About 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, many of which are 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. Also quite a few words are borrowed directly from Hebrew.

In this collection the text is presented in three forms:

Below the illustrations you will find:

I am indebted to Norman Buder for reviewing my work and generously sharing his expertise. Special thanks also to the people who granted permission to use their photographs on this website. Finally, many thanks 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

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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