For teaching purposes only:
[References for this review may be found at <Nyland>]
[Note:† All Basque words are in Italics and Bold-faced Green]
----Please CLICK on desired underlined categories [to search for Subject Matter, depress Ctrl/F ]:
†††††††††† An ancient language form that originated in the North African area of our most ancient civilizations has been studied by Nyland (2001).† He found that many words used to describe names of places and things in Yiddish seem to be closely related to the ancient language, which Nyland called Saharan, and which later was predated by the Igbo Language of West Africa.† Fortuitously, the Basque Language is a close relative to the original Saharan.† Following is a discussion of this relationship:
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††††††††† The originators of the Romance languages and English used mostly that half of the Basque language which begins with vowel-consonant-vowel (VCV and VCCV), but the linguists making up Yiddish used the entire Basque vocabulary (CV and VC words), which allowed much more flexibility in word invention. Vowel linking was not always maintained. It turned out that all Yiddish words, supplied by Rosten, could be broken up into Basque roots, sometimes with surprising results. In many words the meaning thus obtained with the Basque dictionary was related to the translation shown in Rosten's book. A few of the Yiddish words in Nylandís (2001) translation include disagreeable language, however, that is no reason to omit them here.
††††††††† It is surprising the ease with which many Yiddish words were translatable from Basque, as shown below. Some words took more time or defied the decoding process entirely, which is understandable because, with popular use over centuries, words do change. Many of the Yiddish words were the same as in Hebrew or showed only slight changes in spelling. How old Yiddish is, is a good question, but it appears that Yiddish is older than German, possibly dating back to the time that the blond Khazars of the Lower Wolga region accepted Judaism, which would date the language to the 7th to 9th century. It may well be that the Benedictine linguists used Yiddish and Hebrew vocabulary and syntax to help them in the construction of the German language during the 9th and 10th centuries.
††††††††† One firm conclusion may be drawn from the following list of translations and that is that Yiddish was assembled out of the astonishingly versatile Basque language, which was distorted and manipulated. The list gives first the Yiddish word followed by the English translation in brackets as supplied by Leo Rosten. After this are shown the components of the word, separated by hyphens, and the Basque words these components represent with their translations. Any vowels and "h"s removed in the language invention process are shown as dots. The "sh" in Basque is spelled "x".
††††††††† Nyland (2001) suggested that the clearest manner in which to show the derivation of a word is:
††††††††† However, when dealing with large numbers of words, this notation would take too much space, so the following shorthand notation is used.
am ha-aretz (ill-mannered person), am.-.ha-aretz: ama (mother, Priestess) ahalgegabe (shameless) arretzin (unacceptable): "The
††††† Priestess' shamelessness is unacceptable".
atheist), apik-iku-oroz: apika (perhaps) ikur (sign) orozale (ambition):
"Perhaps a sign of ambition".
Ashkenazim (Germany), ash.-kena-azim: axola (caring, worrying) kena (to take away, to loose) azima (character, identity):
about loosing our identity".
act), abera: aberats (wealthy):
aydem (son-in-law), aide-em: aidetu (to become a relative of) eme (female): "He became a relative of the female (member of
ayin harah (evil eye), aien-aharra: aiene (lament) aharra (disturbance):
"(We) lament the disturbance".
baalshem (Master of the
Good Name), bala-shem: balakatu (to flatter) xeme (native son):
"To flatter the native born son".
badchanim (jester, entertainer), bad.-.ka-anim: badaezbada (eventual) akabu (death) anim (animal): "The eventual death of the
(just what did that "jester" do?)
balbatim (master of the house), bal.-.bant-im.: balaztatu (to control) abantaila (privileged) imatz (dwelling, house): "Privileged
†††† to control the
balabatish (responsible), bala-aba-ati-ix: balaztatu (to control, operate) abantaila (privileged) ateka (small door) ixi (quietly):
"Privileged to open and close the small door quietly".
