HOORAY FOR YIDDISH! by Leo Rosten

HOORAY FOR YIDDISH!

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A pseudo-dictionary sequel, of course, to The Joys of Yiddish--with the emphasis now not so much on actual Yiddish vocabulary as on ""Yinglish"": turns-of-phrase, syntactical devices, matters of emphasis and delivery. Thus, while you will find such predictable items (many of them partial repeaters from Joys) as ""oy"" or ""mazel,"" you'll probably be more amused--if less genuinely enlightened--by entries like ""Echoing a question to maximize indignation. . . without stressing so much as a syllable."" (You'll find this between ""Eat your heart out"" and ""Enjoy!"") And, to an even greater extent than before, Rosten illustrates each linguistic delight with jokes--many of which were already senior citizens when he told them in Joys. (Again with the one about the waiter and the soup-spoon?) True, purists will argue that some of the wordings here--boo-boo, chairlady, Big Deal!--are only ""Yinglish"" by a Rosten-ian stretch of the imagination. And a few are put in here simply because they lead to a joke or a piece of highly marginal information. But, if not even a half-serious reference book, this actually makes for much juicier browsing than The Joys of Yiddish--from ""appetizing"" (as a noun yet!) to ""you should excuse the expression,"" with a wealth of amusement, oddity, and fancy-shmancy etymology in between.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 1982
Publisher: Simon & Schuster