Synopses & Reviews
A cross between Henry Beard's Latin for All Occasions and Ben Schott's Schott's Original Miscellany, JUST SAY NU is a practical guide to using Yiddish words and expressions in day-to-day situations. Along with enough grammar to enable readers to put together a comprehensible sentence and avoid embarrassing mistakes, Wex also explains the five most useful Yiddish words-shoyn, nu, epes, takeh, and nebakh-what they mean, how and when to use them, and how they can be used to conduct an entire conversation without anybody ever suspecting that the reader doesn't have the vaguest idea of what anyone is actually saying. Readers will learn how to shmooze their way through such activities as meeting and greeting; eating and drinking; praising and finding fault; maintaining personal hygiene; going to the doctor; driving; parenting; getting horoscopes; committing crimes; going to singles bars; having sex; talking politics and talking trash.Now that Stephen Colbert, a Catholic from South Carolina and host of the Colbert Report, is using Yiddish to wish viewers a bright and happy Chanukah, people have finally started to realize that there's nothing in the world that can't be improved by translating it into Yiddish. Wex's JUST SAY NU is the book that's going to show them how.
“So you enjoyed Michael Wexs Born to Kvetch, a North American introduction to Yiddish…? Even if you have no social connection with the haredi Ashkenazic community, you will probably also enjoy Just Say Nu - Yiddish for Every Occasion…. [I]ts a delight.” Jerusalem Post
“More than just a dictionary, Wexs book waxes on the possible Biblical origins of certain phrases and offers useful phrases as well. Wexs parents must be kvelling.” New York Post
“This treasure trove of linguistics, sociology, history and folklore offers a fascinating look at how, through the centuries, a unique and enduring language has reflected an equally unique and enduring culture.” Publishers Weekly
“All the wonderful elements of Yiddish language and culture are represented here. Highly recommended” Library Journal
In his New York Times
bestseller, Born to Kvetch
, author Michael Wex led readers on a hilariously edifying excursion through Yiddish culture and history. With Just Say Nu
, he shows us how to use this remarkable language to spice up conversations, stories, presentations, arguments, and more, when plain English will not suffice (including, of course, lots of delightful historical and cultural side trips along the way).
There is, quite simply, nothing in the world that can't be improved by being translated into Yiddish. With Just Say Nu, readers will learn how to shmooze their way through meeting and greeting, eating and drinking, praising and finding fault, maintaining personal hygiene, parenting, going to the doctor, committing crimes, going to singles bars, having sex, talking politics, talking trash, and a host of other mundane activities. Here also is a healthy schmear of optional grammar and the five most useful Yiddish words—what they mean, and how and when to use them in an entire conversation without anybody suspecting you don't have the vaguest idea about what you're actually saying.
About the Author
Michael Wex is a novelist, a professor, a translator, a lecturer, and a performer of stand-up and one-person shows. Wex has been hailed as "a Yiddish national treasure" and is one of the leading lights in the current revival of Yiddish, speaking widely on Yiddish and Jewish culture. He lives in Toronto.