This is a work in progress…at one point there was a wiki page setup and over 70 members were editing terms, but the platform stunk and it wasn’t an extension of this site. I can update as needed, this should be sufficient for those wishing to look at terms. I wish to have this split up like a dictionary and it will be in the future.
Alter Cocker- Old man. These are the cute loud old men who sit in back of shul with their canes, and talk about broads. They also tend to consume massive amounts of herring and borsht. Plaid pants and shuffle board are their hobbies.
Aidel Maidel- Sweet Girl. Term older people in more frum environments use todescribe someone they view as sweet, not necessarily good looking as I have found out the hard way.
Agudath Yisroel Agudah for short- Organization that does great stuff for yeshivas around the country and is responsible for many full page ads in the Jewish Press for $500 dinners, while advocating to prevent people from having pricey weddings.
Alter Heim – Yiddish for saying old country.
Apikores- Heretic. Bloggers have been deemed apikorsim by the Agudah, as has anyone who dares to question the motives of the higher ups, the dudes with white beards.
Aish Hatorah (Aish)- BT yeshiva in Israel dedicated to making the craziest baal teshuvas around. Their violent tactics in marketing and proving God have lead many BT’s to the path of wacky BT and BT deniers- folks who deny they were ever not religious.
Artscroll- Largest Jewish Corporation that creates retail products. Said to be Monopolistic and controlling of the prayer book market. They basically produce the same prayer books in many different colors and sizes, considerably similar to the Beatles which come out with remixed, reedited albums every year. Arthur Scroll was the founder.
Assur- Not allowed, commonly used by Rabbis nowadays because they have become lazy in looking things up.
Ata Zuy- phrase used to say “that’s it” in a direct matter to imply that finally someone understands.
Bais Yaakov- the original all girls yeshiva system created long ago, also referred to as BY. Notorious for saying that they are never the typical Bais Yaakov girl, this is the only mass established frum Jewish girl school system. There has been much demand for a Bais Yaakov girls gone wild video, but it has not been produced- due to not enough kids at risk coming out of the system.
BT- The common used acronym to describe someone who has become religious, known as a Baal Teshuva. It is used primarily for racial profiling by shadchuns and other folks who love the art of Jewish Geography and loshon horah.
Black Hat- another way to describe orthodox Jews. It is common to say someone is black hat which mostly means they are trustworthy based on their head gear. Some yeshivas require you to wear a black hat during davening and some folks wear them to shul.
Basement shul- in many places especially Monsey, people put shuls in their basement because then they do not have to pay property taxes and can raise their neighbors taxes. Basement shuls also provide easy access because they are on every block and you need not go far, basement shuls are partially responsible for the poor state of health within orthodoxy.
Bimah- The center of a shul is usually graced by this raised alter that the torah is read from. During special days the bimah is smacked several times to remind people of special prayers. People who hang out at the bimah are usually cooler then the rest of the congregants.
Bend Down Hat- The way that Streimel and Spudick wearers describe those who wear traditional Stetson style black hats.
Bugs in the Water Crisis- in NYC, someone discovered bugs in the tap water, restaurants all had to start filtering their water and Rabbis debated if we could even leave our houses since we may inhale bugs. Kosher water became an unbelievable reality for the consumer and a boon to the kasharus industry.
Bummy- The yeshiva way of saying someone is cracked out, although they are usually just going to movies and not wearing their hat all the time.
Bris (Brit Milah)- When we go snip snip to the baby’s foreskin.
Bris Crisis- one of the things during a bris to happen is that the person doing the snipping sucks the blood to prevent infection. Only problem is that one of the babies a little while back got herpes and died- then let the anti-Semitism begin.
Berel and Shmerel- the John Does of Judaism. Frequently used by Rabbis to explain gemeras and tell bar jokes.
Bisula- Talmudic term meaning Virgin, back in the day they would write it on wedding invitations.
Bochur- Unmarried man learning in yeshiva.
Brooklyn- Someone from Brooklyn who acts like someone from Brooklyn. I don’t want to offend, so I will let you hash it out amongst yourselves.
Baby Factory- Degrading term to describe women who seem like they are always pregnant.
Bia- The Talmudic term for sex.
Busy- the yeshiva way of saying that someone is dating
BTL- Bachelors in Talmudic Law- given by yeshivas to students who pay full tuition. The roundabout way that yeshiva guys finish law school by the age of 21.
Bullet Proof Stockings- Chassidic women must wear thick tan colored stockings and sow their own seams in them so people do not think it’s their legs.
Bashert- Soulmate, you will constantly hear people talking about finding their basherts. When someone says its Bashert it can also mean, meant to be.
Bennet Avenue- Center of the Washington Heights singles scene.
