->''"If you live in New York, even if you're Catholic, you're Jewish."''
-->-- '''Creator/LennyBruce'''

This trope goes back quite a ways in American television, almost to the point of being a DeadHorseTrope, without passing through the stages of Clever Idea -> Trope -> SubvertedTrope -> DiscreditedTrope. (Mainly because its roots are another fifty years back, in vaudeville.) The characters -- some portrayed as being Jewish, [[AmbiguouslyJewish some not]] -- will pepper their dialogue with words and phrases in Yiddish (or more specifically, in Yinglish). Translations and subtitles are not provided, and meanings must be inferred from context. This occurs in both dramas and sitcoms, sometimes without regard to the setting city of the show, though it most often appears in shows set in [[BigApplesauce New York]], where it's most common in actual speech, and UsefulNotes/LosAngeles, where ''schmooze'' -- a Yiddish word if ever there was one -- is a way of life. The criminal argot of East End {{London Gangster}}s has also absorbed a few Yiddish words.

Thanks to this trope, however, several Yiddish terms have become a standard part of American English vernacular. Concentrated in large American cities and spreading out worldwide, common Yiddish terms like "putz," "schmooze," "WordSchmord," are slowly becoming standard English words. Even idioms that sound perfectly American, like "Eat your heart out" or "What's not to like?" are calques from Yiddish, still preserving the original Yiddish speech patterns. This trope evolved from the early movies and TV -- censors were aggressive in editing out curses, sexual references, etc. However, most of these early censors did not speak Yiddish, so the writers, actors, and producers ([[YouHaveToHaveJews who often did]]) used Yiddish curse words as a way of GettingCrapPastTheRadar. Similar linguistic absorption is observable in [[BritishAccents Cockney and related North London dialects]].

If a character speaks in Yiddish as sole proof of Jewish authenticity, then they may be practitioners of InformedJudaism. If a senior character has the accent as well, they're an AlterKocker.

Yiddish as a first language declined a lot over the 20th century - five million speakers were killed by the Nazis and those in other countries gradually switched to the local languages - many Jews arriving in Israel from 1948 onwards came from Arab countries where Yiddish was not used.

A rather interesting survey on the RealLife spread of Yiddish words and phrases, Hebrew words and phrases, and New York regional features, both within and outside of the Jewish community, can be found [[http://huc.edu/survey/09/ here.]]

Compare AllJewsAreAshkenazi, JewsLoveToArgue.

See AsLongAsItSoundsForeign, PardonMyKlingon, YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord.


* YiddishAsASecondLanguage/LiveActionTV
* YiddishAsASecondLanguage/RealLife


[[folder:Animefilmen (Anime)]]
* One episode of ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', about Nanami's [[EverythingsBetterWithCows transformation into a cow]], features the Yiddish folk song "Dona Dona," which is a popular song in Japanese schools. How they got it, no one knows. But pay attention to [[http://www.leoslyrics.com/listlyrics.php?hid=taNAEjhB28c%3D the lyrics]]...
** This song turned up in Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex, as well.
** And the manga of Manga/AhMyGoddess...
** And in the ''Manga/KareKano'' anime adaptation, when Maho gets forced into participating in the play, very much against her will.
* In the AbridgedSeries of ''[[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Ranma 1/2]], RanmaAbridged,'' Ryoga is Jewish. He often includes Yiddish in his lines, and his intro episode even had Yiddish-to-English subtitles on the Website/YouTube captions.

[[folder:Karikaturschurnaln (Comic Books)]]
* Franchise/{{Spider Man}}, particularly the Ultimate universe version, is fond of peppering his speech with random Yiddish, especially during fights -- despite the fact that he's Lutheran, not Jewish. But then, he's from New York City. In fact, his home neighborhood in Queens, Forest Hills, is ''very'' Jewish.
-->'''Mary Jane''': Where do you know Yiddish all of a sudden?
-->'''Peter''': I picked it up.
-->'''Mary Jane''': You should put it back.
** This is actually a habit of Creator/BrianMichaelBendis, who does it with everything he writes.
* The Thing from the ComicBook/FantasticFour ''is'' Jewish and often peppers his speech and battle banter with Yiddish words and phrases.
* Shaloman. All together now... "Oy vey!"
* ''ComicBook/{{Marville}}'' has ''hadrosaurs'' using the Hebrew word "mishbucha", ''during the Jurassic period''. If this strikes you as in any way coherent or logical, ''seek help''.

