrew olam haba “the world to come”; loohshen horre, Hebrew leshon hara  literally “the evil tongue”, “slander”; en horre, Hebrew ein hara “evil eye”. In berkhubbe there is syncope, “cutting out” of the final vowel of baruch and coalescence of its final consonant and the ha of the definite article. For the syncope, compare the pronunciation of Wednesday and compare also the coalescence of t and d in “What do you want?”

In a few cases, under the influence of the Hebrew “construct” form, it was the final syllable of the Hebrew word, unstressed in prayer, which received the stress in Yiddish speech: skhaar “reward”, Hebrew sachar, Polish Ashkenazic soo’khoor, construct sekhaar’; shvukh “eulogy”, Hebrew she’vach; the Ashkenazic construct form is shevokh’.[ii] Nudden, Hebrew nadan “dowry”, my mother always pronounced thus, but some Yiddish speakers give it its pristine (in the Ashkenazic construct) Hebrew pronunciation: nedun’.

In a number of monosyllables o (kamets) became u. Here again, the pronunciation was influenced by the construct form. Yum “sea” has been discussed above, as has klul in uklul’ “somme toute”. (Hebrew klal, Ashkenazic klol, construct klul.) Kamets also became patach in khuvver “friend”, Polish Ashkenazic khoohver. A man summoned to the “Reading of the Law” would be “called up” as hekhoover yitschok ben doovid, but in Yiddish speech yitschok would be a khuvver of the khuzzen, who himself would be called up as hukhuzzon, Hebrew chazzan “cantor”. In Yiddish lavaa’ye “funeral”, and raa’ye “proof”, too, the pronunciation is “Sephardic”; Polish Ashkenazic Hebrew levooh’yo, re’ooh’yo.

After a prepositional lamed with “sounded shevakaf retained its unaspirated value: lekoovit shubbes, yonntef “in honour of Sabbath, festival”, Hebrew lichvod shabbat, yom tov. The chataf patach or “snatched” patach became ooh in khoohlem, Hebrew chalom “dream”; khootsi, Hebrew chatsi “half”; oohder, Hebrew adar “month of Adar”. It became a full patach in khummer, Hebrew chamor “donkey”, and khuzzer, Hebrew khazir “pig”. Before kh patach became oo: tselookhes “on purpose to annoy”, from German zu “to”, combined tautologically with lehachis “to annoy”; kedookhes, Hebrew kadachat “fever”; tookhes “podex”, from Hebrew tachat “beneath”. Patach followed by a chataf patach became ooh in toohniss, Hebrew ta’anit “a fast”, but elsewhere the two vowels combine to give aa: maasse, Hebrew ma’aseh “story”; daaghe, Hebrew de’agah (construct da’agat) “care, worry”. Shaalle, Hebrew she’elah “question”, was influenced by the imperative of the verb: “Sha’alu (sheloim yerishoolo’yim)”, “Seek ye (the peace of Jerusalem)”.

Segol (e as in bet) becomes aa in khaarppe “reproach”, Hebrew cherpah; u khaarppeneshunn’de = a khaarppe and a Schande, German “disgrace” = a scandal, an outrage”. In a number of other words it becomes tseirei (as in they): kheyder “school for religious instruction”, from Hebrew cheder “a room”; keyver, Hebrew kever “grave” (ef kivveroo’viss geyn “to visit one’s  parents’ graves”, from Hebrew kivrei avot “graves of the ancestors”); tseylem “crucifix”, from Hebrew tselem “image”; peyssekh, Hebrew pesach “passover”. Conversely tseirei became segol in shemm “reputation”, from Hebrew shem “name”; gett “divorce”, Aramaic get; ness “miracle”, Hebrew nes: messless “day” (period of twenty-four hours), from Hebrew me’et le’et “from (a) time to (a) time”.

