Oy Vey Day genre: Tongue-In-Cheek


Oy Vey Day is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. It’s strictly lighthearted and meant to bring a smile or a chuckle. Strange as it may seem, even though I grew up in an Italian American Catholic home, I’ve always felt some kinship with Jewish culture and familial dynamics. Perhaps it’s the notion of guilt that both seem to embrace or perhaps it’s the numerous unique expressions and insightful conversational banter that is found in both Italian and Jewish cultures. Regardless, I’ve always had a curiosity for Jewish or Yiddish terminology. I have a few books that list many of these expressions and offer insight into their origin and meaning.

Today's posting is from Meshuggenary...Celebrating The World Of Yiddish, a book by Payson R. Stevens, Charles M. Levine, and Sol Steinmetz. The following are some of my favorite Yiddish proverbs and sayings that can be found in the book.

If a fool throws a stone in a well, ten wise ones can't get it out.

You recognize a donkey by the long ears, a fool by the long tongue.

From good to bad luck is a step; from bad to good luck is a mile.

Children and fools tell the truth.

One doesn't live because of youth; one doesn't die becuase of old age.

As long as one lives, one lives to see everything.

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when the son gives to his father, both weep.

Before marrying someone, be sure you know whom you may later divorce.

The tongue has no bones - but it can break them.

A person is born with clenched fists and dies with open hands.

Daniel DiRito | December 11, 2006 | 9:45 PM
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