* One of the best examples is [[http://www.mahnishmah.com/system/scripts/modules/admin/pages/show_page.cgi?p=13241 this scene]] from the opening of the 1932 Creator/WarnerBros picture ''Taxi'', in which a Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrant is frustrated in his attempt to communicate with a policeman, until Cagney interrupts in fluent Yiddish to offer the man a lift. Supposedly, the scene was actually improvised, to [[TheCastShowoff take advantage]] of the fact that Irish-American actor JamesCagney had [[IrishmanAndAJew learnt Yiddish from his playmates]] while growing up in [[BigApplesauce New York City]]. The presence of the perplexed [[OfficerOHara Irish cop]] only makes it ten times funnier.
* Timon's mother (a meerkat) in Disney/TheLionKing 1 1/2.
* A wonderful instance appears in the film ''Film/AMightyWind'': Ed Begley Jr. plays Lars Olfen, a first-generation Swedish-American Public Television executive who nonetheless laces everything he says with a vast amount of Yiddish:
-->'''Lars Olfen:''' The ''naches''[[note]]joy[[/note]] that I'm feeling right now... 'cause your dad was like ''mishpoche''[[note]]family[[/note]] to me. When I heard I got these ticket to the Folksmen, I let out a ''[[{{Squee}} geshreeyeh]]''[[note]]squee[[/note]], and I'm running with my friend... running around like a ''vilde chaye''[[note]]wild beast[[/note]], right into the theater, in the front row! So we've got the ''shpilkes''[[note]]nervousness[[/note]], 'cause we're sittin' right there... and it's a mitzvah[[note]]good deed[[/note]], what your dad did, and I want to try to give that back to you. ''Okeinhoreh''[[note]]not the word he meant to use; ''alav hasholem'' means "rest in peace," this is more along the lines of "knock wood"[[/note]], I say, and God bless him.
* A common gag in Creator/MelBrooks films, usually doing them himself.
** The Yiddish-speaking Indian chief in ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. His headdress actually reads "Posher l'Kesach": roughly, "Posher for Kassover." When he meets Bart's family, he says in Yiddish, "Blacks!" When one of the other Indians raises his tomahawk, Brooks says, "No, no, don't be crazy. Let them go!" After Bart's family has ridden away, Brooks mutters, "Have you ever seen in your life?" He finishes in very Yiddish-accented English, "Dey darkuh den us! Wuff!"
** Creator/MelBrooks as Yogurt in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'' drops some Yiddish, such as, "The ring was bupkus!" Also, when about to translate the words on the medallion, he makes a bunch of croaking noises that are probably supposed to lampoon the fairly guttural sound of Yiddish. He's just clearing his throat.
** Rabbi Tuckman in ''RobinHoodMenInTights''.
*** Interestingly, the Englishmen he's talking to understand some Yiddish words.
--> '''Robin Hood''': You've just entered the territory of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
--> '''Rabbi Tuckman''': (''waves his hand'') Feygeles?
--> '''Robin Hood''': (''the Merry Men react negatively'') No, no, we're straight, just merry.
** Van Helsing in ''Film/DraculaDeadAndLovingIt''.
** A ThoseWackyNazis TakeThat [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu2NqfISm9k rap music video as Hitler]].
* Creator/EddieMurphy's urban conman running for Congress in ''Film/TheDistinguishedGentleman'' impresses a Jewish senior citizen by contradicting her in Yiddish, which he apparently picked up playing gin on Miami Beach. He is also shown driving through several neighborhoods while talking on a megaphone using an accent common to each neighborhood, including sounding like an [[AlterKocker old Jewish man]] with Yiddish-peppered sentences.
* London hood Don Logan in ''Film/SexyBeast'' uses a little Yiddish during a MirrorMonologue.
* ''Film/LockStockAndTwoSmokingBarrels'' pokes fun at London gangsters not realizing the origins of their slang when Tom assures Nick the Greek that a deal is "kosher as Christmas," to which Nick answers, "Jews don't celebrate Christmas!"
* An extended joke in the erotic thriller spoof ''Film/FatalInstinct'': the hero's wife and the man she is having an affair meet in a park to discuss murdering the hero. She suggests they speak in Yiddish and they both converse fluently for several minutes in the language before the elderly black man on the opposite bench interrupts with a helpful suggestion. ''He'' can't speak Yiddish but he can [[FunWithSubtitles "read subtitles"]].
* Both of the old comedians in ''The Sunshine Boys'' (played by Creator/GeorgeBurns and Creator/WalterMatthau) liberally use Yiddishisms. Both of them are veterans of the old BorschtBelt comedy circuit.
* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'', Judd Hirsch plays a Jewish man and drops a lot of Yiddish.
* Used by every Jewish adult in ''Film/ASeriousMan,'' and justified by that they are all conservative Jews in the late 60's.
* ''Film/TopSecret'' uses Yiddish dialogue and signage to stand in for [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign actual German]].
* In ''Robin and the Seven Hoods'', Frank Sinatra at one point feels like he's being noodged. "It's an old Italian word."
* In ''City Hall'', Mayor's aide John Cusack (who's supposed to come from Louisiana) mispronounces "schtick" as "stick", prompting Bridget Fonda to snap at him to "get the cornpone out of your Yiddish" if he's going to get anywhere in New York City politics.
* In ''MaryAndMax'' Max says a phrase in Yiddish whilst mailing a letter to his penpal Mary.
* Perhaps to lend Gotham City that BigApplesauce frisson, Max Shreck (ChristopherWalken) in ''BatmanReturns'' was [[AllThereInTheScript originally supposed]] to sprinkle a few Yiddishisms into his dialogue when speaking with the Penguin, Selina Kyle, and other characters. (Interestingly, Walken is from New York and actually does know some Yiddish.) A good example is (while consoling the Penguin about his failure to kill Batman) "So he survived. C'mon, be a ''mensch'' - stand it" (whereas in the finished film, the line is just "So he survived. What's the worry?"). He also was supposed to use the word ''goniffs'' ("thieves") in one scene in his office; and after tricking a circus monkey into giving him the keys to the cage in which the Penguin has him imprisoned in his hideout, he was supposed to say, "Thank you, you schmuck!" The screenwriters excised these lines probably because they feared that American audiences not living on the East Coast - not to mention foreign audiences - [[ViewersAreMorons wouldn't have a clue what Max was saying]].