Birthright- free trips to Israel for ten days, I went and my roommate was so far removed from Judaism that he thought I was tying my arm with tefilin to shoot up.
Bresslovers- Chassidim subscribing to the philosophy of Rav Nachman, their only Rebbe who died very early in life. They are the people who give you free useless books when you give them a buck at a pizza store. Books that tell you how to make money and find your bashert. Last time I gave money I refused a book, only to find a Kitzur Likutei Mohran on my table when I wasn’t looking- it is useful though. They also like to get high and dance around like lunatics causing traffic jams in Israel.
Chabad- the philosophy of Luabvitcher Chassidim as well as the name of their houses which are all over the world and provide all types of Jews with meals, services, classes and places to stay.
Cholent- Bean Stew eaten on shabbos, and at select gas stations in Chassidic areas. Originally invented by the folks who were trying to market indoor plumbing, cholent makes it hard to go out on Saturday night shidduch dates without being mildly uncomfortable.
Chap- Pronounced with the CH together. Means to understand.
Clop- When someone bangs the bimah to remind people to say certain prayers. It can also be called the Jewish gavel.
Chumra- Beyond the letter of the law, to be extra strict.
Charedi or Haredi (Charedim and Haredim – plural) Ultra orthodox people in Israel.
Crack Square- place near Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem where all the Niveh guys like to hang out and break bottles. Up the block from the named Egon, and Zollis bars.
Cherem- Excommunication by Rabbinical court. I have been trying to be put in cherem, but its just not working. Ever since I cleaned up my act, I have lost hope for this level.
CICRA- huge pizza store hang out in Brooklyn on Avenue J- it closed a couple years ago.
Chitas- Lubavitch book made for the one book you could take with you goes down over some deserted Island. Chumash, tanya, tehilim and siddur- I think, I should know I have one.
Chaim Berlin- famous yeshiva in Brooklyn that my father went to, also known in the 90s for its huge Purim hangout where everyone went to celebrate purim the yeshiva rebel way. Also known for the recent sheitle store boycott(see S section)
Chrain- Yiddish word for horseradish which is used on gefilte fish. Comes in white and red, in recent years there has been many new kinds including wasabi, mayo induced and beet horseradish for the wimps. Back in the day it was white horseradish from a company called Golds- it came in a narrow jar and made everyone’s eyes water.
Crotzing Around- wasting time, screwing around, lets go already!
Day School- usually means you went to a coed modern orthodox Hebrew school.
Daven- To pray if someone says they are davening it means they are praying.
Dad- what modern orthodox people call their fathers.
Dick, Dicka- the surname of any word in Judaism that needs to be changed into a verb. So shabbos-dick, means in the spirit of shabbos.
Dougies- Famous eatery mostly patronized by frum Jews looking for oily great tasting foods. In the Catskills it is a famous hangout, and back in the day when the original was open on the Upper West Side, it was a zoo every night.
David Dramin- Lead singer of rock group Disturbed who attended yeshiva.
The Dorms- The Keywest and The Westmont buildings on the Upper West Side singles scene that have been nicknamed this because everyone knows each other.
Earners- term used by yeshivish people to describe those that work.
End The Madness- Organization to end the shidduch crisis, through shabbatons and essays written by its founder Channanya Wiesman- interesting concept, but not very revolutionary, since all the weekends have the same 48 people on them.
Ein Kedardo- Talmudic way of saying anal sex, literally means its not the way.
Ervah- forbidden to look at body parts. The uncovered hair of a married woman is also considered ervah. Some consider knees and elbows to be ervah as well.
Ezras Nashim – women’s section in a synagogue
Ein Lee Kesef -Hebrew for “I have no money” the response to beggars in Israel.
Frum- literally means pious in Yiddish, usually meant to refer to someone as religious.
Frummy- derogatory term to describe someone as overtly religious. Also used as a negative connotation.
Frummies- plural to describe frum, but also commonly used in a negative way, almost like the N-word for religious people. It is said with disgust in most cases.
FFB- frum from birth, used to describe someone who was born into a religious family, commonly used to weed out shidduchim.
Frummed Out (Flipped out, Wigged out) – Refers to kids who spend a year in Israel before college or years of yeshiva and become more frum then anyone in their families. Parents are scared of this, but it happens most often with girls who come home engaged and wanting to live the life of kollel wife, it rarely lasts for more then the summer.
Frumster- Largest orthodox online dating service with 500 weddings under its belt. Responsible for coining the term Yeshivish Modern and Modern Orthodox Machmir.