The cholam, pronounced oi in prayer, becomes a short o in kol, Hebrew kol “voice”, and sot, Hebrew sod “secret”, but regains its full value in the plural: koiliss, soidiss. The reverse process takes place in shoikhit, Hebrew schochet “slaughterer”, soinne, Hebrew soneh “enemy”, and soikher, Hebrew socher “merchant”, plural shokhtim, sonnim, sokhrim. The long chirek as in sheep becomes short (as in ship) in din, Hebrew din “law”, nissen, Hebrew nisan “month of Nissan”, and shkhinne, Hebrew schechinah “divine presence”.

“Umlaut” sometimes occurs. Poohnim, Hebrew panim “face”, forms a plural peynimmer (in Hebrew panim is plural in form, but singular in meaning, partsufim is used for the plural), and kol, Hebrew kol  “voice”, forms a diminutive kellekhel. Rabbi, in Hebrew meaning “my master”, became rebbe, while rebb corresponds to “Mr”.

Both the linguistic phenomena known as assimilation and dissimilation are found in the Yiddish forms of Hebrew words, e.g. assimilation, whereby a sound becomes “assimilated” to another in the same word: in yonntef “festival”, where the dental t in Hebrew yom tov causes the labial m to “assimilate” and become the dental nasal n; and bezzen “law court”, where the voiceless sibilant s in Ashkenazic Hebrew beyss din is assimilated by the voiced dental d to a voiced sibilant z and the d itself  eventually syncoped (syncope = loss of sound in the middle of a word). In both cases the assimilation is “regressive”. Dissimilation occurs in shummes “factotum, synagogue beadle”, where the final aspirated sibilant of Hebrew shamash is “dissimilated” to become the unaspirated sibilant s (progressive dissimilation). (A frequently quoted example of dissimilation in English is pilgrim, from French pélerin, from Latin peregrinus: the liquid l in the first syllable of pélerin is dissimilated from the first liquid r of peregrinus under the influence of the second r – “regressive dissimilation”. In krishme, Hebrew keriat shema “reading of the shema“, we have total assimilation of the sibilants in Ashkenazic Hebrew kree’uss shemu together with contraction. [iii] Zoog, German Sag “say” krishme to a Jewish child meant: “Go to bed and say shema (the central feature of the prayers recited before falling asleep at night)”.

2. Morphology

Hebrew has two genders only, masculine and feminine, but a few Hebrew nouns were “neutered” in Yiddish. For example poohnim, Hebrew masculine panim “face”, is doohss poohnim, neuter, through the influence of the German das Gesicht. Similarly doohss keyver, Hebrew masculine kever “grave”, is neuter because of the German neuter das Grab. (Birnbaum, op.cit., p.34 – but Harkavy’s dictionary retains, and Weinreich’s prefers, the Hebrew masculine: dehr keyver; I cannot be sure of my mother’s usage.)

Hebrew nouns denoting persons formed their feminines by adding the Aramaic suffix -ta (Polish Ashkenazic -tooh, reduced to -te). thus the feminine of meshoohres, Hebrew mesharet “servant”, feminine mesharetet, was meshoohreste; of khuvver, Hebrew chaver “friend”, feminine chaverah was khuvverte, and of khuzzen, Hebrew chazzan  “cantor”, feminine chazzanit, khuzz’ente “cantor’s wife.” Shookhen, Hebrew shachen “neighbour”, forms both a regular “Hebrew” feminine shkheyyne, Hebrew shechenah, and an “Aramaic” feminine shookh’ente, but shikker, Hebrew shikkor “drunkard”, only an Aramaic form: shikk’erte (Chapter II, 4). A “winning double” is mekhteynn’este/mukhteynn’este, from the Hebrew mechuttenet, which is itself the feminine of mechuttan “related by marriage”. Your mekhitten is the father of your son-in-law or your daughter-in-law, while your mukh(e)teynn’este is the mother of your son/daughter-in-law. The words seem to supply a need not met by any of the main European languages, and provide a convenient form of address if the high contracting parties are not yet on first-name terms and wish to avoid the formality of “Mr” or “Mrs”: “Vehr vett gibben khippe kedeeshe (Hebrew chupah “canopy”; kedushah “holiness”, the marriage being solemnised “in holiness” under a canopy), mukhteynn’este?” “Who’ll be officiating at the wedding, mukhteynn’este?” Coming back to the formation of the feminine, there is one Hebrew noun, only, in Yiddish that has a “German” feminine (-in): rebbetsen “wife of the rabbi” (Yiddish rebbe, Hebrew rav, “rabbi”, feminine rabbanit).

