Yiddish Vinkl for February 5

Shvach (shvahch- with guttural ch)

Meaning: Weak, weary, exhausted; bland, insubstantial, unremarkable

• “The soup needs salt or something; it’s very shvach.” (bit.ly/2MriTOF)

• “For me, being Jewish means also knowing the best place to get bagels in London, and arguing about it at length. It is delighting in the right to use Yiddish words like shvitzing (sweating), schlepping nachus (taking pride) and shvach (weary).” ( bit.ly/3timpvf)

• “Anything can be described as ‘shvach’ but when applied to a person it means not just physically weak, but spineless, flimsy, pathetic.” (“The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia,” by Stephanie Butnick, Liel Leibovitz et al., copyright Oct. 1, 2019 by Tablet magazine)

• “He flew down on a nonscheduled airline. You never did see such a pale (shvach) looking man. I recognized him from his receding hairline (kherleyn). He recognized me from mein beautiful tan.” (From an Allen Sherman poem on inviting a friend to Miami, haruth.com)


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

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