Yiddish Words: Mamzer and Vantz #bessarabia


Ellen Korpi
 

This is a cultural question for those with Ukraine/Bessarabia roots. My
grandparents would lovingly call toddlers in the family: "mamzer" and "vantz". I
began using these terms for my grandchildren until I looked them up in a
Yiddish dictionary and saw they mean "illegitimate child" and "bedbug"
respectively. I am wondering if others grew up hearing these words and if
so, if someone can explain the cultural connotation of using these words
in an affectionate manner.

Ellen Korpi
Wellesley, MA

Mogilev, Kishenev, Orgeyev: TOBACK, STOLER

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