* This abounds in the works of Creator/HarryTurtledove, most prominently in those sections of his ''World War'' series featuring the Russie family, and also in several sections of his American Empire trilogy. While what they say always fits with the meaning of the word, they are sometimes idiomatically incorrect -- no one would actually use the word the way the character does.
** [[FridgeBrilliance In an alternate universe, perhaps idioms developed differently...]]
* Creator/MichaelChabon's ''Literature/TheYiddishPolicemensUnion'', an AlternateHistory mystery featuring a Jewish refugee state in ''Alaska.'' Almost all the Jews who immigrated there are Ashkenazi and they interact with few outsiders, so Yiddish has been adopted as the standard language. There are even a few Yiddish/English puns, such as calling a handgun (a "piece") a "sholem," meaning "peace."
* [[Literature/VorkosiganSaga Miles Vorkosigan]] uses a noticeable amount of Yiddish words, despite living around 1000 years in the future. He ''is'' portrayed as having an above average knowledge of the past, but it's interesting that this part of a High German language of Jewish origin was preserved.
** Given that Barrayar had a huge Russian influence, and modern Russian can be compared with New-York English in its level of Yiddishisms, [[FridgeLogic it's not that surprising]].
* The classic science fiction short story "A Martian Odyssey" by Stanley G. Weinbaum includes a German engineer named Putz.
* Creator/EstherFriesner's novel ''Elf Defense'' includes among its minor characters a classic Tolkien/Shakespeare-style elf maiden whose speech is unexpectedly punctuated with the occasional bit of Yiddish. When called on it, she abashedly admits to dating a dybbuk (a possessing demon of Jewish myth).
* In respect to the influence of Yiddish on British criminal argot, this probably explains why a ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' character who was a LovableRogue ended up with the name Gonff (''goniff'' is Yiddish for thief). In a more general example, the phrase "keeping ''shtum''" (quiet in the sense of "not snitching") is much more likely to be heard from a LondonGangster character than a Jewish one.
* Creator/DashiellHammett used the word ''[[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gunsel gunsel]]'' in ''Literature/TheMalteseFalcon''. It was actually Yiddish for "a young man kept for sexual purposes", but he knew that his editor would [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar misinterpret it as "gun-carrying hoodlum"]]; and indeed, as a result, the word now means that!
* In ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' all of the golems' names are Yiddish; these names include Dorfl, Schmatta, and Klutz. The golem who goes mad is named Meshugah.
* In Creator/JohnMoore's FracturedFairyTale, ''Literature/TheUnhandsomePrince'', Rumplestiltskin never actually admits to being Jewish (in a world where antisemitism is definitely a real thing), but he seems to drop a lot of Yiddish into his conversation, and he becomes much more interested in Rapunzel when he finds some clues that ''she'' may be Jewish.
* In Primo Levi's Holocaust memoir ''Literature/IfThisIsAMan'', many of the Jews in Auschwitz overcome the LanguageBarrier by using Yiddish. A certain tension rises between Yiddish speakers (mainly Poles and other Eastern Europeans) and non-Yiddish speakers (mainly Western Europeans, such as the Italian author).
* Rivka's (Literature/TheSecondMango)unnamed native language contains several Yiddish words and phrases that she peppers her speech with.
* In Romain Gary's ''The Dance of Genghis Cohn'' this is due to the character in question being possessed by the title character/narrator, the ghost of a Jewish stand-up comedian.

