#atozchallenge: Yinglish

Yinglish =
Yiddish + English


Remember these commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

The same thing happens when languages collide: there’s some transfer of words, phrases, and expressions between the two languages. In the case of Yinglish, this would be Yiddish speakers with the English language and vice versa. Lots of words and expressions have crossed over from Yiddish into English, such as bagel, shlemiel, oy gevalt, mazel tov, and yenta. Expressions like, “what am I, a doctor?”, “on you, it looks good,” and “all right, already!” maintain the Yiddish word order, but use the English words. And some words have crossed over from English and become part of the Yiddish language. Leo Rosten, who wrote the book The Joys of Yinglish, calls those words Ameridish, a portmanteau of American and Yiddish.

You see other portmanteaus to describe the combinations of other languages with English…

Spanglish: Spanish and English
Franglish: French and English
Hinglish: Hindi and English
Denglish: German (Deutsch) and English
Dunglish: Dutch and English
Chinglish: Chinese and English


English is a mutt of a language anyway, based in Anglo-Saxon and borrowing words from Latin, Greek, Arabic, Gaelic, and practically all the other languages on earth. This should come as no surprise. There are those who believe that languages should be pure and exhibit very little influence of other languages. I’m not sure that’s possible, or desirable. What do you think?


5 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Yinglish

  1. At this point, I don’t think a pure language is ever possible again. Too many words cross over. Languages evolve and change constantly. Look at the words Geoffrey Chauher wrote back in the day. He wrote in English and yet we still need a translation if we are to read his works. As languages evolve, so they shall continue to steal words from other languages.


  2. I don’t mind a mix of words, BUT, it really gets me when people who live in this country do not learn to speak our language. If I was going to live in another country, I would learn that language. GRRR. All right, Already! Happy Friday to you.


    1. Some people would argue that there is no official language in the United States, and have fought hard to keep it that way… I agree, people who come to the US need to learn the language, if for no other reason than self-defense.


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