Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Somehow I Missed This (Dead Celebrity Of The Day)

Another TV staple from my youth has gone to that great network in the sky. Suzanne Pleshette died Saturday, and I didn't even know it until I saw a short tribute promo to her just now on TV Land. To me, she will forever be Emily on "The Bob Newhart Show" -- funny, sexy and just a little bit unknowable.

When I was a kid, my granddad used to open up the Macon Telegraph & News every day and go straight to the obituaries. One day I asked him why he did that, and he said, "So I can find out which one of my friends kicked the bucket."

The older I get, the more I feel like that. Seems like every week, some popular entertainer from my childhood dies. Getting older sucks.

Best of LOTD: Celeb Rage Dance Remix

I like to rerun this one every couple of months for anyone who might have missed it. Why? Because it's the best frickin' thing EVER. I wish I knew who created it.

Click the pic to hear a dance mix of Babs going off on a concert heckler. Rated R for language.

I just found this on Wikipedia

Under the "human body" listing. Who's Kenny Loggins waving to, ya think?

Movie Clip Of The Day

Classic scene, great movie. Directed by Tim Burton. The woman is Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira.

25 Yiddish Words You Should Know

An abridgement of this article on You'll know many of these words, but perhaps not their literal meanings or proper spellings.

Not a word for polite company. Bubkes or bobkes may be related to the Polish word for “beans”, but it really means “goat droppings” or “horse droppings.” It’s often used by American Jews for trivial, worthless, a ridiculously small amount. “After all the work I did, I got bupkes!”

chutzpah (or khutspe)
Nerve, extreme arrogance, brazen presumption. In English, chutzpah often
connotes courage or confidence, but among Yiddish speakers, it is not a compliment.

An expression of disgust or disapproval, representative of the sound of spitting.

A non-Jew, a Gentile. As in Hebrew, one Gentile is a goy, many Gentiles are goyim, the non-Jewish world in general is “the goyim.” Goyish is the adjective form. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich is goyish. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich on white bread is even more goyish.

In popular English, kvetch means “complain, whine or fret,” but in Yiddish, kvetsh literally means “to press or squeeze,” like a wrong-sized shoe. Reminds you of certain chronic complainers, doesn’t it? But it’s also used on Yiddish web pages for “click here."

Pronounced "meyven." An expert, often used sarcastically.

Mazel Tov
Literally “good luck,” (well, literally, “good constellation”) but it’s a congratulation for what just happened, not a hopeful wish for what might happen in the future. When someone gets married or has a child or graduates from college, this is what you say to them.

mentsh (or mensch)
An honorable, decent person, an authentic person, a person who helps you when you need help. Can be a man, woman or child.

Insanity or craziness. A meshugener is a crazy man. If you want to insult someone, you can ask them, ”Does it hurt to be crazy?”

It means family, as in “Relax, you’re mishpocheh. I’ll sell it to you at wholesale.”

nosh (or nash)
To nibble; a light snack, but you won’t be light if you don’t stop noshing.

oy vey
Exclamation of dismay, grief, or exasperation. The phrase “oy vey iz mir” means “Oh, woe is me.” Oy gevalt is like oy vey, but expresses fear, shock or amazement. When you realize you’re about to be hit by a car, this expression would be appropriate.

plotz (or plats)
Literally, to explode, as in aggravation. “Well, don’t plotz!” is similar to “Don’t have a stroke!” or “Don’t have a cow!” Also used in expressions such as, “Oy, am I tired; I just ran the four-minute mile. I could just plotz.” That is, collapse.

It means “deep peace,” and isn’t that a more meaningful greeting than “Hi, how are ya?”

A clumsy, inept person, similar to a klutz (also a Yiddish word). The kind of person who always spills his soup.

Someone with constant bad luck. When the shlemiel spills his soup, he probably spills it on the shlimazel. Fans of the TV sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” remember these two words from the Yiddish-American hopscotch chant that opened each show.

A jerk, a stupid person, popularized in "Welcome Back, Kotter."


Often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn’t use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy.

A long, involved sales pitch, as in, “I had to listen to his whole spiel before I found out what he really wanted.” From the German word for play.

A non-Jewish woman, often used derogatorily. It has the connotation of “young and beautiful,” so referring to a man’s Gentile wife or girlfriend as a shiksa implies that his primary attraction was her good looks. She is possibly blonde. A shagetz or sheygets means a non-Jewish boy, and has the connotation of a someone who is unruly, even violent.

shmutz (or shmuts)
Dirt - a little dirt, not serious grime.
If a little boy has shmutz on his face, and he likely will, his mother will quickly wipe it off. It can also mean dirty language. It’s not nice to talk shmutz about shmutz.

Something you’re known for doing, an entertainer’s routine, an actor’s bit, stage business; a gimmick often done to draw attention to yourself.

Or tshatshke. Knick-knack, little toy, collectible or giftware. It also appears in sentences such as, “My brother divorced his wife for some little tchatchke.” You can figure that one out.

Rear end, bottom, backside, buttocks. In proper Yiddish, it’s spelled tuchis or tuches or tokhis, and was the origin of the American slang word, "tush."


Female busybody or gossip. At one time, high-class parents gave this name to their girls (after all, it has the same root as “gentle”), but it gained the Yiddish meaning of “she-devil”. The matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof” was named Yente (and she certainly was a yente though maybe not very high-class), so many people mistakenly think that yente means matchmaker.


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