RE: [Cz-L] Yiddish

From: cornel fleming <>
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2008 09:32:35 +0100
To: 'Ervin Spinner' <>, Czernowitz-L_at_CORNELL.EDU
Reply-to: cornel fleming <>

Hi all, i understand fully where bruce comes from,but there is another
aspect to this kind of speaking,and that is when it is used as friendly
banter. I give 2 examples. In the English vernacular when 2 people meet and
one greets the other with"good day,you old bastard" he is not being nasty.
It means they are very good friends! And i very vividly remember a wedding
in Israel between a boy of Rumanian descent and an Australian girl where the
brides father in his speech informed the guests that" this Rumanian ganef
has stolen my daughter and both she and i are very happy about it"...which
resulted in an outbreak of applause and cheering from the Rumanian ganef and
his large Rumanian family. Cornel. Ps one of the reasons i remember
this event is the mamaliga they had as part of the meal...proper
mamaliga,not the Italian solid polenta nonsense!

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Ervin Spinner
Sent: 09 July 2008 02:21
Subject: Fw: [Cz-L] Yiddish

>>I believe that the historical context is clear. Jews have been powerless
>>for two thousand years. I don't want to subscribe to the lachrymose school

>>of Jewish history. It is nevertheless a fact that we have been persecuted,

>>spit upon, beaten up and occasionally murdered. Our only weapon was our
>>mouth and, strictly among ourselves, we fought back by occasionally
>>showing our contempt for our tormentors. I am eternally grateful to the
>>Russians because they did liberate me in Czernowitz. However, when my
>>uncle occasionally referred to them as Fonie ganev it was based on their
>>overall treatment of us and I forgive him in retrospect although I was
>>very careful to make sure that my children and grandchildren never use
>>derogatory terms for the population around us.
>>Let us not forget that unsavory characters among the Jewish people were
>>not spared. We simply never used the etnicity as part of the insult.
>>Thus: A bick, a backer, a toders, a vus-in-der-curt, etc.
>>I fervently hope that one of the regulars will compile a list of all the
>>emailed terms and their source so that I can give them to my
>>Ervin Spinner

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Received on 2008-07-09 08:32:35

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