Frum but with it- Term used to describe someone who is frum but knows of the outside world. With it does not mean that they are with it literally because there are plenty of folks that claim this but are in fact the most closed minded, uneducated people you will ever meat. This term is basically a way to try and retain being frum without ever saying you are “modern” which is evil in frummy environments.
Faygalah- Little Bird, also a name given by people who don’t realize what its actually used to describe. Faygalah is also the Yiddish term used to describe someone who is Gay.
Faker- folks usually in their 20s who prescribe to the orthodox look, but are usually hypocritical in their actions.
Fress- to pig out, when I was younger my dad would yell at me for fressing.
Gemara (Talmud) – Jewish legislative journals mostly documenting many different cases about all sorts of different things. There are very random things in the Talmud, including some very sexual stories, like the one about Rav Kahuna who wanted to see what his rebbe said during sex to his wife, so he hid under the bed, until his rebbe found him and kicked him out.
There is another story about a naked guy who fell off a roof and landed inside a naked girl on the ground. The debate of whether she is considered a virgin is then debated by the rabbis. For those who cant stand gemara, like myself, try the
Ein Yaakov- compilation of all the stories within the Talmud. Now if only they would make an R-rated Ein Yaakov.
Gefilte Fish- Kind of like the Salami of fish. Gefilte Fish is stuffed fish, originally made from Karp. These days it comes in jars with jelly that looks like a jelly fish died in the jar. Fish balls are scooped and rounded portions of gefilte fish served at the third meal on shabbos.
Gelila- The process to wrap up the torah, usually given to underage children, and older singles. This job makes everyone look like a moron, and although they say it has the highest level of any job, I have never seen the Rabbi get it.
Gabbi- The guy who runs the decorum in the shul. He calls people up to the torah, forces you to buy aliyos, and tells you to shut up during davening.
Gebrokts- on Passover it is forbidden to eat leavened bread, when water comes in contact with matzo it creates gebrokts, this means unfortunately that many people do not eat matzo balls, matzo pizza or matzo brie until the last day- it’s horrible. These people are called non-gebrokts.
Hot Chani or Hot Chanie- Women who supposedly adhere to the laws of modesty by dressing in wigs and skirts, but usually the skirts are tight and short and the wigs are sexy. Hot Chanis reside mostly in Flatbush and Lawrence.
Hamilton- Rject yeshiva in Hamilton Ontario, famed spots include the tunnel of love where much smoking took place.
Hatzolah- Jewish volunteer ambulance service run by young men who like to have sirens on their cars.
Hockers- Predominantly made up of folks who are members of volunteer fire departments and ambulance services. They like to drive big black SUV’s and wear up to three pagers and cell phones. Polo shirts, rucked into black pants with shiny shoes is the uniform. You also have to know everyone and play great violent Jewish Geography.
Heter- Leniency, usually made by local rabbi. Some people shop around for heterim, especially for things like birth control which most rabbis hold is not allowed.
Heimishe Hoagie- Famous sandwich you can get at Big Fleishigs restaurant.
Hole in the Sheet Legend- secular urban legend that says Jews have sex through holes in sheets. This was thought because during pogroms the looters found tzitzis and felt that’s what it was used for.
Hava Mina- original thought, another common used term amongst yeshiva guys who like to thumb dip a lot.
Halacha- Jewish law
Im Yirtza Hashem by you- Literally means that with Gods help you should also get…. Usually referring to married, since this statement is said almost exclusively at weddings to singles. In recent years with the proliferation of single frum girl bloggers in the shidduch “parshah” the term has become vilified and has been deemed offensive- since most of these single hurt inside and don’t want to be reminded of their plight.
Indian Hair Crisis- Somebody discovered that many wigs were made of Indian Hair that was used in idolatrous ceremonies. This caused an outrage and instead of donating their sheitles to locks of love or cancer patients, they burned them- it was embarrassing.
Ikur- idea in yeshivish speak.
In Towner- common term used to describe kids who are in an out of town style yeshiva but happen to live in the small community that surrounds it.
Avenue J- Located in Flatbush, Brooklyn, this avenue is home to the most restaurants in a row and is popular hangout on Saturday nights. It used to be more popular, but then pharmaceuticals became the big drug of choice for yeshiva rebels so they retreated inside to snort Vicadin and play video poker at www.wptcasino.com.
Jewish Geography(JG)- Orthodox Jews way of talking, since no one ever taught them simple introductions like “hi my name is, how are you” and rather “where ya from, what do you do, who do you know” was taught instead. Since everyone can find some connections somewhere its like the old school version of facebook. Played mostly at weddings, shul, and at crowded kosher restaurants on Sunday nights.
Jewish Press- Long lasting Jewish weekly newspaper, found in my fathers bathroom next to the steam pipe. Controversial and all inclusive, they have articles written with a right wing slant by all types of Jews. The family issues section likes to print letters from distraught wives who catch their husbands looking at porn or having affairs.
