Glossary

A

A leben ahf dir!

You should live and be well!

Acquired hearing loss

People who were born with hearing and later lost some/all hearing. Also referred to as acquired profound hearing loss.

App

A self-contained software application or program designed to run on mobile devices (like smartphones or tablets) or web browsers.

Assisted living

Used in the private sector, assisted living applies to housing that provides short term rental options with care services for older people who can no longer live on their own at home but don't need 24-hour complex medical supervision. Other 'hotel' services such as cleaning, laundry, meals and hairdressing may also be provided.

Assistive technology

Assistive technologies are products and services that empower people with physical disabilities to lead more fulfilling lives.

Azoy vert dos kichel tzekrochen

Yiddish for the expression, "That's how the cookie crumbles."

B

Balabusta

A Yiddish term meaing mistress of the house, balabusta is considered a compliment to someone who is a terrific housekeeper. "She is some balabusta!" (Alternate spelling: baleboosteh.)

Balbatish

Quiet, respectable and well mannered.

Bloom syndrome

Bloom syndrome is an autosomal recessive condition characterised by poor growth, increased skin sensitivity to sunlight, frequent infections and a predisposition to certain cancers. The carrier frequency in the Ashkenazi Jewish population is approximately 1 in 100.

Bubba miseh

From Slavic origin, a bubba miseh is a Yiddish term that literally means a long story—an old wives’ tale. This story usually has dubious origins or is highly exaggerated.

Bubbie

Term of endearment/name for a Jewish grandmother. (Alternate spelling: bubbe or bubby.)

Bubeleh

Endearing term for anyone you like regardless of age.

Bupkis

Nothing. Something totally worthless. Literally, "beans".

Butchke

Chat, tete-a-tete, telling tales.

C

Chutzpah

Chutzpah is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. The Yiddish word derives from the Hebrew word ḥutspâ, meaning insolence, cheek or audacity.

Conductive hearing loss

This condition occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves through the outer ear, eardrum or middle ear. Although conductive hearing loss can occur in conjunction with sensorineural hearing loss, there are differences between the two conditions; conductive hearing loss can happen on its own as well.

D

Dementia

A condition that primarily affects people 65 and older, dementia is not a disease in itself—but a group of symptoms that may accompany a number of diseases that affect the brain. The most common of these is Alzheimer’s disease.

Domiciliary care

This is when a carer comes to your home to assist you with daily activities. It is another term for homecare.

Drai mir nit kain kop!

"Don't bother me!" (Literally, "Don't twist my head!")

E

eBook

An ebook is a book you read using an eBook reader (or eReader) or eBook app that you download onto your computer, smartphone or tablet.

End of life care

End of life care is that part of palliative care which should follow from the diagnosis of a patient entering the process of dying, whether or not he or she is already in receipt of palliative care.

Enschultig meir

Yiddish for, "Well excuuuuuuse ME!" (Can also be used in a non-sarcastic manner, depending on the tone of voice and situation.)

Extra-care housing

Used mainly by social rental sector providers for retirement housing with a high level of services and facilities, meals and personal care services. Extra-care housing is seen as an alternative to residential care. In addition to rental options, there are leasehold, mixed tenure, close care and mix model extra-care schemes.

F

Fantazyor

A man who builds castles in the air.

Farpitzed

To get all dressed up to the nines.

Farshlugginer

This Yiddish term refers to a mixed-up or shaken item. Generally indicates something of little or dubious value.

Feh

Fooey! It stinks; it's no good.

Fresser

A fresser is a person who likes to eat or snack, especially often or in large quantities.

G

Gai strasheh di vantzen

"You don't frighten me!" Literally means, "Go threaten the bed bugs!"

Gedempte flaysh

Yiddish term meaning mystery meat.

Gezinteh

A healthy person with a robust constitution and physique. This is also commonly used as the expression, in good health, after someone sneezes.

This word can also mean well and firmly constructed when applied to an inanimate object (according to Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish).

Global positioning system (GPS)

This is a space-based navigation system that provides location and time information anywhere where there is a clear line of sight to GPS satellites.

