JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Toponymic Names and Judaeo-German #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

At 11:25 PM -0700 9/9/06, Jules Levin wrote:

==Judaeo-German developed out of Medieval German, which is in many ways akin
to the spoken language of today's inhabitants of small towns and villages in
Southern Germany, and to current Swiss and Alsatian dialects. To
this Germanic folk language, German Jews added many Hebrew words
reflecting the Jewish culture--Schabbes (Sabbath), Broches (blessings),
Chassne (wedding). They also introduced many Hebrew words into their
language to create a secret language not easily penetrated by their
Ganeff (thief), Pleite (bankruptcy) and also Die Ische (my wife),
Christian neighbors, customers or rivals: Das Bajis (my house),
Sus (horse), Behemes (cattle).
There has obviously been considerable influence of Yiddish on the
English language, especially in America -- but also in England. I
had assumed that the English slang term "copper" for a policeman came
from the Yiddish word khapper -- someone who khaps you (i.e.
grabs you or collars you). But it turns out, disappointingly, that
"to cop" was also North-country English slang for to catch or grab.
Wasn't khapper the Yiddish term for the police officer who went
around grabbing young Russian Jews off the street to enlist them in
the Czar's army?

Judith Romney Wegner

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