JAP- Jewish American Princess- Reference to girls who are materialistic, and like to be wined and dined. They tend to load up the make up wear mostly black and love to wear the long leather hooker style boots. Illiteracy rates are high and use of text message style speak including LOL, OMG and WTF is common. JAPS are addicted to shopping, facebook, only simchas and guys who own Lexus SUV’s. These girls all aspire to be Hot Chanis.
Jastrow- Talmudic dictionary created by Marcus Jastrow who was an insane heretic.
JCC- Jewish Community Center, similar to the YMCA without a cool song to go with it. Notorious for the showers where naked old men sit and talk in Yiddish about arthritis pains.
Kids at Risk Crisis- In the late 1990’s a team of experts discovered something shocking! Yeshiva high school kids were engaging in drugs and sex- everyone went nuts and the Jewish papers devoted lots of attention to it, much more then the so called shidduch crisis.
Kedem- Monopoly on the Grape Juice market, 37 grams of sugar per serving.
KGH- Kew Garden Hills- popular neighborhood with growing single population in Queens NY.
Kishke- Stuffed Derma, stuffed intestines served on shabbos in the cholent. Also used as a yeshiva guy sexual phrase to say “I would like to stuff her kishkes.”
Kipah Srugah- Knitted yarmulke commonly worn by Zionistic and modern orthodox Jews.
Kiddush- Has two meanings, one is the blessing you make on wine at the beginning of the Sabbath and holiday meals. The other is a reception held after prayer on shabbos- where cholent and kugel are served to the delight of all throngs who had to sit through 3 hours of shul. Kiddush is the Jewish answer to anarchy, or maybe a revolution. You can see old ladies throwing large men aside for the last piece of creamed herring poking through the slathered onions with the little colored toothpicks.
Kiddush Club- The frum version of the country club. In the middle of davening usually during the torah reading, a bunch of guys will leave shul for a spread of herring, crackers and single malt Scotch. The topic of discussion is usually stocks, politics and complaining about wives.
KJ- Kiryas Joel (Yoel)- Village located in upstate NY near Woodbury Commons that is home to large Satmar population. Made famous by their publicly funded school for special needs kids which makes it to the Supreme Court all the time. Also known as Monroe pronounced Munrow.
Kens Diner- one of the most famous kosher restaurants, located in Chicago, and home to the Bay-Ken Burger.
Kolko – infamous Rabbi at Torah Temima who was convicted of child molestation – famous case because it was covered up for years.
Kugelach – the frummy version of jacks.
Kugel – casserole of the old country.
Lubavitchers aka Lubobs, Lubbies, or Chabdnicks- Most known, popular and influential sect of orthodoxy, as well as hated due to many of them believing that their previous Rabbi was the messiah even though he passed away in 1994. Lubavitch girls are also known as the hottest girls within all of orthodoxy.
LOR- Local Orthodox Rabbi
LSS- Lincoln Square Synagogue- aka wink and stare. Famous upper west side shul that is formed like a boxing ring with a clear mechitza that allows everyone to stare at each other.
Lulav- Palm branch used during the festival of succos. Also used to poke people in the butt to prevent them from stopping the hoshanos walk around.
Lipa Shmeltzer- famous Chassidic singer/songwriter who’s concert was recently banned because he uses secular songs in his music.
List- In the yeshiva world, guys/girls have lists of potential people to go out with. The parents are in control of everything, besides for peer pressure, that role is shifted to the community as a whole which says 22 is old, forcing people to think there is a shidduch crisis.
Learning Guy- The most sought after boys in the yeshivish shidduch field, girls who only want learning boys must wait while the boy goes through his List. If they reach a certain age, they must date a working boy, horror!
Livishe/Litvaks- To many it’s another way of saying yeshivish- non-chassidim. The actual meaning is Jews of Lithuanian descent who are followers of the Vilna Gaon, aka the Gra- the guy who refused to come to terms with the Chassidim- due to different philosophies.
Le Merais- kosher restaurant in New York known to be a singles scene, also known to be a budget steakhouse.
MO-Modern Orthodox- sect of Jews who started out as a sect of very pious Jews who wanted to enhance their secular knowledge in order to make a living. It has since become to mean multiple things. Generally it means the same thing but since the proliferation of online shidduch dating it has splintered into many different groups- see below.
Modern Orthodox Machmir- Machmir means strict, contrary to what you may think it does not mean strictly modern orthodox. It means modern orthodox but strict, hair covering by the women, laws of modesty and kids attending yeshiva usually make up this group. Primary locations of this species include, Passaic, Far Rockaway and Kew Garden Hills.
