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L.A. Times "Palm Latitudes" section

October 18, 1992

L.A. Speak, P. 10


A selection of Yiddish idioms that spice up the power language of Hollywood

By Noë Gold

Illustrated by Paul Corio


I am finally publishing the "Yiddish Glossary for Goyim" as an E-Book. Some limited pre-publication hard copies are available now. 30 pages with illustrations in perfect condition, this edition is very rare. Please don't hesitate to email if you have any inquiries regarding this item:


This was the first publication of an excerpt from my "Yiddish Glossary for Goyim"


The Power Schmoozer's Guide

to Hollywood


… an underground literary sensation that was making the rounds in LA when I was the editor of a magazine called Movies USA. It consisted of a "Yiddishism," or phrase, with the pronunciation in parens, followed by a sentence using that phrase in the Hollywood vernacular. The LA Times used a handful of these, such as ...


schmutz (shmootz) dirt

"Hey, Arsenio, you got some schmutz on your lapel."


and this set piece from the book, which they chose to illustrate …


shlemazel (shleh-mah-zell) one who has no luck

"The definition of a shlemazel is a patron of a restaurant who has soup spilled on him..."


shlemiel (shleh-meel) one who is to be pitied; hopeless

"...and the shlemiel is the waiter who pours the soup on his customer."


see also shmendrick below:

"What's the difference between a Shlemazel, a Shlemiel and a Shmendrick?

A Shlemiel spills the soup.

A Shlemazel gets the soup spilled on him.

And a Shmendrick asks, "What kind of soup was it?"


shmendrick (sh'mehn-drick) just another forlorn guy

"You think this guy is a player, but I have it on good authority that he is just a bottom-feeding shmendrick."



Here's the shpiel:


Yiddish Glossary for Goyim

You might tell your friends that the hard copy (ISBN for the HARD COPY edition: 978-0-9882322-5-9) is available direct from the author at as follows:

Yiddish Glossary for Goyim

x pre-publication copies: $12/per + $4 s&h = $xx


We are live! On Spread the word:




You don't have to be Jewish to like this book. As one wag said, "A copy should be required reading for every music business seminar and filmmaking class in America so guys like me (read Catholic-raised!!) don't have to take nearly 40 years to figure out what everybody's talking about."


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