Goniff

Yiddish term for crook, thief, burglar, swindler or racketeer.

Guggle muggle

Yiddish term for a concoction made of warm milk and honey for sore throats.

H

Hashtag

A hashtag (or the pound sign, #) is used on social media (especially Twitter) to call attention to (or tag) specific words or phrases associated with a trending topic.

Hearing loops

A hearing loop is a special type of sound system that enhances the auditory experience for people with hearing aids and cochlear implants. The hearing loop provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting.

Hoben tsu zingen un tsu zogen

"Have no end of trouble." Literally means, "To sing and to talk."

Host du bie mir an avleh!

The Yiddish for the expression, "So I made a mistake. So what!"

I

In drerd mein gelt!

This Yiddish term means my money went down the drain, or literally, "My money went to burial in the earth, to hell."

Independent living and supported accommodation

Also known as sheltered housing (or retirement housing or retirement communities), independent and supported accommodation for rent is provided by local councils or housing associations that will each have their own allocation policy based on need. Retirement housing that’s available to buy is usually built by private developers. Often self-contained, some options will have a scheme manager (a warden) who lives on site or offsite, and all should provide 24-hour emergency help through an alarm system that provides additional support for residents. (Also see related terms, Extra-care housing and Very sheltered housing.)

K

K'vitsh

Shriek, scream, screech.

Kemfer

Fighter (usually for a cause).

Kibitzer

Yiddish term that means meddlesome spectator. It is frequently applied in games like chess or bridge when the commentary from an outsider can be distracting, especially in a competitive environment.

Kishkeh

Sausage shaped derma (beef intestine) which is stuffed with a mixture of flour, onions, salt, pepper and fat to keep it together; then it is boiled, roasted and sliced. It is a common ingredient to Ashkenazic version of cholent.

As a Yiddish term, it is also used to describe a person's innards, as in the sentence, "You sweat your kishkehs out to give your children a good education, and what thanks do you get?"

Kroivim

Relatives. (Alternate spellings: korvim, karov or korev.) 

Fun Wikipedia fact: Krovim Krovim was a television show that originally aired on the Israeli Educational Television channel in the years 1983-1986; it is known as the first Israeli sitcom.

M

Mamzerook

A naughty little boy.

Mashugga

Yiddish term meaning crazy.

Megillah

Yiddish term meaning a long story.

Ménière's disease

Also called endolymphatic hydrops, Ménière's disease can affect hearing and balance. It is characterised by episodes of vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss, which comes and goes for some time, alternating between ears, then becomes permanent.

Mentsh

Mentsh is a Yiddish term that applies to an honorable, decent person; a person who helps you when you need help.

N

Naches

Joy or gratification, especially from children.

Night sitting service

This service provides assistance for people who may need care throughout the evening. There are two types of night sitting service: waking (carers who are awake throughout the night to assist those who require more attention) or sleeping (carers who retire to a designated bedroom but are on call just in case assistance is necessary).

Nosh

Snack. Note: nosherie is snack food.

Nudnik

Pesty nagger or nuisance; a bore or an obnoxious person.

O

OCR

Abbreviation for optical character recognition (or reader), OCR is the mechanical or electronic conversion of images of typed, handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded text, whether from a scanned document, a photo of a document.

Oysgamitched

Tired to the point of complete exhaustion.

P

Palliative care

Palliative care is the care delivered by any health or social care professional to those living with—and dying from—any progressive and incurable disease. As well as controlling pain and other distressing symptoms, it is about helping patients and families face the emotional upset and practical problems of the situation, helping people to deal with spiritual questions which may arise from their illness and supporting families and friends in their bereavement. Note: End of life care is typically considered part of palliative care.

Pareve

Neutral food, neither milchidik (dairy) nor flaishidik (meat). (Alternate spelling: parveh.)

Pisk

Slang for mouth. Note: as an insult, it means a big mouth or a loudmouth. "Famakht dayn pisk" in Yiddish means, "Shut your mouth!" in English.

Plotz

To burst.