Plurals usually retained their Hebrew form. Thus mulbeeshim “garments”, singular mulbish, Hebrew malbush, malbushim. Hebrew masculine nouns forming their plural in   -ot (Polish Ashkenazi -oiss) retained, with vowel reduction, this plural in Yiddish: loohshen/leshoinnes “language/s”, Hebrew lashon/leshonot; moohkem/mekoimes “place/s”, Hebrew makom/mekomot. Sometimes there are vowel changes, e.g. khuzzer “pig”, forms khuzzeyrim, Hebrew chazir/im. The Hebrew feminine nouns tallit, plural tallitot or talliyot “prayer shawl”, and shabbat, plural shabbatot, formed masculine plurals in Yiddish: tulleysim, singular tulliss, and shubboohssim, singular, shubbes, respectively. Some common Hebrew nouns have a “German” plural in Yiddish. Peynimmer “faces”, we have already mentioned, and where there are faces, saving your reverences, te’kheser, plural of tookhes (see also above) cannot be far behind.

Status constructus is honoured more in the breach than in the observance: looh’shen koidesh “the language of holiness”, i.e. Hebrew. (The “construct” is leshoin’.) Lekoo’vit shubbes “in honour of Sabbath”; the construct is likhvoid’ and oo’viss oovvesey’nee “our fathers’ fathers”; the construct is evoiss’. Khooh’ssen toirre “bridegroom of the Law”; construct khesun’. (Hebrew leshon kodesh, lichvod shabbat, avot avoteinu, chatan torah.) The form looh’shen horre, Hebrew leshon hara “language of evil”, i.e. “slander”, has been “sanctioned”, so to speak, by the grammatically incorrect lashon hara in the Yom Kippur formulary for the confession of sins (al chet shechatanu belashon hara).

Diminutives are formed with the “Upper German” suffix -l. (Upper German a bissel = Standard German ein bisschen “a little, un peu“; Upper German das Mädel = Standard German das Mädchen “the girl”.) Nukhes, Hebrew nachat “pleasure, contentment” has a caritative diminutive nu’khesel, who is the ey’nikel, German Enkel “grandson”, from whom the grandfather, zeydde, Polish dziad, sheppt, German schöpft “draws, derives”, nukhes, and who may playfully be threatened with a putch, German Patsch “smack” in too’khesel (vide supra). Yoohssem Hebrew yatom “orphan”, has yesoimel, while the feminine yesoimme, Hebrew yetomah, has yesoimmele. (Riffke, Hebrew rivkah “Rebeccah”, forms riffkele “Becky”, and rookhel Hebrew rachel “Rachel”, forms roo’khele “Ray, Rachie”, by analogy.)

New compounds are formed, both all-Hebrew and Hebrew-German. Taking the latter first, dee’rre-gellt is “rent”, from Hebrew dirah “dwelling”, and “Middle High German” gëlt “money”, while kollerley “all kinds of”, is a calque of German allerlei (Hebrew kol “all”, and German suffix -erlei). Among all-Hebrew compounds is the familiar shubbes-goi (goi = “nation”, including the nation of Israel), a Gentile who is permitted to work for a Jew on the Sabbath, [iv] and a number of bul’s, Hebrew ba’al “master, owner”: bulsimkhe, Hebrew simchah “rejoicing”, the bulsimkhe being the host at, e.g. a wedding or barmitsvah party; bulboohss‘, Hebrew bayit “house”, “master of the house, boss” (feminine bulboohsste “housewife”), and buleghooh’lle, Hebrew agalah “cart”. The buleghoo’lle “carter”, was the lineal ancestor in the heym, as the immigrants to the Anglo-Saxon countries called the Eastern European territories which, because of persecution in varying degree, they had been forced to flee (German Heim, “home” (!), of the London Jewish taxi driver. A bulmeloo’khe is a workman, Hebrew melachah “work, craft”, derogatively referred to, if his work was not up to scratch, as a bulmelootch’ke. Dum-soinne, Hebrew dam “blood”, and soneh “enemy”, is a calque of German Blutfeind.

