Yiddish is an Eastern European language with few native speakers, yet substantial parts of the dialect survive. Yiddish words have evolved into common English usage, and if you've ever watched an episode of Seinfeld, chances are you've heard at least a couple Yiddish words being spoken. There's a reason Yiddish words survive today - sometimes the English is just so bland in comparison.
Here are some Yiddish 101 words and phrases to help you spice up your job search!
English Meaning: An expert
Sample Usage: "I met with that maven in the marketing department. Very impressive what they have planned at that company!"
English Meaning: Be proud
Sample Usage: "So, as I describe to you my accomplishments in my current job, I know you can understand how I kvell over the great results I achieved!"
English Meaning: A person of integrity, a good person
Sample Usage: "That Human Resources Manager I met with was such a mensch! While I was waiting, he brought me a bottle of water, showed me around the office, and introduced me around. It was great!"
Yiddish: Oy Vey!
English Meaning: Oh woe is me!
Sample Usage: "Oy vey, the hiring manager kept me waiting for an hour! Can you believe it?"
English Meaning: An influential person, a big shot
Sample Usage: "I must have done well on the first interviews. They invited me back for another round of interviews to meet with all the makhers! Hopefully I can get an offer."
English Meaning: Crazy
Sample Usage: "You would not believe the meshuge salary they offered me! It was insanely low for the work they were asking me to do. Oy vey!"
English Meaning: To complain incessantly.
Sample Usage: "I'm pretty sure I screwed up the interview when I started kvetching about my current job. They showed me the door pretty quickly."
English Meaning: Sweat
Sample Usage: "They sat me in an interview room, and had me do a panel interview for two hours. I was schvitzing from all the stress."
For some further reading on Yiddish, check out this great article on Slate about the rise of Yiddish online.
Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).
Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.