baleboss (head of the
household), bala-abots: balaztatu (to control) abots (voice):
"The voice controls".
balmalocha (craftsman), bal-.ma-aloka: baliarazu (to make valuable) ama (mother) alokai (payment): "He makes something valuable
††††† for mother
bar mitzva (man of duty), bar-imi-itz-.ba: ibarretshe (house in the valley) imini (to place) itz (obligation) -aba (work): "He has
†††† a work
obligation at the house in the valley".
batlanim (misfit, lazy
person), bat-lan-im: bat (one) lan (work) imatz (house):
"One for the work house".
person), beha-ama: beha (to observe,
to stare at) ama (mother):
"He stares at mother".
ben (son), ben: ben (honest,
bentsh (to bless), ben-tsh: ben (honest) tshalo (applause):
"Honesty is applauded".
berrieh (woman with remarkable
energy), berri-eh.: berri (new) ehule (weaver):
besdin (house of
judgement), bes-din: bestemunduku (exceptional) adin (judgement,
justice): "Exceptional justice".
bes midrash (house of study), bes-imi-ido-orraz: bestemunduku (outstanding) imitatu (to imitate, to copy) idoro (to discover)
†††† †orraztari (editor, collection):
"Outstanding copy of the discovered collection".
pancake), balintz-eh: balintz (requirement) ehotza (act of
eating): "Must be eaten" (come and get it!).
bnai brit (sons of the covenant), ben-.nai-barrit: ben (honest) anaiarte (brotherhood) barritu (to reform): "Honest brotherhood
boarder), border-ke: bordari (settler,
colonist) kementsu (energetic):
bonditt (bandit), bon-.dit: bonbon (lavish
spending) aditugabe (unheard of):
"Unheard of lavish spending".
cabala (tradition), kabal-la: kabal (cattle) -la (like):
chasidim (pious man), kasi-idi-im.: kasik (almost) idi (ox) imintziogabe
(expressionless): "Almost like an expressionless ox".
(man-of-the-hour), kasu-un: kasu (circumstance)
chasseneh (wedding), kasu-une: kasu (pay
attention) une (a moment):
"Pay attention for a moment".
comrade), kabe-er: kabe (without) eragozkor ((hindering,
obstruction): "Without obstruction".
chazzen (a seer), gaz-zen: gaz (with) zentzu (common
sense): "With common sense".
chedar (room), kedar: kedarketa (smoke stained):
chevra (comradship), keb-bara: kebelar (tobacco) bara (slow):
chillul chashem (profaning God's name), chillul: .kil.-.lu-ul.: akilarre (witch) alu (vulva) ule (hairy): "The witch's hairy vulva".
chashem: kash-em: kashkartu (to degrade
oneself) ema (prostitute):
chloppeh (to knock, to
bang), kalo-ope: kalonje (priest) oper (time off,
away): "When the priest is away".
chmallyeh (severe blow), kamel-li-eh.: kamelu (camel) libratu (to set free, to run away) ehizibilatu (to beat): "To beat the
choleria (plague), kol-eri-a: koldar (coward) eri (illness) a (the):
"The coward's illness".
chollileh (God forbid
that should happen), koli-ile: kolitza (belltower) ilintitu (To set on
fire): "Burning of the bell tower".
chometzdik (fermented), kome-etz.-.dik: komenigarri (beneficial) etzaldi (rest) adikor (understandable): "That he needs beneficial
††††† rest is
understandable". (Needs to sleep it off).
chozzerai (junk, trash),
koz-erai: koz (intended for)
disposal): "Intended for disposal".
chutzpa (audacity), kutz.-.pa: kutzaketa (profanity) apalatu (to
humiliate): "Using profanity to humiliate".
cockamamy (mixed up), kok-ama-mi: kok (bellyfull) ama (mother) mi (my):
"Bellyfull from my mother".
darshan (preacher), darj-anai: adarjo (to pull one's
leg, tease) anaia (religious
brother): "To tease the preacher".
