LINGUIST List 4.622

Fri 20 Aug 1993

FYI: Fun: Yiddish, Greengrocer

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  1. AHARRIS - Alan Harris, RE: 4.594 Just for Fun: Yiddish/Hebrew Pun
  2. "Angus Grieve-Smith", The Greengrocer's wive's?

Message 1: RE: 4.594 Just for Fun: Yiddish/Hebrew Pun

Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1993 12:17:56 -RE: 4.594 Just for Fun: Yiddish/Hebrew Pun
From: AHARRIS - Alan Harris <VCSPC005VAX.CSUN.EDU>
Subject: RE: 4.594 Just for Fun: Yiddish/Hebrew Pun

I guess it is time to tell an old Yiddish/French pun joke:

A Yiddish-speaking couple send their son to a French Lycee to get "kultur."

The son comes home the first day and Papa frakt (asks)(and please pardon my
Yiddish errors but this is how I remember the joke):
(NB ch = [x])

New? Vas hapsdu gelehrnt
diese tog [So, what did you learn today?].

OOy, Papa, the son replies, Ich bin gelehrnt dat an aksent agu gait a hint
(makes the appropiate upper gesture) oon an aksent grav gait a hir (makes
the appropriate downward gesture) [ Oh, Dad,I learned that an accent ague goes
that way, and an accent grave goes this way NB: the gestures are reminiscent
of bird's wing flapping)].

And papa says: Is goot; vas noch hapsdu gelehrnt mayn zoohne? [that's good;
what else did you learn, m'boy?].

And the son says: Ich bin gelehrnt dat a palatz is a chato; unt a sheine palatz
is a bo chato [I learned that a house is a chateau; and a beautiful house is a
beau chateau NB. which of course sounds like the opening line of all prayers
in Hebrew [baroch ato. . .]

Now the papa cannot believe his ears re: this learning of Hebrew prayers in a
French school so he says, a bit incredulously: Azoi? [Is that the truth/is
that really so?]

And the son says proudly: Yah, Papa, unt azoi in Fransozish is
azoi! [Yup, Pop, that's right. And "indeed" in French is [wazo] oiseau!]

It probably is better in its nonsense form in the Yiddish telling, but for
what it is worth. . .
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Message 2: The Greengrocer's wive's?

Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1993 19:18:38 -The Greengrocer's wive's?
From: "Angus Grieve-Smith" <>
Subject: The Greengrocer's wive's?

 In the "Our Town" page of today's Chicago _Reader,_ David
Allen Jones reported that the Crate & Barrel on Michigan Avenue, a
store "that specializes in the purveyance of things designed to make
people feel comfortable with their taste and intelligence," had
butterfly chairs on display with a sign stating:

 Fiftie's Flashback!

 Since the original Greengrocer started with numbers, it seems
that the change has come close to its starting point on its wacky
journey through the orthographic environments. Perhaps soon to follow
will be "wive's" and posibly even childre'n. Happy watch'ing!
 -Angus B. Grieve-Smith
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