Modern Orthodox Liberal- This has come to mean the folks that keep the Sabbath, and laws of kasharuth, but ignore certain traditions like the laws of modesty, hair covering after marriage and choosing strictly kosher places to eat out. This species that is constantly evolving primarily lives in Teanack, the Upper West Side of Manhatan and Great Neck.
Mechitza- Barrier between men and women, mostly used during prayer services to prevent the men from getting too sexual during the Rabbis sermon. Mechitzas are usually made of carved wood, although bulletproof, barbed wire fences are used in some strict establishments, as well as electric fences to keep the animals out of the pen.
MBD- Mordachai Ben David- famous Jewish singer
Misnagdim- Literally means opposes, those who opposed Chassidic thoughts when they emerged in 1760. The slang term for these folks is Snag or Snaggy.
Mekabel- To accept. Used frequently when people speak loshon horah to use loophole to listen in on conversation- they will say “I am not Mekabel”.
Monsey- One of the largest orthodox enclaves in North America located 30 miles north of New York City.
Michlelet Esther- Yeshiva for girls in Israel, known locally as Molestor Esther due to the wild nature of the girls who attend.
MTA- Marsha Stern Torah Academy- This modern orthodox yeshiva high school is a branch of Yeshiva University and is famous for being the school of the Beastie Boys who “went to white castle and were thrown out.” My brother went there too.
Mishpocha Magazine- Literally means Family Magazine. In recent years it has become the periodical of choice by many frummies. The magazine loves to talk about the shidduch crisis, it is their rallying cry.
Matzav- Whats the Matzav is a common term used by yeshiva folks everywhere. It means what’s the story, deal?
Mikvah- Ritual bath to cleanse women of their menstrual cycles every month.
Mikvah Night- It is a commandment for a man and women to get it on when the women comes home from the mikvah, my kind of commandment.
Makel- yeshiva way of saying lenient
Mitzvah Night- in yeshiva, kids always talk about Friday night being mitzvah night, because it’s a mitzvah to have sex with your wife.
Mincha- afternoon prayer service, usually the only daily prayer said by women.
Maalot- seminary/college in Baltimore for girls who for one reason or another didn’t go to regular college or seminary.
Niggun- Song, not to be confused with racial terminologies.
Niveh (boys) Yeshiva in Israel dedicated to letting drug addicted kids roam the streets of Jerusalem looking for a fight. The open environment eventually convinces kids to frum out, move to Israel and become Rebbes to teach the same kids why doing drugs is bad. A overdose leading to death a few years ago has caused them to chance their policies.
Ner Jake (Ner Yaakov)- Niveh wannabes, but not as crazy. Maybe because living in Telstone is liable to make any kid nuts. Closed a couple of years ago.
Nebachs- lost souls, also refers to girls in ultra orthodox communities who are over 23 and single.
NCSY- National Conference of Synagogue Youth- creators of the Shomer Negia song and the most widely used bencher which trumps every wedding bencher on the market. In yeshiva they use the acronym to mean No One Can Save You because yeshiva believe that making people religious through coed events is wrong.
Night Seder- Learning at night while in yeshiva. Many yeshivas make this the standard because it gives the kids as little free time as possible so that they do assur things like watch movies and meet up with girls.
Na Nach Meuman- saying of Bresslovers, no idea the meaning, but in Israel it is the graffiti of choice.
Ner Yisroel- referred to as just plain Ner in the frum community, this yeshiva is located in Baltimore, and my dad went there for 4 years. There is also one in Toronto, but not as famous.
Out of Town- Way to describe anyone from outside the NY metro area. It is commonly thought that these people are more laid back and hence have the out of town mentality.
Off the Derech (OTD)- Someone who has swayed from Judaism. This term is never used to describe someone who is older then 30. It is primarily used to describe yeshiva rebels. It was coined during the kids at risk crisis, during the late 90s.
OTI-Ohr Torah Institute- One of the legendary yeshivas for rejects. They are famous for stealing of the regents back in the day.
OT- Occupational Therapy- One of the only professions that modern orthodox machmir girls and ex-Bias Yaakov girls go into.
Onlysimchas.com- website devoted to displaying all happy Jewish events. Weddings, births, engagements, bris milhas, etc… It is also a favorite site for yentas, shadchuns, people seeking information about prospective dates and teenage girls.
Our Place- The Right Place- In the late 90’s during the kids as risk crisis, they tried to create safe and fun single sex hangouts for rebellious types in Brooklyn.
OZ- Oheb Tzedek- Famous shul for singles on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The place to see and be seen on Friday nights.
Pushka- Charity Box, usually found in pizza stores chained to oregano jars with three inches of dust and pizza sauce clumped around it.
