Friday, February 5, 2016

Yiddish Expressions 3.21

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Express It In Yiddish:
a stupid person, blockhead, without active intelligence, acts in a monotonous or routine manner, moron, clumsy, two left hands,
אדם טיפש, בלי אינטליגנציה אקטיבית, עושה כל דבר באופן מונוטוני או שגרתי, טמבל, שתי ידיים שמאליות, מביך תנועה, פעולה ללא מיומנות

אַ ליימענע גולם*
a leyme'ne goylem*
an artificially constructed form of a human being made of clay
גולם עשוי מחֵמָר

ליימענע הענט
leyme'ne hent
hands of clay
ידיים מחֵמָר

*In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being, magically created entirely from inanimate matter. The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material (usually out of stone and clay) in Psalms and medieval writing. 

Yiddish is rich with expressions. In fact, sometimes the same phrase can be said in a number of different ways. I try to bring the unique ones, where it is is not obvious from the literal translation what the expression means.

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