[lit-ideas] Re: A biseleh

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 09:00:05 -0400

Hi Julie,
A repl(a)y from 2003...

I went to google to find a definition and , as I had recently installed Google desktop, it informed me that I had a definition stored on my computer. Voila....

Ignoring St. Augustine to fish for this...and adding her sympathy

Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 14:36:45 -0400
From: N Miller <nmiller@xxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:nmiller@xxxxxxxxxxxx>>
Subject: Re: bupkis? bupkes? please help!!!!

Alison: Here are the facts.

First of all, if you really want to spell the word so that it conforms to the
standard (YIVO) transcription from the Yiddish, you should be writing
'bobkes'. I was trying to help only with respect to the es/is question but
now you know the whole truth.

Bobke is a Slavic borrowing (e.g. Polish bobek) and means dung. It is so
defined and so spelled by Harkavy and recently by Niborski in his marvelous
Yiddish-French dictionary. Both lexicographers also give bobkes! (not found
in my Polish-English dictionary) defined as 'nonsense' by Harkavy and
'balivernes' by Niborski.

But while Yiddish borrows many words from the Slavic (paskudnyak, khaligan,
bolshevik) it invariably (I think) forms the plural to conform with Germanic
usage (paskudnyakes, etc.).
Yiddish would never have bobki. And of course only those with inadequate
knowledge of the language would form a plural with '-is'.

Yiddish, like Russian, is spelled phonetically. All letters are always
pronounced the same. The o in bobke always rhymes with the o in love.

I hope this doesn't come too late.

Norman Miller

JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx wrote:

How you guys pull stuff like this off the cuff is beyond me. I love it -- made me smile (chuckling is out of the question for a bit). (But would you mind interpreting the word "bobkes"? Julie Krueger

========Original Message========
Subj: *[lit-ideas] Re: A biseleh*
Date: 7/27/05 12:39:01 A.M. Central Daylight Time
From: ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent on:

Half way back to normal comes the stare, and I sit, there is no other stare quite like it. My current fear of carpets is neither up nor down, for want of information, I sometimes wear a frown. I know were I in combat, I'd merely shrug and sigh, but here, re. the freeway, for an eye one thinks an eye. Cousin Job says I should know how much to ask for bumps, but actually we endure, split our bobkes from our lumps.

David Ritchie
sending sympathy from
Portland, Oregon
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