Yiddish adjectives are formed from Hebrew nouns by the addition of German or Slav suffixes, e.g.yiddish “Jewish”, from Hebrew yehudi “Jew”, (compare German englisch, französisch “English”, “French”), goi’ish “like a goi “Gentile” (derogatory when applied to a Jew, but not offensive, vide supra). The Yiddish adjectival suffix -dik consists of the Middle High German suffix -ic (-ec), as in muotic “courageous”, from the noun muot, compare Modern German Mut, mutig, with the d prefixed to the suffix for reasons of euphony and perhaps by analogy with Middle High German adjectives ending in -tic/tec, e.g. rehtic “correct”, durstec “thirsty”; compare Modern German richtig, durstig. Shubb’esdik “pertaining to the Sabbath”, yonn’tevdik “pertaining to the festival, festive”; khey’nevdik “having charm, grace”, from Hebrew chen “grace”; nish kooh’shedik “not bad, tolerable, passable”, from German nicht “not”, and Hebrew kasheh “hard” (Chapter II, 3); moi’rredik “terrible, fearful”, from Hebrew mora “fear, terror”. Tummevu’tte “simpletonish, faux naif ” is from the Hebrew tam “simple, pure”, with the addition of the pejorative Polish suffix -owaty, the first syllable being pronounced “Sephardic”, with patach, by analogy with the Ashkenazic extended forms – tummoh, feminine singular; tumeem, tummoiss, plurals – of the Ashkenazic singular tom.

3. Semasiology

Hebrew words acquired a life of their own in Yiddish. Mabbul “flood”, formed a Yiddish verb mubbeln “to pour, rain cats and dogs”. But “rain”, noun, is reyghen, German Regen, and the verb is reyghenen, German regnen. Although the two Hebrew words for “rain”, geshem and matar, were familiar from the liturgy, neither passed into Yiddish, and there was no chance of the periphrastic Hebrew geshem yored “rain is falling” = it’s raining”, being used when the handy sreyghnet, German es regnet, was available.

Abstract nouns were given a concrete meaning. Thus Ehrz un uzzes poohnim “He’s an insolent fellow”, from Hebrew azut panim, literally “boldness of face”. Poohnim itself was used in idioms such as Voohss faar u poohnim ot iss?” “What sort of (German was für) an impression does it give?” (Not a good one). U poohnim ziz nisht gezinnt, “It seems she’s not well”. The instrument came to represent the instrumentalist in klezzmer “musician”, from Hebrew kelei zemer “instruments of song”. And kleykoidish, Hebrew kelei kodesh, literally “vessels of holiness”, was used to denote the Jewish clergy, with a slightly pejorative diminutive: Ehrz u kleykoi’dishdikkel,  “He’s got some sort of job as a religious functionary”.

Hebrew gedullah “greatness”, produced idioms such as Voohss iz de gedille? “What have you got to be so pleased about?” (“What is there to celebrate, boast about?” – Weinreich, dictionary). Ehrz/ziz (German er/sie ist) u gedille, or gedill’ekhel, the diminutive (any boobbe drooling over any ey’nikel “grandchild”), “He’s/She’s a gorgeous poppet.”

The Hebrew word shekets “abomination”, was used to denote the person who did abominable things, viz. the Gentile. Before we get too steamed up about this, we must remember a) that in Eastern Europe and Hitlerian Germany Gentiles did do abominable things to Jews, ranging from beard-pulling through simple robbery to rape, slaughter, massacre and genocide, and b) the word was and is used as often as not to denote a Jewish “pagan”. Thus a Jew would call his son a sheyghits [v]  for going about bare-headed, and his daughter a shikkse [vi] for sitting down to a meal without first saying the blessing over bread. Ironically enough the term has boomeranged; in German a Schicksel is a Jew-girl.