judge), dai-an.: daiteke (he can be) anaia (religious brother):
"He can be a religious brother".
diaspora (exile, dispersion), .di-as.-.po-ora: adibide (advice) asagotu (to go far away) apokeria (filthy deed) oraintxe (right now):
advice is to go right now, far from the filthy deeds".
dovid ha Melech (expected Messiah), .do-obid/.ha/me-ele-ek.: adoratu (to worship) obidientzia (obedient) ahal (I hope) Mesias
†††† †(Messiah) ele (story) ekarri (to bring):
"With obedient worship I hope to bring the story of the Messiah".
dreck (wet dirt, crap), .d.-.re-ek.: adarka (goring) areztatu (to cover with sand) eki (as much as possible): "Cover the gore with
†††† sand as much
garment), dar-eske: darama (to take) eske (alms):
"Taking alms, begging".
elohim (YHVH), elo-ohi-im: elorritsu (troublesome) ohitu (to be accustomed to) imitapen (imitation): "He is accustomed to
imitation". (He is jealous: Exodus 34:14).
eppes (a little,
something), epe-ez: epe (time limit) eza (shortage):
"Shortage of time".
eretz Yisroel (the land of
Israel), eretz-Israel: eretz (on the side
of): "On the side of Israel".
farbissen (unpleasant), .far-bizi: ifar (north) bizi (to live):
"To live in the north".
farblondjet (wandering aimlessly), .far-.bel-ond.-jet: ifar (northern) abel (herdsmen) ondo (harvest colored) jetshi (descend):
strawhaired northern herdmen descend (on us)".
confused), .far-kada-at.: ifar (northern) -kada (to hit) -at (direction,
from): "Northern storm hits us".
farshtinkener (all stunk up, farting), .far-tink-ener: ifar (north) tinkatu (to press, to push) ener (when): "When the north (wind)
flayshedig (meat of all sorts), .f-.lai-shede-ig: afa (happy) alai (rejoicing) shede (to reach the goal) iges (shelter); "Happy
when the shelter is reached".
folks-mensh (man of the people), bolk-men-sh: boladak (groups of people) men (power) sh (little bit): "A little bit of power
†††† to the
fress (to gorge,
devour), .fa-arrez: afa (happy) arrezkero (from then
on): "Happy from then on".
frosk (slap), .f.-.rotz-k.: afa (happily) arrotsu (jovial) -ko (slap):
"Happy jovial slap".
frum (pious), .f.-.ru-um.: afa (happy) arrunt (simple) ume (child):
"(Like a) simple happy child".
galitzianer (Jew from Galicia), gali-itz-ia-ner: gali (wheat) itz (promise) iaio (cheerful) onera (maturing): "The cheerful promise
††††† of the
galut (exile), gal-ut: galdos (pasture
ground) utzi (to leave
behind): "To leave the pasture ground behind".
Gan Eden (Garden of
Eden), gan-eden: gandoa (pasture) eden (poison);
"Pasture of poison".
ga'on (genius), ga-on: garai (outstanding) onbide (example):
gelt (money), geld: geldi (little by
little): "(Saving) little by little".
gesundheit (health), gizond.-haiet: gizondu (to grow up,
old) haietara (to them):
"Good growing old to you".
get (divorce), ge-et: gehitu (to reproduce)
eten (to cut):
golem (shapeless), gol-em: golo (goitre) emendatu (to enlarge):
"The goitre enlarges".
goniv (thief), ganib: ganibetada (knifing):
"Stick-up with a knife".
gott (god), gotor: gotor (support,
strength): "Support and strength".
goy (nation), goi: goian (in heaven, on
high): "On high".
gozlin (swindler), goz-lin: gozagaitz (disagreeable) linburtu (flatterer):
graub (uncouth), g.-.raub: gabe (without) araubide (discipline):
habdala (separation), abe-edala: abere (brutal) edalari (alcoholic):
conclusion), af.-.tera: afa (happy) atera (to pull out):
"Happily (to have been) pulled out".