Pupik

Navel, belly button, gizzard, chicken stomachs.

"A gezunt dir in pupik" is a Yiddish blessing that means "Good health to your belly button."

R

Recce

The ​process of ​visiting and ​looking around a ​place in ​order to ​find out more ​information about it.

Retinitis pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a diverse group of inherited eye disorders that affect the retina. RP causes permanent changes to vision, but how much and how quickly can really vary from person to person.

S

Saykhel

Common sense. This word comes from Hebrew but is now more closely linked with Yiddish. Other spellings: seykhel, seychel and sechel.

Schmaltz

From the Yiddish, shmalts, meaning rendered (melted) animal fat; usually chicken fat. Schmaltz is used to make matzo balls. It can also have a figurative meaning, which is anything (especially a work of art) that is excessively sentimental, sappy or cheesy. 

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss associated with the inner ear or central processing centers of the brain. SNHL can be mild, moderate, severe, profound or total and mostly happens because of poor hair cell function. The hair cells may be abnormal at birth (due to genetics), or damaged during the lifetime (due to noise trauma and infection).

Shiva

Shiva is the seven day mourning period in Judaism for immediate family members (father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister and spouse). The ritual is referred to as "sitting shiva."

Shlep

Yiddish term meaning to drag, carry or haul, particularly unnecessary things, parcels or baggage; to go somewhere unwillingly or where you may be unwanted.

Shlimazel

Yiddish term for a luckless person or someone with perpetual bad luck. It is said that the shlemiel spills the soup on the shlimazel!

Note: The U.S. television programme Laverne and Shirley opened with the two main characters shouting the phrase, "Schlemiel, Shlimazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!"

Shlok

Apoplexy; a wretch, a miserable person; shoddy; shoddy merchandise.

Shlub

A jerk; a foolish, stupid or unknowing person who is considered second rate or inferior.

Shnorrer

A beggar who makes pretensions to respectability; sponger, a parasite.

Simcha

Definition 1. A party or joyous event. This can be anything from a wedding, to a bar/bat mitzvah, or even a birthday party.

Definition 2. A positive outlook on life. A person with a state of mind that both encompasses and radiates happiness, and who is able to impart that contentment onto others.

T

Tchotchkes

Yiddish term meaning little playthings, ornaments, bric-a-brac or toys.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a medical term to describe the perception of noise either in one ear, both ears or in the head, when there is no corresponding external sound. Most people with tinnitus describe it as a ‘ringing’ sound, but the sounds heard can vary from person to person.

Tsedrait

Generally means nutty, crazy, eccentric or screwy, but could also be synonymous with confused and mixed-up.

Tumel

Confusion, noise, uproar.

U

Usher Syndrome

Usher Syndrome is the most common condition that affects both hearing and vision. It occurs when people have both hearing loss and an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Usher Syndrome is a condition found mainly amongst Jewish people.

V

Verklempt

Yiddish term meaning extremely emotional or on the verge of tears. Alternate spelling: farklempt.

Note: The comedic character of Linda Richmond (portrayed by Mike Myers on the U.S. television programme Saturday Night Live), used this expression when she would become emotional. These outbursts frequently happened whenever a reference was made to Barbra Streisand, her favourite entertainer. See the Wikipedia entry for Coffee Talk for more about this character. Myers is also known as the voice of Shrek.

Very sheltered housing

Very sheltered housing is a term used in the private sector. It applies to housing that is designed to enable older people to retain their independence in their own home for as long as possible through the provision of meals, domestic assistance and 24/7 housekeeping staff cover. Also by some social sector providers for housing that is somewhere between traditional sheltered and modern extra care.

Y

Yenteh

Gabby, talkative woman; female blabbermouth. Alternate spelling: yente.

Yom Tov

The Hebrew language term Yom Tov (יום טוב) usually refers to the six Biblically mandated festival dates on which all activities prohibited on Shabbat are prohibited, except for some related to food preparation.

Z

Ziskeit

Sweetness or sweetheart, but can also be an endearing term used to describe a child.

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