Yiddish Vinkl for October 23

Umet (OOM-et)

Meaning: sadness

• (On idiosyncrasies of Yiddish vocabulary): “Words dealing with emotions seem to have a much wider range than they do in English: “words like umet come up again and again, which can be translated variously – from ‘disappointed’ to ‘devastated’ depending on context.” (Taytsh-Rope Walking: The Occupational Hazards of Yiddish Translation, July 11, 2014; ngeveb.org/texts)

• “Umet un benkshaft un enlikhes”/Sadness and yearning and other such things” (Title of 1947 love song; bit.ly/352Ttft)

• “Geto! Dikh fargesn, vel ikh keyn mol nit! Eykhe – iz dayn hartsike, dayn troyerike lid. Kh’ze do dayne trern, dayn umet un dayn payn.”/“To forget you, Ghetto I cannot. Lamentation is your sorry lot. I see your tears, your anguish and your pain.” (Lines from poem by Kazriel Broydo who was featured in the columns of the Forverts devoted to Pearls of Yiddish Poetry. “Broydo was the embodiment of the spirit of Vilna. He assembled and performed every song in the ghetto;” see bit.ly/31dA8aj)


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

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