Anglish/Yinglish: Yiddish in American life and literature

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University of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Humor - 164 pages
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Writers have celebrated the fruitful dialogue between English and Yiddish for decades. In this engrossing lexicon, Gene Bluestein reveals the full extent of that dialogue, introducing “Anglish, or Anglicized Yiddish, in which a Yiddish word is integrated into English usage, as in ‘shmo’and ‘shmoozing’; and Yinglish, or Yiddishized English, in which an English word is integrated into Yiddish usage, as in ‘allrightnik,’ or the expression ‘a Heifitz he isn’t.’” Bluestein’s insights into and examples of countless Yiddish expressions that have made their way into American English are fascinating and delightful. They vividly remind us of the multiculturalism of the American language and of the nation itself. The lexicon can be read selectively, like a dictionary, or straight through, as an informative and entertaining romp through a sumptuous linguistic tradition. Everywhere are the words of some of America’s most distinctive voices—Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Grace Paley, Philip Roth, Joseph Heller, and countless others. This greatly expanded and updated second edition of Anglish/Yinglish is a splendid guide to the ways Yiddish has permeated and transformed the American language.

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About the author (1998)

Gene Bluestein is a professor emeritus of English at California State University at Fresno. He is author of Poplore: Folk and Pop in American Culture.

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