* Series/AlienNation: Francisco and Sykes consult a doctor of Tenctonese medicine, who peppers his speech with Yiddish words.
* Howard's [[JewishMother mother]] in ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' often uses terms such as "ferkarkt" and "putz" in regular speech. She even taught Howard's (non-Jewish) fiancee Bernadette how to use the latter.
* In Series/{{ER}}, Dr. Greene is treating an elderly Jewish woman who says she needs a CT scan like she needs a "loch im kopf." (that's "a hole in the head" for the goyshe tropers) He responds that the CT is to make sure she doesn't have a "loch im kopf" and reveals that he is ancestrally Jewish, leading the woman to agree to the test.
* Series/{{MASH}}: During "Movie Tonight," the entire camp has been snapping at each other due to stress. Then Col. Potter announces there'll be [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a movie being shown that night.]]
-->'''Frank''': A movie! Won't that be great?
-->'''Hawkeye''': Oh, Frank, it's just a movie. ''[Frank leaves]'' Ohboyohboyohboy a movie! I'm so excited I could plotz!
* Grace (and her relatives) on ''WillAndGrace'', occasionally:
-->''(Will and Grace are arguing [[ItsAllAboutMe in the midst of Joe and Larry's wedding]])''
-->'''Will:''' You might as well be my wife.
-->'''Grace:''' What? "Marcus Welby's my wife"?
-->'''Will:''' No! You ''might as well be my wife,'' deaf-o.
-->'''Grace:''' I can't hear anything over that fakakta harp.

* The Music/WeirdAlYankovic song ''Pretty Fly for a Rabbi'' features Yiddish liberally sprinkled throughout the lyrics. When asked how he knew the Yiddish, Al replied: "A good percentage of my friends are Jewish, and most of those Yiddish words are fairly common usage -- [[YouHaveToHaveJews in the entertainment industry, anyway]]. Also, I bought several English-Yiddish dictionaries for reference."
** "Cavity Search" rhymes "x-ray" with "oy vey" and "The Plumbing Song" says to "call the mensch with a monkey wrench."
* Used liberally in the Music/{{Voltaire}} song "[[http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858742436/ Coin Operated Goi]]," a parody of [[Creator/AmandaPalmer The Dresden Dolls]]' song "Coin Operated Boy."
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe2UXccid40 "Bei Mir Bist Du Shein"]], a big hit for TheAndrewsSisters back in the day.
* Music/TheBlackEyedPeas: "I Gotta Feeling".
-->''Fill up your cup! (Drank!)''\\
''Mazel tov!''\\
* The Vaudeville song ([[OlderThanTheyThink later used in]] ''Film/ForbiddenZone'') [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6e4GqUMYh0 "Yiddishe Charleston"]].

[[folder:Internetkarikaturn (Web Comics)]]
* The Finkelsteins in ''Webcomic/TheSpecialists'' make use of Yiddish occasionally, such as in [[http://thespecialistscomic.com/page-9/ this breakfast conversation]].
* In one arc of ''Webcomic/SkinHorse'' Nick Zerhakker started swearing in Yiddish to bypass his profanity filter, but it adapted eventually.

