Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture In All of Its Moods
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Fortunately, despite its title and cover photo, this is not a kitschy book about a folksy language spoken by quaint, elderly Jews. It is, rather, an earthy romp through the lingua franca of Jews, which has roots reaching back to the Hebrew Bible and which continues to thrive in 21st-century America. Canadian professor, translator and performer Wex has an academic's breadth of knowledge, and while he doesn't ignore your bubbe 's tsimmes , he gives equal time to the semantic nuances of putz , schmuck, shlong and shvants.
Review: Born to Kvetch
Wex organizes his material around broad, idiosyncratic categories, but like the authors of the Talmud the source for a large number of Yiddish idioms , he strays irrepressibly beyond the confines of any given topic. Academics, and others, will be disappointed at the lack of source notes, and a few errors have crept in the fifth day of Sukkot is not Hoshana Rabba, for instance.
Overall, however, this treasure trove of linguistics, sociology, history and folklore offers a fascinating look at how, through the centuries, a unique and enduring language has reflected an equally unique and enduring culture. Agent, Gareth Esersky. View Full Version of PW.
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