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L.a. Speak

October 18, 1992|Noe Gold

A selection of Yiddish idioms that spice up the power language of Hollywood:

emmes (EH-mess) n. truth. "Your name is above the title." "Emmes? "

farshimmelt (far-SHImelt) adj. mixed up. "Excuse me, but my Rolodex is really farshimmelt. What was your name?"

ganze mocher (GON-tseh MAH-ker) n. big wheel. "He started out in the mailroom at ICM. Now he's a ganze mocher. "

hondel (HAHN-del) v. to bargain. "The set photographer wanted to charge me a hundred, but I hondeled him down."

kvell (kvell) v. to be gushingly proud of something. "The ingenue got great reviews! I'm kvelling. "

kvetch (k'vetch) v. to whine (literally, "squeeze"). "Stop kvetching already, we'll hire a personal publicist."

schmutz (schmootz) n. dirt.

schnorrer (SHNUH-rer) n. moocher (as a way of life). "I'm no schnorrer-- I'll pay for my own limo."

schvitz (schvits) n. steambath; v. to sweat. "You do a lot of schvitzing in the schvitz , but you can do a lot of hondeling there, too."

shlemazel (shleh-MAH-zell) n. an unlucky oaf. "The shlemazel is the guy who gets soup spilled on him . . ."

shlemiel (shleh-MEEL) n. one who has no luck. ". . . and a shlemiel is the waiter who spills it."

tsimmes (TZIH-mess) n. a bother. "Don't make such a big tsimmes about it."

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