About This Collection of Yiddish Wit

This collection of Yiddish proverbs and sayings includes only expressions that are published in Yiddish and that lend themselves to illustration. The illustrations are my own adaptations and recombinations of existing images, often copyright-free graphics published by Dover.

The Yiddish language is written with Hebrew letters and read from right to left, but its grammar and much of its vocabulary are closely related to German. The vocabulary includes words borrowed from Hebrew as well. In this collection the text is presented in three forms:

Look below the illustrations for:

I am indebted to Norman Buder for reviewing my work and generously sharing his expertise. Thanks also to Hershl Hartman, Gerry Kane, Sonia Kovitz, and other kind readers for their input, corrections, suggestions, and encouragement. I am responsible for all errors, and I welcome feedback of any kind. — Johanna Kovitz (contact me)

Miriam Gershman Kovitz

Dedicated to Miriam Gershman Kovitz (1916–2010)
for whom the Yiddish language was always
a source of pleasure and fond memories

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