Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yiddish Word of the Day

A few generations ago (our grandparents and great-grandparents*) there were largely yiddish speaking immigrants. by the time they had grandkids (our parents generation) there were lots of new social trends for which they did not have good language.

among the trends was that the youth frequently lived with people who to whom they were not engaged. people brought folks to family events who had relationship statuses that were not part of the way things were defined in the old country.

my sister's good friend anna s-f told us that apparently language evolved to include these live-in-not-fiances. they began to be called di/der fregnisht, literally meaning "the don't-ask". i love it. what a fantastic word.

Frannie, who is that guy with your son? "he is the fregnisht".


*i never heard any of my grandparents speak yiddish. my mom's parents were second generation american and spoke english almost exclusively. my father's parents speak german occasionally and never spoke yiddish even in germany.

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