Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I don't want to be a foreskin!

90 y/o Mr. H. grew up in a household where a lot of Yiddish was spoken.

We talked a lot about his past, including a very interesting social history.

He has had a wide assortment of experiences and, in the midst of our conversation, mentioned he has come across a number of "schmucks" and "menschen" over the years.

A quick check in a Yiddish dictionary, on my return to the office, allowed me to be more informed.

A mensch is a good person, a person of integrity and honor. 

A schmuck is a prick, that portion of one's penis which is cut off during circumcision (the foreskin), a moron, an idiot, an obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person or one who is stupid or foolish.

I'm sure hoping he won't describe me as being a schmuck if any family members inquire how our visit went!

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