Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary

Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary

Edited by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath and Paul Glasser
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/20/2016
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02282-0
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League of Yiddish


Winner, 2016 Judaica Reference and Bibliography Award

Choice 2017 Outstanding Academic Title

Containing nearly 50,000 entries and 33,000 subentries, the Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary emphasizes Yiddish as a living language that is spoken in many places around the world. The late Mordkhe Schaechter collected and researched spoken and literary Yiddish in all its varieties and this landmark dictionary reflects his vision for present-day and future Yiddish usage. The richness of dialect differences and historical developments are noted in entries ranging from "agriculture" to "zoology" and include words and expressions that can be found in classic and contemporary literature, newspapers, and other sources of the written word and have long been used by professionals and tradesmen, in synagogues, at home, in intimate life, and wherever Yiddish-speaking Jews have lived and worked.

Author Bio

Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath is Yiddish language editor for Afn shvel magazine and a published poet whose works include Plutsemdiker Regn/Sudden Rain. She worked with her father Mordkhe Schaechter on his numerous Yiddish publications, including collaborating with him in compiling this dictionary.

Paul Glasser is former Dean of the Max Weinreich Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He spent many years working with Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter as a student and colleague.


“This dictionary, twice as large as the best Yiddish dictionary we currently have in English, represents a major milestone in the history of Yiddish lexicography--the culmination of Mordkhe Schaechter's lifetime devotion to collecting and coining Yiddish words.”
 — Leyzer Burko, Forward

““A monumental achievement based on a life-time of labor by Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, the greatest Yiddish lexicographer in modern times, and edited by his closest students. This dictionary will be indispensible to those who study, speak and write Yiddish. Never again will mockers and scoffers be able to say ‘there is no word for that in Yiddish’.””
 — David E. Fishman, Professor of History, Jewish Theological Seminary of America

“One problem for many people speaking Yiddish in the new millennium . . . is the lack of a reliable dictionary providing the Yiddish translation for words and phrases commonly used today. How do we say speakerphone in Yiddish? Panic attack? In the buff? Thankfully, the Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary . . . is now helping to fill the gaps. Based on the lexical research of Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter . . . the 800-page dictionary is becoming the go-to book for anyone looking for a response to this question: How do you say it in Yiddish?”

“The first full-fledged English-to-Yiddish dictionary in 50 years, and it is designed to carry Yiddish into the 21st century. ”
 — New York Times

“An important lexical source into the spoken and written world of Yiddish.2017”
 — American Reference Book Annual

“This dictionary is clearly an important linguistic tool for an array of academic or lay users. It is also a loving and competently done tribute to its initiator.”
 — Quaderni di Semantica

“With this new monument to Jewish stamina and creativity, you can write a learned article, seduce a lover, discuss your taxes, yell at your child, pray with intention or steal from your grandmother. Or do it all: Just gvald geshrign (for God’s sake), do it in Yiddish.”
 — Moment

“The Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary is a must have resource for students of Yiddish, Yiddish speakers, and researchers.”
 — The Jewish Eye

“The editors are to be congratulated on the care and quality of their work in compiling and editing what will be the standard English-Yiddish dictionary for decades to come. Essential.”
 — Choice

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