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Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won't Do)
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Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won't Do)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
A cross between Henry Beard's Latin for All Occasions and Ben Schott's Schott's Original Miscellany, JUST SAY NU is a practical guide to using Yiddish words and expressions in day-to-day situations. Along with enough grammar to enable readers to put together a comprehensible sentence and avoid embarrassing mistakes, Wex also explains the five most useful Yiddish words–
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by St. Martin's Press
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Sydney O (Сидней О)
This was a cute book using the most familiar terms of Yiddish. Everything was written in transliterated form (no need to know the Hebrew alphabet!) and explained in detail.
If you are studying Yiddish, then you might enjoy it simply for the giggle,s but it's not a serious book for study. (The grammar isn't explained and the alphabet is incorrect...)

However, it is nice to see a book about using Yiddish in everyday life that makes learning simple and fun! x
Dec 31, 2007 Caldwell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hell yeah
This book was fabulous. It was a book on tape which I highly recommed. It's read by the author, And I love his voice, also since it's about a non english language, hearing the pronounciations makes it much easier to get a feel for what's going on. Again, loved it. I have no background in yiddish but I found it terribly interesting and funny. I can't say that I learned that many actual words or phrases per se, but I feel like I have a much better understanding of Yiddish as a whole, how it is con ...more
Larry Hostetler
Jul 13, 2013 Larry Hostetler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This was a book I picked up because it was the right price and I had a Barnes and Noble gift card to use. I had no interest in learning Yiddish, but learning about the culture in which Yiddish is the primary language was interesting. There was also enough etymology and humor to keep me reading.I enjoyed reading it, and may use it as a reference in the future. I already used it for one blog post ( and have enough still to cover to fill another two posts at leas ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun book. I learned a lot of new words, learned a lot about how phrases and emotions and attitude in Yiddish comes to be, and then how better to use it in the little bit that I know or remember. It wasn't easy to read straight through, although I'm glad I forced myself to do it mostly at once, but very fun to read in pieces.
May 16, 2017 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great guide to, not only vocabulary, but contemporary usage! You'll learn how to complain about anyone and anything in Yiddish.
Feb 13, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
The author/reader's voice was very annoying. But if you can eventually overlooked it, you can hear some of the humor. Most of it comes in the examples. An example was a conversation that he imagined that Saul Bellow had with his father when he won the Publitizer Prize. Or another explanation of the Evil Eye and a mother whose daughter has won two Nobel Prizes-one for Economics and one for Home Economics. One thing that threw me is that his list for "common diseases" includes chlorea, diptheria, ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Martin added it
Michael Wex has helped me rediscover my Joy for Yiddish. His first book, "Born to Kvetch" gave the history of Yiddish, while this book reads a lot like a "Yiddish for Dummies" book. As a matter of fact, if I could find a book on Hebrew written in this style, I might actually finally learn the language. This book is quite funny and surprisingly potty-mouthed, so a flag of caution there. Actually, the heck with caution, try it this book speCIFically for the "leeb mit tren" chapter. :-)
Sara Cat
Sep 01, 2012 Sara Cat rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
Same idea as his first book, but a little less funny.
Sep 13, 2011 Joanne rated it really liked it
Fun and informative. I figured out what my grandmother was saying all those years ago when I pestered her. "Go sleep on the ocean."
Apr 06, 2013 Gayle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, kindle
It was a hard read, even with howbmuch I wanted to. Also, reading the word "niggardly" in a book written in 2007 rubs me the wrong way...say what you will, its just my two cents.
Dec 27, 2011 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting book of expressions,
subtleties of shmuk, shlemiel, shmeggedeh, shmendrik, shlemazel etc etc etc
Oct 11, 2011 Lynnnadeau rated it really liked it
expressive, worth thinking about, .. .
Dec 01, 2008 Leila rated it it was amazing
thoroughly entertaining with good insight into the psyche of the yiddish speaker. Easy phrases to adopt. loved it!
Helpful and humorous guide to knowing just when and how to utter the right turn of phrase for most social situations.
Apr 07, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Kind of wish I did this one on tape! Very funny nonetheless, and I really enjoyed trying some of these out with my parents and grandparents!
Feb 09, 2013 Mark rated it liked it
May 05, 2012 Renee rated it it was amazing
A Christmas book...and what a nice present. Smiles all around.
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May 11, 2012
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Dec 02, 2009
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Nov 28, 2015
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Jessica D. rated it it was ok
Nov 07, 2009
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Michael Wex is a novelist, professor, translator (including the only Yiddish translation of The Threepenny Opera ), and performer (of stand-up and one person shows). He has been hailed as a Yiddish national treasure and is one of the leading lights in the current revival of Yiddish, lecturing widely on Yiddish and Jewish culture. He lives in Toronto.
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