Just Say Nu
Just Say Nu
Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won't Do)
By Michael Wex
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061657320, 304pp.
Publication Date: September 9, 2008
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.
“More than just a dictionary, Wex’s book waxes on the possible Biblical origins of certain phrases and offers useful phrases as well. Wex’s 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.”
“All the wonderful elements of Yiddish language and culture are represented here. Highly recommended”
“So you enjoyed Michael Wex’s 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]t’s a delight.”