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'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!"