[[folder:Meyreve Karikaturn (Western Animation)]]
* The Joker, in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries,'' often threw in a Yiddish word when searching for another adjective to drive his point home, although probably out of many Yiddish terms being InherentlyFunnyWords. Harley Quinn being Jewish, used plenty too.
* The [[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney version]] of ''Hercules'' managed to have ''Hades'' (and Phil) throw various Yiddishisms into his speech, despite ostensibly being from [[AnachronismStew ancient Greece.]]
** It's James Woods. [[LargeHam He can get away with that.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BrandyAndMrWhiskers'', Mr. Whiskers' [[OrganAutonomy brain]] speaks with a Yiddish accent. Whiskers himself does not. Whiskers appears to be capable of thinking on a Whiskers level without the aid of a brain (the plot of at least two episodes revolves around Whiskers' brain getting fed up with being ignored, and leaving), so maybe it's not so surprising.
* [[WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} Slappy Squirrel's]] eternal (And [[AlterKocker elderly]]) nemesis Walter Wolf speaks with a Yiddish accent and swears in Yiddish ''a lot''.
** Minerva Mink and Slappy herself are fond of the Yiddish insult "yutz", meaning "idiot".
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'''s John Zoidberg, from the [[SpaceJews Space Jew]] race of Decapodians: "Hello? Attack Earth! Yeah I know it's a schlep, just do it!" He also says "Mazel Tov".
* Irwin's grandfather from WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy is this, [[FridgeLogic even though he was an Egyptian pharaoh, and the Egyptians kept the Israelites as slaves.]]
* Larry of ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' often says "Oy vey!" when dismayed. Seeing as he was originally designed to be a polyglotic diplomat, this is rather appropriate.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'''s Alice Tompkins: "Honey, we have a saying back in Tennessee: 'Be a mensch, not a schmendrick.'"
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Krusty the Clown is fond of spouting Yiddish words, like ''ferkakta.'' Not very surprising, since Krusty is Jewish (his father Hyman Krustofsky is a rabbi).
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyDucks'' featured a wise old duck who taught Grin how to keep his head while playing hockey. At first, he looks and talks like a stereotypical Fu Manchu Chinese-type, but suddenly shifts into stereotypical Yiddish blabbering without any warning. Keep in mind, he's from another planet, in a ''different dimension''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', Harold is Jewish and once used the word "Kibitzer" Yiddish for a non-participant person, offering (often unwanted) advice or commentary. To describe Arnold's tendencies to butt in to other people's business. "Yutz" has also been used by a few characters in the series, mostly by Helga.

[[folder:Onhengerarbetn (Fan Works)]]
* Roleplay/DCNation's Sue Dibny peppers her dialogue with a few choice Yiddish phrases, but only if she is ''really'' ticked. Dr. Light wound up with a real earful before she and Constantine all but tossed his sorry hide out an airlock.

* Played with in ''Film/TheProducers'' (the musical), in "The King of Broadway."
--> '''Max Bialystock''': I'll never forget, he turned to me on his deathbed and said, "Maxella, alle menschen muss zu machen, jeden tug a gentzen pisch pippikachen!"\\
'''Crowd''': What does that mean?\\
'''Bialystock''': Who knows? I don't speak Yiddish. Strangely enough, neither did he.
::Even the NAZI speaks Yiddish in the musical.
--->"So ve hop our hops, Und ve clop our clops, Und ve drink our Schnapps 'Til ve plotz!"
* In ''Theatre/{{Fiorello}}'', [=LaGuardia=] says he's half-Jewish when campaigning among the Jews, and sings a Yiddish version of his campaign song ("Ich zug tsu eye-ich, Tammany is nisht kosher").
* In the musical ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors,'' the plant knows some Yiddish, like "Come on Seymour, don't be a putz". (I mean, come on, he even says "Feh!") He probably learned the Yiddish from the [[AmbiguouslyJewish likely-Jewish]] Mr. Mushnik, who uses "mensch" and "mishegas". The lyricist/composer team, Ashman and Menken, also did many Disney movies, and the same influence is seen there (Phil in Hercules, etc.).
** It's in the original film as well.
* The musical ''InTheHeights'', which takes place in Washington Heights (upper Manhattan with a predominantly Hispanic community), has several Latino/Latina characters use Yiddish rather believably in their daily conversations, similar to their usage of Spanglish (although less frequently, for obvious reasons). Prior to a wave of Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants into the area Washington Heights was a rather Jewish neighborhood, and the characters probably picked it up from one of the innumerable senior citizens with a rent-controlled apartment dating back to the 40s -- in which case the Lenny Bruce quote above becomes applicable.
** During "It Won't Be Long Now" Vanessa tells Usnavi he has "some schmutz on his face" from fixing the refrigerator.
** During "The Club," Usnavi and Benny are trying to drink away their troubles and Usnavi says "As long as you buy 'em -- L'chaim!"
* Creator/StephenSondheim uses it in several instances.
** In "How I Saved Roosevelt" in ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}'' one of the witnesses of Guiseppe Zangara's attempted assassination of FDR says "I thought I'd plotz."
** In "It's Hot Up Here" in ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge'' Frieda complains that "The boatman schwitzes."[[labelnote:note]]Sweats.[[/labelnote]]
* The 1938 revue ''Hellzapoppin[='=]'' began with a film strip featuring UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler speaking in a Yiddish accent, to invoke the RuleOfFunny right off the bat.