Re: Milwaukee Yiddish #general

SHEILA TOFFELL <toffell@...>

I recently attended a production of Gluckel of Hamlin,at the Museum of
Jewish Heritage NYC, in which Adrienne Cooper, a leading Yiddish
performer, was taking part . After the performance there was a Q& A
session, and I asked her which genre of Yiddish was used, as I could not
understand much with my (admittedly) kitchen - sink Yiddish. She explained
that "Stage Yiddish" was usually Lithuanian Yiddish, so if you knew another
type, mine for example being >from Ukraine, it might be harder to
understand. This might have been why Rochelle's parents laughed at the

Sheila Toffell
Rochelle Nameroff <> wrote in message

I grew up in the midwest, too--Milwaukee, not Chicago. I was the child of
Russian Jews, if we're just using German, Russian, Polish, Litvak as
cultural dividers. And I always heard the "ah" pronunciation
(matzoh, challah, shiva, bubbe, shiksa, etc.).And my parents,those happy
consumers of Mickey Katz records, would make fun of the other
pronunciations. So I think it's not American localisms--those were
separate >from Yiddish. In school we were taught by our American teachers
to speak like newscasters; we were warned not to say "Chi-caw-gah" but
instead "Chi-caw-go!" But we also had something we called
"Milwaukee-talk," (pronounced "Mwakee-talk"), related to the German
influence on syntax: "throw me down >from the porch the keys" or "Look up
the street, the soldiers are coming down" or (my favorite) "I know your
name but I can't put you."

Rochelle Nameroff
Albany CA
Researching: NEMEROVSKY (Vinograd, Ukraine); POKRASS, POKRASSA (Rossava,

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