Yiddish July 12

Sitzfleisch (SIHTS-flysh)

Meaning: The ability to sit at a task seemingly forever

• “I can’t imagine having the sitzfleisch to wade through a 900-page novel.”

• “You left after only 10 minutes? Well, you simply don’t have any sitzfleisch.”

• “Sitzfleisch is the old term for the capacity to win chess games by outsitting your opponent rather than outplaying him, or ‘winning at chess by use of the gluteal muscles.’” (bit.ly/2YGuAlq)

• “So many don’t have the sitzfleisch to read ‘War and Peace’ or for Wagner’s ‘Ring.’ America’s national sitzfleisch has been in serious decline for decades. We may have run out.” (parkwestcameraclub.org) 

• “The earliest citation for Sitzfleisch in the Oxford English Dictionary is dated 1932 (“The Lovely Lady” by D.H. Lawrence) but we happen to be able to quote an even earlier occurrence of the word on page 113 of the December 1881 “Chess Monthly,” ‘It is sitzfleisch that decides a game.’” (bit.ly/2FV4vb6)

Shaker Heights resident Harold Ticktin prepares “Yiddish Vinkl” for the Cleveland Jewish News.

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