The well-known yok, also meaning a Gentile, is strangely enough not given in either Harkavy’s or Weinreich’s dictionary. The word has a more restricted connotation than goi: it could suggest – tranchons le mot – a lower-class gentile, yer original Alf Garnett (played by a Jew, incidentally) , though your yok may equally well be a fine, upstanding honest Gentile working man, the salt of the earth who, because of his essential decency, as my mother frequently used to say, dehrlennghert (German erlängertinss doohss goohliss (Hebrew galut) “lengthens our exile” (because we, the Jews, come off so badly in comparison). The etymology of the word has exercised me a good deal; the likeliest derivation, I think, is from German Jacke, the jacket worn by Gentiles, as opposed to the kufpotte or caftan worn by the ghetto Jew. (Apocope of a weak final syllable is usual, as we have seen in Chapter I – and the shift from short a to o can be paralleled in Yiddish obber “but”, from Middle High German aber, in which the a is also short). However, Mrs Lillian Mermin Feinsilver’s derivation in The Taste of Yiddish, New York: Yoseloff, 1970, p. 351, of the word as an alternate form of yog, East London back-slang for goy, is not implausible. The feminine is yoikelte, formed by tacking on the Aramaic feminine suffix -ta to the diminutive yoikel. (No etymological connection with English yokel!).

Hebrew mevin, present participle, means “understanding”. In Yiddish, fehrshteyen, German verstehen, is used for “to understand”, while meyven is used to denote “connoisseur, knowledgeable”. Ehrz u meyven ef khuzzoohnnes,  “He’s a connoisseur of chazzanut, the chazan‘s art”. Ehrz u meyven deroff’ (German darauf), “He’s an expert on the subject”. Gullekh, from the Hebrew root glch “to shave”, is “priest”, from the Catholic priest’s tonsure. Moishiff, meaning “a mess”, and the verb oohn’moishivven “to make a mess”, are from Hebrew moshav zekenim “old people’s home or institution”, referring to the mess to be found in old peoples institutions where the standards of geriatric care were below those which apply today. U tell mukhen is “to spoil, make a mess of”, from Hebrew tel “mound, heap of ruins”.

Chilluk, Mishnaic Hebrew for “division, distribution”, in Yiddish denoted “difference”. Voohss u khillik? = “What’s the difference, what’s it matter?” Siz nisht ken khillik, “There’s no difference, either will do”. Chiddush “innovation”, from the Hebrew root chdsh “to be new”, in Yiddish is “surprise”. Siz  nisht ken khiddish, “It’s not surprising, no wonder”, and a verb khiddeshen zekh “to be surprised”, was formed by analogy with German sich wundern. Hebrew chalash “weak”, yielded a verb khu’lleshen “to faint”, and a noun khulloohshiss (Chapter II, 4) “nausea”, the opposite of which was a mekhu’yye, a feeling of euphoria (Hebrew mechayeh “restoring to life, reviving”). Mekhu’yye is also used in a general sense: Siz vaarem u mekhu’yye, “It’s lovely and warm”; Ehr ot geduvvent siz geveyn u mekhu’yye, “It was a pleasure to hear him duvven” (see also Chapter VII).

Metsee’e, Hebrew metsiah “bargain”, has already been mentioned (Chapter II, 3). So has kuptsen “pauper” (Chapter II, 4). A kuptsen was a man without paarnoohsse, “livelihood”. Mishnaic Hebrew parnasah, I like to think, is a posh word, “sustenance”, from the Greek [vii] posher than which you can’t get, but there was nothing posh about paarnoohsse; it meant “getting a living”. Most Jews had a shverre (German schwer “heavy”) paarnoohsse, had to struggle to eke out  a living. To get a gringhe (from Middle High German geringe “easy”) paarnoohsse, to make a living easily – or so you hoped – you had to up sticks, as the Jewish masses did from the eighties onwards, and foohr ibbern yum, German uber die See fahren, cross the Atlantic to the gol’dene medeene, Hebrew medinah, to the American continent whose streets were paved with gold.

