15 Often-Heard Yiddish Words

If you don't know what bupkis or gonif mean, you've come to the right place.

Here are 15 Yiddish words you may have heard and perhaps not understood.

Here's hoping you encounter only mensches—no gonifs. And no tsuris, either. 

1. bissel/bissela. A little bit.

2. bubkis (bup-kiss). Nothing at all.

3. chutzpah (khoots-pah). Nerve, brazen gall.

4. gonif (gah-niff). A thief, a dishonest person.

5. kibitz. Unwelcome advice, especially during a card game.

6. mavin (may-vin). An expert, connoisseur.

7. megillah. Overly complicated and boring.

8. mensch. An upright, decent person. 

9. meshuga (meh-shu-gah). Crazy.

10. naches (nokh-ess). Proud pleasure or joy.

11. nosh. A tidbit (n), to have a bite (v).

12. schmaltz. Overwrought, sentimental.

13. shtup. To have sexual intercourse with.

14. schlep. To drag along. 

15. tsuris (tsoo-riss). Troubles, woe, suffering.