telling), aga-ada: agariz (publicly) adarjo (to make fun
of): "Publicly made fun of".
haimish (home), hei-im-ish: hei (shelter) imatz (woven
branches) ishi (quiet):
"Quiet shelter of woven branches".
halakha (law), ala-aka: alabear (destiny,
fate) akabu (ultimate):
halevai (I wish I
had), aleba-ai: alebanatu (to shell out
grain) ai (grief,
suffering): "Give out grain to ease the suffering".
hamantash (pocket), amanta-ash: amantal (apron) ashola (caring,
collecting): "Collecting apron".
knowledge), aska-ala: askar (bright) alabear (future,
destiny): "Bright future".
hatikva (the hope, national
anthem), .atik-ba: batik (special) abagadune (occasion):
hok a tshynik (to talk
nonsense), oka-tshai-nik: oka (bubbling
over) tshaire (air) onik (harmless):
"Bubbling over with harmless air".
hotzeplots (God only knows
where), hotz-pilotz: hotz (cold) pilotz (plenty):
Jehova (YHVH, YHBH), YHaBaliH/ihabali (to be afraid
of): "To be afraid of".
judesmo (Ladino Jew), jud-esmo: judas (traitor) esmoil (cruel): "Cruel traitor".
kabotz (to beg), kabe-otz: kabe (without) otzan (shame,
humility): "Without shame".
kaddish (holy), kad-itz: kada (blow, hit,
killing) itzi (denounce):
"Denounce the killing".
kalikeh (cripple), kali-ike: kalifikaezin (unknown) ikergai (topic of
investigation, cause): "Unknown cause".
kalleh (bride), kale: kaleratu (to throw out
into the street): "Throw her out into the street!"
.ka-apo-ore: ekandu (to be used
to) apokeria (insult) orrelako (like that):
"He is used to insults like that".
kasheh (difficult), kash-eh: kashako (abandon) ehi (hunt):
"Abandon the hunt".
kibbutzim (collective), .kip-utzi-im: akipen (exhausted) utzi (to leave) imatz (home):
"Too exhausted to leave home".
kibbitzim (criticizing), aki-itzi-im: akipen (exhaustion) itzi (to denounce) imintzio (gesticulating, arm waving): "Denounce the
†††† exhausting arm
kiebitz (lapwing, meadow bird), ki-ibitz: kidetu (to be alike) ibitzale (fond of walking): "(Male and female) look alike and are
††††† fond of
kibosh (nonsense), ki-ipo-oz: akipen (exhaustion) ipo (little
fellow) ozar (insolent):
"Insolent and exhausting little fellow".
(sanctification), kid-dutsh: kidetu (to be like
one of us) dutsha (shower,
dunking): "A dunking to become like one of us".
kinder (children), aki-indar: akigabe (tireless) indar (vitality):
children), ki-indar-lak: akigabe (tireless) indar (vitality) laket (pleasure
giving): "Pleasure giving, endless vitality".
klezemer (musical instruments), oke-elez-emer: oke (plentiful, lots of) elezun (adulation) emer (woman who recently gave birth):
††††† "Lots of
adulation for the young mother".
oaf), .k.-.lu-utz: aka (ultimate) alu (vulva) uts (useless,
faulty): "The ultimate useless vulva".
dumplings), k.-.nitz: kako (little turds)
"Many little turds".
kochalayn (room with cooking), koka-alai-in: kokaldi (bellyfull) alai (joyous) indar (vitality): "Bellyful gives joyous vitality".
