YIDDISH — Word of the Day

August 1, 2014

So much to do.  It is a new month.  Let us celebrate by using a YIDDISH PHRASE.

What will it be? 




in a previous post, it was stated that in may religiions, the banyan tree is a sacred tree.  In many cultures, a man or a woman sits in silence under the banyan tree.

In Sanskrit, the banyan tree is so sacred that it is called Vat Vriksha.

And in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says:  “Of all the trees, I am the Banyan tree, and of the sages among the demigods, I am Narada.”

In my post, I say that it is better to think of the banyan tree as sacred rather than as a strangling tree.

          ZISA MOGLEN

          JULY 31, 2014



Sacred stories are told about the ageless Banyan Tree.  Merchants who were trading in India used to sit under the Banyan Tree.  They met their clients sitting down under the spreading tree. In the Gujarati language, banya means “grocer or merchant.”  By 1634. after the Portuguese used the word banya to refer to Hindu merchants, English writers described the tree where they sat>  It became known as the Banyan Tree.

With age, the thick woody trunks of the banyan tree became gnarled and tangled and so twisted that it is difficult to distinguish the main trunk from its lateral branches.

Beginning its life as a small fig tree, the banyan is the national tree of India.  The species Ficus benghalensis or the Indian banyan bears multiple fruit as it grows to maturity. Fruit-eating birds flock to the banyan tree.

Unfortunatelly, the banyan tree has been nicknamed “the strangler fig” because it may envelop the host tree and strangle others as it competes for the light in the forest.

Merchants who were trading in India used to sit under the Banyan ree 

YIDDISH word of the day: Flablunget…rhymes with PLUNGE IT!


Running around in circles like a chicken without a head?  Then, you are flablunget.  It rhymes with plunge it….fla blunge it! (Emphasis on the second syllable).

On the cover of Zisa Moglen’s book, “The Flablunget Chronicles,” there is a cartoon drawing of a chicken flapping its wings as if it is running. But the chicken has no head.  Yes, the headless chicken is flablunget.

Zisa Moglen’s book has many funny Yiddish phrases, short stories, poetry and of course, recipes. How can you be living in New York City and ignore the tasty treats of all five boroughs.  There are vegetarian recipes too and mango lassi, a perfect yogurt drink — cold and tasty on a hot summer day.



My friends on the farm tell me that a headless chicken can run around for as much as 20 minutes after its head has been severed.





BROOKLYN author asks: “What does FLABLUNGET mean?

“The Flablunget Chronicles” by Zisa Moglen

Short Stories, Poetry, Recipes and Yiddish Words

(See July 30th posting— Flablunget will be the Yiddish word of the day tomorrow).

BROOKLYN author asks:

Why does the book title contain a Yiddish word, Flablunget.


The author was a divorced single parent and there were days when she felt flablunget.  In many instances, Yiddish describes feelings better than any other language.  See Leo Rosten’s book, The Joys of Yiddish and also, Max Wetx, Born to Kvetch.



SCHTUPPA  (you can also spell it with an “h”)



It is late July or early August…..You are driving your daughter to her new college dormitory.  She is beginning her freshman year in college and she will be away from home.  As in the TV program MODERN FAMILY, you are concerned about your little girl who is growing up too fast.

Tell her to tell her boyfriend:  “No chuppa, no schtuppa.”

“What does that mean,” she asks.

My reply to my daughter: “It is like the old adage: “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk free?”

Advice:  Do NOT give the milk FREE!!!  Go to the chuppa first.


See: chuppa (also spelled chuppah)

I am writing two Yiddish words of the day today because I missed yesterday’s BLOG.




CHUPPAH– wedding canopy

In a Jewish marriage ceremony, there is a ritual under the chuppah.  The bride and the groom stand under the CHURRAH—- the wedding canopy.  The rabbi performs the ceremony and after the bride and the groom are officially married, a glass is broken to symbolize good luck and happiness.