Thursday, January 15, 2015

Yiddish Expressions 2.17

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What do you say to someone that speaks nonsense, babbles on and on, drive someone crazy by talking, goes on and on without coming up for air in Yiddish

מה אומרים לאחד שמדבר שטויות, או שמפטפט, מברבר, מלהג, אומר דברי הבל עד כדי כאב ראש, בעברית שלקוח מיידיש

האַק מיר נישט קײַן טשײַניק*

hak mir nit kayn tshaynik*

don't knock a teakettle at me*
(stop bothering me!)

אל תקשקש בקומקום*

*Hakn a tshaynik (literally "to knock a teakettle”;), meaning to rattle on loudly and insistently, but without any meaning, is a widely used Yiddish idiomatic phrase.It is most often used in the negative imperative sense: Hak mir nisht keyn tshaynik! (literally "Don't knock a teakettle at me!"; Yiddish:), in the sense of "Stop bothering me!".
Aside from the metaphor of the subject of the epithet, making meaningless noise as if he/she were banging on a teakettle, the phrase gains from the imagery of the lid of a teakettle full of boiling water "moving up and down, banging against the kettle like ajaw in full flap, clanging and banging and signifying nothing"; ironically, the less the contents, the louder and more annoying the noise.

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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