Yiddish Vinkl for May 15

Freg Nit (FREHG-knit)

Meaning: Don’t ask

• Two Jews meet. One always asks about family. The other one says, “How come you never ask me ‘How’s business?’ The other says, ‘OK, how is business?’ and the response is ‘Freg nit’ (don’t ask).

• There’s a saying, “Freg nit bam klugen, freg bam genitten. Do not ask the wise man, ask the experienced one.” (bit.ly/2We9H2f ()

• “Freg nit dem royfe, freg dem khoyle / Do not ask the doctor, ask the patient”; A saying among Jews of Eastern Europe indicating that “while respected, the physician was not regarded as infallible” along with “the great confidence Jewish patients had in themselves as diagnosticians.” (John M. Efron, “Medicine and the German Jews: A History,” Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008, page 124)


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

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