Peyos- It is a commandment not to cut the corners of your face. My face is rounded, but I guess back in the day they had square faces. Some folks have decided to grow long locks of hair behind their ears so they have something to play with while hitchhiking.
Priority One- Yeshiva located in Far Rockaway for yeshiva kids who are off the derech.
Playboy, Primetime- Two very popular billiard places in Brooklyn that were home to the birth of the yeshiva rebel movement.
Parnossoh- Making a living, term is used commonly by the yeshiva crowd.
Paskez- Large candy company run by Jews.
Purim- Holiday that tells Jews to drink and puke on each other, in celebration of us being saved from the Persians.
Pritzus- term used by Rabbis to describe any women dressed untznius. Billboards, advertisements, movies and TV are all pritzus.
Putzing Around- literally means dicking around, usually someone who is in Touro, and working catering jobs here and there. Just doing nothing basically.
Penguins- Description that many non-Jews give to Jews that wear black and white all the time.
Potch- my dads way of saying I was getting a slap.
Queens College- almost all Jewish girls go to this school for some reason, though its considered detrimental to your shidduch standings because Touro has been deemed more frum.
Rabbi- Pulpit, usually a person who leads a congregation or community.
Rebbe- Found in the Chassidic sects, his followers are called his Chassidim. You have to have a cool hat to be a Rebbe.
The Rebbe – usually refers to the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendal Schneerson who passed away in 1994.
The Rav – usually refers to Rav J.B. Solevtachik the founder of modern orthodoxy.
Rav- Someone who decides matters based on text, called a posek.
Reject Yeshiva- Yeshivas dedicated to providing a home for kids who are on drugs, talk to girls or watch movies. Famous reject yeshivas include Rochester, Hamilton, Rudinsky, Adelphia and Priority One.
Romanian- located in Chicago, this famous meat store is home to the greatest hot dogs on earth, in yeshivas across the nation envious kids try and get Chicago people to bring them some of this meat.
Shidduch- heard a lot these days, this term is used to describe the traditional Jewish way of making a match. Some folks also say it’s the first two thoughts when being set up Shit and Uch.
Shadchun- marriage matchmaker. Free service but you have to deal with the pains of talking to a newly wed, yenta or nudnick about why you didn’t want to go on a second date. Shadchuns are some of the most talked about and despised people in orthodox Judaism.
Shidduch Crisis- In the last few years some folks in the Jewish periodical industry (Jewish Press, Mishpocha Magazine) have decided to brand the latest issue in orthodox Judaism as a crisis. Past crisis included bugs in the water, Monsey chickens and Indian hair. It is believed that more girls are available then boys and therefore it has been deemed as a crisis. Typically if a girl reaches the age of 22 she is considered an old hag and must go through terrible pain at her friends weddings and have people constantly saying Im Yirtza Hashem by you.
Shul- synagogue or temple
Shabbos – Shabbat or The Sabbath
Shabbos Goy- A non Jew who is told through backhanded ways what things need to be done on shabbos, such as turning on lights, TV or microwave.
Shabbos Party- In more religious neighborhoods shabbos parties are held on shabbos afternoon and used as good ezcuses to pump children full of sugar friom wafers, pretzel sticks and candy.
Shteeble- small synagogue, that is packed with Yiddisher folks who like to talk politics, drink scotch and eat herring. Usually nusach sfard is used, and the smell is always old and musty.
Shietle- Literally a wig, mostly made of human hair and costing upwards of $3000. It is a biblical commandment for married women to cover their hair completely. Wigs became a popular means of covering the hair in the 1950’s after Lubavitchers- the first large sect of orthodoxy encouraged women to use wigs. In recent times it has become a little controversial to cover the hair with a wig, since new technologies have actually made wigs look hot, and that is precisely what the Rabbis do not want. Bangs and pony tails have been integrated into the shietle style.
Snood- Literally ugly cotton bag resembling Rastafarian hat used to cover hair. Snoods are bags that the hair is put into and kind of look like a filled wind sock on an airport runway.
Streimel- Those big furry hats worn by the Chassidic sects which happen to be the spokespeople for Judaism at least all non-Jews think we look that.
Spudick- Basically a tall and narrow fur hat, worn primarily for its streamlining abilities to fight wind and stay on the head, they also add like 3 feet to your height.
Shtender- a mini bima, used for folks to rest their prayer books on.
Siddur- daily prayer book.
Stern- All Girls College in Manhattan, Brookdale hall is a famed location where guys pick up their dates. Almost all Stern Girls claim to that they are “not your typical stern girl” Most of the graduates go into occupational therapy, physical therapy, special ed, early childhood development or education.
