Yiddish Vinkl for October 15

Zay Gezunt (zye-ge-ZUNT)

Meaning: goodbye

• “Zay gezunt / be healthy’ is just one of many ways to say goodbye in Yiddish. Others: gei freilich/be happy; zah shtark/ be strong; guten nacht / good night, ‘and a gutn und auch a bissel geld und a shayne vayb/ wish you a good day and a little money and a beautiful wife.”

• “When a Jew says ‘goodbye,’ he never just says ‘goodbye,’ but also wishes ‘gezunt,’ which is health, and that you should be strong and able to plant trees, to put up buildings, to cross streets faster than anybody, to sit longer, to climb higher, and to dance better.” (bit.ly/3BkCjZT)

• “The proper parting expression is ‘zay gezúnt’ (be healthy) for individuals one is close to, and ‘zayt gezúnt’ for groups of people or respectfully to an individual. A slightly more idiomatic way of expressing this would be “zay mir gezúnt” (something more like ta-ta). The expression ‘zayt ir gezúnt,’ on the other hand, has the connotation of good riddance.” (bit.ly/3oHO88H)


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

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