HOW TO SPEAK YIDDISH
Presented as a public service by Henry Engineering!
This Guide to Studio Yiddish will help you communicate more effectively with non-technical people, since many engineering terms and situations can be translated into easily understandable Yiddish. It will also help you understand Mel Brooks movies.
BISSEL: a little bit, eg, 1 or 2 db. "The left channel is just a bissel too hot."
CHOZZERAI: [hoz-er-eye] junk, stuff, expensive options. "That new console cost us over 100 grand with all the chozzerai added on!"
FECOCKTEH: [feh-cock-teh] screwed up. "This fecockteh mic cable is intermittent!”
FUTZ: to fuss with. "Don't futz with that digital editor unless you know what you're doing!"
GEVALT!: all-purpose word of exasperation, often preceded by Oy! "Oy Gevalt! Our U-87 is missing!”
GONIF: a thief, crook, swindler. "What gonif swiped our U-87!?"
KVELL: bursting with pride. "Our record went platinum! The boss is kvelling over it!”
KVETCH: to complain or gripe unduly. "Stop kvetching...they'll never hear that 60Hz hum!"
MAVEN: an expert. "Olliie Berliner is quite a phonograph maven."
MEGILLAH: a big ordeal, rigamarole. "That remote broadcast from the Academy Awards was a huge megillah!"
MESHUGGENEH: [meh-shug-en-eh] a crazy person. “What meshuggeneh used AC extension cords for speaker wiring?!”
MISHEGOSS: [mish-eh-goss] absurdity, nonsense, something overly complicated. “That old Cook stereo record system was a big mishegoss that never worked very well.”
NOSH: a snack. “Don't nosh over the console...you'll spill crumbs into the faders!"
NU?: So? What else is new? "The computer's down again! Nu?"
NUDNICK: [nood-nick] a pest or bore. "That intern turned out to be a real nudnick."
ONGEPOTCHKET: [on-ge-potch-ket] thrown together without planning, overdone. "That ongepotchket emergency studio we thew together after the earthquake
never worked worth a damn!"
OY: general purpose expression that can be used everywhere. (See Gevalt.)
OY VAY: same as Oy, but more of it. (Lit: "Oh, woe!") "Oy vay, that mic’s pointed backwards!"
PLOTZ: to burst, or collapse in disbelief. "The GM's gonna plotz when he sees the cost to replace that burned-out cutterhead!"
POTCHKEH: [potch-keh] to futz, fiddle with, or repair. "I had to potchkeh with that CD player for over an hour before I got it to work!" (Also as a noun: a thing requiring futzing, repairing, etc.)
SCHLEMIEL: [shleh-meel] a fool or clumsy person. "That schlemiel ran out of gas on his way to the gig!”
SCHLEP: to drag, pull, lug. "You want me to schlep that Ampex 440 upstairs all by myself?!"
SHMALTZ: corny, mushy, sentimental. "Too much shmaltz ....pick up the tempo!"
SHMUCK: a jerk. "Hey schmuck, don't pull that patchcord out by yanking on the wire!"
SHNORR: to mooch or freeload. "That guy tried to shnorr a few extra dubs for free!"
SHPILKES: to be uneasy, get stressed out. "The monitor EQ is screwed up and the producer is getting shpilkes!"
SHPRITZ: to spray or squirt. "Shpritz some contact cleaner into that noisy pot."
SHVITZ: to sweat or perspire. "Shlepping that heavy Nagra in this heat is making me shvitz!"
TCHOCHKES: [choch-kez] bells & whistles, doo-dads; similar to chozzerai, but better quality.
TUCHIS: [tuk-is] rear end, butt. "Aligning that old multitrack was always big pain in the tuchis!"