Shuckel- The swaying back and forth during prayer or study is referred to as shuckeling. Some folks are relaxed and some are more violent.
Shlump- Someone who is sloppy.
Sit and Learn- Guy who wishes to learn full time, used in the shidduch field.
Shnurer- Someone who takes handouts, at weddings they have shnurer tables which give free food to anyone that comes. Shnurer’s are also people like myself who like to go to many kiddushim at different shuls.
Shtark- Holy, usually used to describe someone who has become very religious. Also usually used to describe someone who frummed out in Israel.
Seltzer- the quintessential Jewish drink. Used to come in those spray bottles when I was younger, now it comes in flavors and my choice for best seltzer is vintage lemon lime. Seltzer provides much entertainment because it always explodes on someone at the table. On pesach its hilarious to see non gebrokts homes go into action when the seltzer explodes, clearing crumbs off the table.
Sternberg Hot Dig Story- Famous yeshiva urban legend about a girl at Camp Sternberg who was using a hot dog to pleasure her self and it broke and got stuck inside her.
Shir Hashirum- Poetic reading about David’s love of God. Translated literally it sounds very sexual.
Shvigger- Yiddish term created during the Jim Crow era to describe the mother in law. Its obvious racial and hatred connotations can be understood- due to the common hatred of mother in laws.
Shtyg- Yeshiva way of saying delving into learning.
Shtup- Yiddish for screw or sex. The common joke is No Shtupa before the Chupa- which refers to the custom to abstain from premarital sex.
Shomer Negia- Watching who you touch. Men and women are not supposed to touch anyone of the opposite sex besides their children, siblings and spouse. One of the most talked about things amongst teenagers and singles.
Shulamis- All girls relatively modern orthodox yeshiva in NYC, Shulamis girls are known to be a bit on the promiscuous side.
Sour Sticks- One of the most popular candy items in the frum community.
Sit In- When the guy comes to pick the girl up for a date the parents sit and interview him. In Chassidic communities, the kids sit across the table from each other, eating peanuts and deciding if they will get married.
Sheitle Store Boycott- In Brooklyn there was a recent boycott of a sheitle store by a famed Rabbi because the store was displaying immodest pictures. No they did not show any skin besides for noses and eyes. But the store owner caved and they put up dummies instead.
Shabbos Riot- In Israel when cars drive on shabbos through Charedi neighborhoods, some folks decide to riot by blocking the street, and throwing stones and fruit at the car. Stones are not allowed to be touched on shabbos, but they set them aside for throwing on shabbos.
Shiksa- a non Jewish girl, common phrases for this word include “shiksas are for practice” since the sins for messing around with non-Jews of the opposite sex are not as severe as with Jews.
Stone Chumash – most popular bible on the market. Produced by artscroll and comes in the color blue.
Turban- Ultra orthodox women have adopted the style of the Arabs by wearing turbans. Although I am told they are really just hats that look like turbans, posers!
Tzitzis- You know those little white and sometimes blue strings sticking out of Jews’ shirts. Worn to remind us of the 613 commandments, the complicated wrapping of the strings is supposed to do this, but it doesn’t. It just gives the non-Jews something to talk about and they always get stuck in my fly.
Folks who wear blue strings are usually very Zionistic or BT, woolen tzitzis are worn by Chassidim, yeshiva people and folks who like the added warmth and are indifferent to whether the tzitzis fall into the toilet while in the bathroom. Long strings are significant factor about someone’s religiosity level.
Tallis- Big tzitzis garment worn during morning services and by some folks who get specific jobs in shul. Most folks wear black and white, some wear rainbow and some wear all white. Conservative folks tend to wear the Talis like a cape or scarf for some reason.
The Heights- Washington Heights- another large singles community in northern Manhattan home to the largest contingency of Modern orthodox machmir singles mostly from YU and Stern.
Tehilim- David’s book of psalms- usually recited by Chassidic women and girls at bus stops and by all Lubavitchers constantly.
Thumb Dip- Hand gestures used by men learning Talmud and trying to deduce something. Other hand gestures include pointing into text, waving of the hand to dismiss someone and both hands open to say “I have no idea”.
Tefillin- Those leather straps worn by Jews during morning prayer service, you may ctach a glimpse on a bus or in a phone booth in an airport terminal.
Tefillin Date- When someone goes on a date and they plan on sleeping over they should bring their tefilin. Commonly referred to as hypocritical because people who don tefilin don’t usually have sex- I wholeheartedly disagree- I guess my Tanya learning is creeping in.
TABC- Torah Academy of Bergen County, formerly of the name Torah Institute of Teanack, they scrapped the name after they realized it spelled TIT.
