The Assistant By Bernard Malamud Study Help Full Glossary for The Assistant

Yiddish Unless Otherwise Noted

Der oilem iz a goilem (paffly Hebrew) The populace are dopes, the people is a dummy.

feh an exclamation of disgust.

gelt money

gesheft business establishment.

gink (American big city slang) guy, fellow, odd person.

gotten yu My God!, help!

goyim non-Jewish person.

Italyener Italian person.

landsleit person from the same old-world local Jewish community or shtetl.

parnusseh wages, source of income, or way of making a living.

pisher literal, one who urinates; figurative, a little or slight person, an inexperienced person, or something that adds up to little.

Poilisheh Polish person.

schmerz a blow.

schnapps hard liquor.

schwer literal, heavy; figurative, difficult, painful.

shikse a female non-Jew.

shlimozel person for whom nothing goes right; an unlucky person, a born loser.

tsu whether, if; to.

Yaskadal v'yiskadash shmey, rabo. B'olmo divre . . . (Hebrew). The first words of the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead: "Magnified and sanctified be His great name in the world which He has created according [to His will]."

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