†† ††(Compare with name of Irish hero:
priest), .ko-ohe-en.: okolu (pasture next
to house) ohe (bed) ene (my): "My
bed is in the pasture".
kosher (proper), ko-sherra: koilarakada (spoonful) sherra (little
bites): "Spoonfuls of little bites".
koved (honor, glory), .ko-obe-ed: uko egin (to refuse) obe (preferable) ederrak hartu (to be defeated): "I refuse; it is preferable
††††† to be
krechtz (grunt, moan),
.k.-.rek-tz: akabu (the end) arek (that one) tz (suffix):
"It's the end for him".
krenk (sick), .k.-.renk: akatz (defect) arrenka (limping):
"Some defect makes him limp".
kurveh (prostitute), .ku-urbe: uku (gone bad,
stinking) urbelar (scum):
swell), kabe-el.: kabe (without) ele (words):
kvetsch (to sqeeze), kabe-ebatz: kabe (without) ebatzaile (bruising):
kvitch (to yelp, to
sqeal), kabe-itsh: kabe (without) itsharo (trusting):
with), .la-adino: alabehar (destiny) adinaro (attaining
full rights): "Our destiny is to attain full rights".
latke (pancake), .lat-ka: alatu (to eat) kalda (hot):
"Eat while they are hot".
l'chayim (here's to life!), ele-ekai-im: ele (story) ekai (job, accomplishment) imitagarri (exemplary): "Story of an exemplary
letz (life of the
party, wit), laitz: laitzin (in front of
everybody): "Stand-up comic".
levaya (funeral), le-ebanja: ele (story,
speech) ebanjalari (preacher):
type), li-ito-obak: eli (to nourish) ito (quick) obakuntza (improvement):
"Nourishment resulted in quick improvement".
loch in kop (hole in the
head), lok-in.-kope: alokari (renter) inozo (stupid) kopetadun (shameless):
"Shameless stupid renter".
person), lok-sh: lokarri (rope) sh (diminutive):
(German: lax), lok-is: lokaldi (spawning) izokin (salmon):
"The salmon are spawning".
luft (air), ulu-ufat: ulu (howling) ufatu (to blow):
prayer), .ma-aireb: maiz (often) aireberritu (to expose to
air, open air): "Often in the open air".
preacher), ma-agi-id: maisugoko (pertaining to
teaching) agian (I hope) idatzi (to write):
"I hope to learn to write".
mah nishtana (distinguishes), .ma-aniz-tan-na: mazaltasun (decency) anitz (many) -tan (times) nahi (desirous): "Decency is many
††††† times more
marrano (secret Jew), marra-ano: mara mara (quietly) anonimo (anonymous):
bread), ma-atzez: mahai (table) atzezka (face-up, good
side up): "Good side up on the table".
mavin (expert), ma-abi-in: maixu (expert) abiadan (fast) indartsu (strong):
"The expert is fast and strong".
mazel (luck), .ma-aze-el: ama (mother) azentuata (to emphasize,
often repeat): ele (story):
"Mother often repeated the story".
child), ma-azik: ama (mother) aziketa (upbringing):
"Mother's upbringing (did it)".
mechaiek (pleasure), .me-ekai-ek.: eme (female, woman) ekarkortasun (fecundity) ikertu (to explore): "To explore the woman's
mechule (finished), me-eku-ule: eme (female) ekuru (quiet) ulerketa
(understanding): "The woman's quiet understanding".
medina (country), medi-ina: medio (by means of) inarrosketa (agitation):
"By means of agitation".
melchik (milky), me-elki-ik: emeta (gently) elki (to empty) ik (you):
"You (must) empty it gently", i.e. (milking).
menorah (candalabrum), men-ora: menpegabe (emancipated, free) orregatik (because of, in appreciation of): "In appreciation of
††††† our freedom
meshogge (crazy), me-esho-oge: eme (woman) exotiko (exotic) oge (bed):
"An exotic woman in bed".
metsieh (find), me-etsi-ehi: mendizain (forest
ranger) etsi (to abandon) ehi (hunt):
"The forest ranger abandoned the hunt".
midrash (to study), .mit.-.raz: imitapen (to copy) arrazoi (to be right, correct): "Copy it correctly".
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