Ziz broighiss means “she’s cross, in a huff”. From Hebrew berogez “in wrath”. Berogez terachem “In wrath remember mercy”, Habakkuk iii,2. If a woman was the sort who didn’t easily get broighiss, it was because she was a gitte neshoomme “a good soul”, Hebrew neshamah, perhaps even a gol’dene neshoomme, a woman with a “golden soul”. And if, into the bargain, she was a bree’e (or behr’ye), Hebrew beriyyah “creature”, a competent housewife, or even – some people have all the luck – a bree’e niflooh’e, a marvellous (Hebrew nifla’ah), a superlatively good housewife, then her husband could recite con amore the traditional Friday night “Eshet chayil mi yimtsa?” “A woman of valour who can find?”

It should be noted that Modern Hebrew has different terms for the ideas expressed by the Hebrew-in-Yiddish words we have mentioned, e.g. lehitallef “to faint”, for khu’lleshen; lehitpallei “to be surprised”, for khiddeshen zekh; komer “priest”, for gullekh. Hebrew-in-Yiddish words used in their Yiddish sense in Modern Hebrew are so employed in an endeavour to produce a pastiche of Yiddish.

With the adoption by Modern Hebrew of Yiddish lexical and idiomatic material, the wheel has come full circle. The Yiddish (from Polish and Russian) suffixes –nik, -tchik occur frequently, as in kibbutsnik “member of a kibbutz”, milluimnik “reservist”, katanchik “little ‘un”. Hebrew chevrah “company”, as well as being used in its original sense, often has the Yiddish connotation of “gang, crowd” (“our crowd”): Nu khevvre? “Well, chaps?”

A number of Yiddish idioms are calqued, e.g. Modern Hebrew lo alecha “not on you”, from Yiddish Nisht faar deer gezookt “May it not be said for you”, i.e. “May you not have my troubles”. Al tekashkesh bakumkum “Don’t rattle a teapot”, from Yiddish Huk mer nisht oohn u tchainik (German anhacken “to hack”; Pol czajnik “teapot”) = “Don’t bore me with your drivel”. Lama nidbaktem elai? from Yiddish Voohss ot eer zekh tse meer oohn’getcheppet? “Why have you stuck to me?” (Polish czepiac sie “to adhere to”) , i.e. “Why can’t you leave me alone?” For kodem kol “above all”, see Chapter II, 2. [viii]

[i] Birnbaum, op.cit., pp 17, 18 holds that the penultimate stress of Hebrew words in Yiddish is not due to the trochaic-dactylic accentual system of German, “Moreover, the penultimate stress characterises the previous stage of the language from which Hebrew developed”. For a contrary view, see “On Ashkenazic Stress”, by Daniel Leibel, in The Field of Yiddish,The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1965, pp. 63-72.

[ii] The displacement of the tonic accent in sookhoor and shevach leads to double consonance in Yiddish: skh, shv. Birnbaum, op.cit., p.1.

[iii] For assimilation and dissimilation see Birnbaum, op.cit., pp. 24 – 28.

[iv] Strictly speaking, only if danger to life could be apprehended if the work were not done. The goi could put coal on the fire because hypothermia is a danger to life. With the advent of central heating and the time-switch, the need for the shubbes-goi has been eliminated.

[v] The e in the first syllable of the Hebrew word shifted to ey, with voicing of the k to g. In the plural the k is retained: shkoohtsim.

[vi] A lexical innovation inasmuch as in Hebrew itself a feminine of shekets is not found.

[vii] Later Greek pyrnos = pyrnon “wheaten bread, food”. (J.D. Wijnkoop, “The neo-Hebraic Language and its Literature”, JQR, October 1902, pp.39, 40. But Jastrow states that the verb pirnes “to endow, provide, sustain”, is an enlargement of the Mishnaic verb paran “to cut, divide, assign”).

[viii] See Haim Blanc “Some Yiddish Influences on Israeli Hebrew”, in The Field of Yiddish, ed. Uriel Weinreich, The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1965, pp 185-201, and William Chomsky, Hebrew: The Eternal Language, Jewish Publication Society of America, N.Y, 1958, pp. 193-197.