October 14th, 2005

To Provoke in Yiddish, Try 'How Are You?'


Most children watching "The Three Stooges" didn't realize it, but an understanding of Yiddish was required to get a lot of the jokes. In one episode, when Larry hears that Moe is heading to a hockshop, he says, "While you're there, hock me a tshaynik." What must have sounded like pure nonsense to most viewers was a Yiddish pun, one that Michael Wex, in his wise, witty and altogether wonderful "Born to Kvetch," lays on the table for analysis. Collapse )