Touro College- Place where the frum kids go who say they don’t want to go to YU or Stern but in all reality probably didn’t get in. Touto produces more occupational and physical therapists and dental hygienists then any other college in the country.
Town- in Jerusalem Israel- town is the area around Ben Yehuda street where everyone hangs out. Lots of yeshivas do not let the kids go to town.
UWS- Upper West Side- home to the worlds largest orthodox singles community, it is commonly referred to as the center for modern orthodoxy as well as flexidoxy- which are people who pick and choose their traditions. Known as hotbed for premarital sex, eating milchigs out and living in apartment buildings nicknamed the dorms, with names such as the Keywest and Westmont.
Untznius- Someone who dresses immodestly.
US Seminaries- for girls who are extra frum and who’s parents wont let them go to Israel they attend seminary in Batimore, Detroit, or Minneapolis amongst the famous ones.
Vus or Vos – Yiddish for “what”
Gut Vuch- Yiddush for Good Week said after shabbos, so you can differentiate between the levels of Jews because the less frum ones will say shavua tov.
Woodbourne- Popular summer vacation spot, the main street in Woodbourne is 1 block long and contains a bunch of dirty and oily restaurants teaming with ultra orthodox Jews who love to eat and play Jewish Geography. The general area is called the Catskills, or according to frummies the mountains or country (pronounced in thick Yiddish accent)
Working Guy- To describe in yeshivish terms someone who works for a living rather then learn full time.
Wafers- Cheap Israeli food used by folks to make their shallach manos look bigger on purim.
White Shirt- The official shirt color of orthodoxy. Thought to be a conspiracy invented by shirt manufacturers who knew that white shirts are more likely to stain, boosting the need for many different shirts of the same color. Like Henry Ford used to say, you can have the Model T in any color, as long as it black.
Yeshiva- Jewish school, usually used for ultra orthodox single sex schools with rigorous study. If one were to say they went to yeshiva, to most it means a rigorous study of Talmudic and ethical laws.
Yeshivish- Yet another way of classifying and categorizing Jews by judging whether or not they are the types to learn full time in yeshiva instead of college, or career. Commonly supported by rich parents or in laws, who believe that learning full time is the way to bring the messiah.
Yekki (Yekkishe)- Jews of German descent. Said to be the most efficient sect of Jews, very timely, very straight laced, I do not recommend going to a Yekki shul late. (Did you hear about the Yekki who married a Satmar?) Everything was exactly 3 hours late.
Yarmulke (kipa)- Those small disks that you will see on top of Jewish heads everywhere are called yarmulkes or kipas if you are modern orthodox. Black Velvet is the most common material of those that are ultra orthodox, yeshivish, or black hat persuasions. Modern orthodoxy prescribes to making their kipas out of knitting and suede, they also tend to be more colorful, even including themes such as Ninja Turtles and local sports teams.
YU- Yeshiva University- A very good university for guys who attended modern orthodox high schools and frummed out in Israel. Alsio a good place to cash in your credits from Israel. Almost all YU grads become accountants for the big three.
Yechi- term used to describe messianic Lubavitchers who like to recite the phrase that begins with Yechi and has something to do with their Rebbe being the one.
Yom Haatzmout- Israeli Independence Day, May 14th 1948. Arguably one of the biggest miracles in modern times for the Jews. Celebrated widely by modern orthodox Jews, the more religious sects do not believe in celebrating this day for some reason- mostly because Israel was created as a secular society. One of the most heated debates is whether to say Hallel on this day. Some say without a bracha, some say with, some just don’t even know the day exists.
Yom Hashoa- Holocaust Remembrance Day- most religious Jews do not do anything on this day either. In yeshiva I was told we combine this day with tisha baav- which is a major fast day where many rallies in front of the UN are usually held.
ZA- Zichron Aryeh- yeshiva that has something to do with Priority One, a lot of the guys who learn there are pot heads.
Zera Livatala- The Talmudic and Rabbinic way of saying masturbation, wasting seed- the most commonly talked about item during yeshiva high school years.
Zollis- every few years a bar takes the lead as to which one attracts all the seminary and yeshiva students doing their year before college or going into real estate. Typically the crowd is made up of folks from the following schools. Sharfmans, Michlelet Esther, Ner Jake, OD, Kesher, and Niveh. Some of the less NCSY type of rebellious kids from OJ also partook in the festivities which included, fighting, throwing up, and making out in dirty alleyways.
Zets- another way of saying slap. Uusally said by parents to their children. My father favorite line was “I am going to give you a zets like you will never forget.”
Z’man – literally time
Z’manim – the yeshivish way to refer to semesters or periods of yeshiva – they call vacation bein hazmanim – between the times.