Jewish as a Second Language

Front Cover
Workman Publishing, 1991 - Humor - 125 pages
1 Review
Now bigger, better, and with more guilt: a completely revised, updated, and expanded second edition (would it hurt to have a little more?) of Jewish as a Second Language, the hilarious field guide to Jewish language and culture.

Written to help her Gentile husband and others like him who fall for believing a Jewish mother-in-law when she says, "Don't bother driving me, I'll take a cab," Jewish as a Second Language shows how to be one of the family--how to worry, how to interrupt, how to change your hotel room. It's not Yiddish. Though non-Jews can endear themselves by learning how to mis-use words like schmendrick and schmatta--providing both laughs and confirmation of Jewish superiority--this Jewish language is about the complex twists and somersaults of everyday speech, of unexpected nuances, hidden meanings, and swampy thickets of behavior, of wins, losses, and draws in competitions you never knew you entered. It's about the most common OAQs (obsessive anal questions): "This mole looks okay, doesn't it?" "Can Saltines go bad?" "They'll de-ice the wings before takeoff, right?" The Four Basic Shrugs. Acronyms never to use again: NASCAR, STD, and MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, the potentially deadly skin virus that's spread by contact, and also by talking about it casually). The things non-Jews do for fun and what Jews do: Contra dance/Contradict, Read the comics/Read the obituaries, Get your boobs done/Get your taxes done. Stuff never found in a Jewish home (trout flies, a lineoleum knife, a Lay-Z-Boy, a rottweiler) or mouth (Miracle Whip, marshmallow fluff, Bud).

So you'll sit, you'll read, you'll laugh until you're nauseous. It's a nice book.


 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bfertig - LibraryThing

Definitely amusing. Can be either a quick read or just pick up a page at a time. A great gift for any non-Jew marrying (or even seriously dating) a Jew. Some things relate to a more older crowd than others, but still, most things resonate well. Read full review

Contents

Developing Jewish Conversational Skills
13
How to Identify a Good Conversation
15
Where to Converse
17
11 Ways Not to Start a Conversation with a Jewish Person
19
Conversational Strategy
20
Telephone Conversation
22
Body Language
24
Understanding Jewish Chitchat
26
Building Your New Jewish Economic Perspective
81
Money
83
The Job
84
Occupational Logistics and Strategy
86
Networking
90
Consumerism
91
Raising Your Jewish Child
93
Naming Your Children
94

Decoration
31
Your Jewish Kitchen
34
17 Items You Wont See in a Jewish Home
37
Visiting Someones Home
38
Worrying
47
Vacationing
49
Sports
51
Other LeisureTime Activities
52
Weekend Fun
55
Having People Over
56
The Politics of Entertaining
58
Gifts
61
Your New Jewish Body
63
Feeding Your New Jewish Stomach
65
Caring for the Rest of Your New Jewish Body
70
Death
79
The Psychology of ChildRaising
96
Education
98
Your Childs Future
100
When Your Child Is Ready to Marry
102
Meeting the Prospective InLaws
103
The Wedding
105
Joining in the Customs of Your New Jewish Family
109
The Buying of the Suit
111
The Returning of the Suit
112
The Swimmers Miracle
113
The Collections
114
Eating Out
115
Readiness Test
121
The Test
123
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Molly Katz, author of humorous romance novels, psychological thrillers, and magazine and newspaper articles, is also a former stand-up comedian. She enjoys dancing, cooking, and traveling to places no sane person would go.

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