Brian Williams Knows His Yiddish

brian williamsI’ve always thought NBC anchor Brian Williams kicked tushy for staying inside the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina, but here’s one more reason to love the guy: He knows his mamaloshen.

After the word “tsuris” (Yiddish for problems) popped up on a recent Sopranos episode, some at The Forward debated that the word had joined Old Country faves like “chutzpah,” “shmutz” and “putz” in American mainstream vernacular. But Williams, who’s not Jewish but describes himself as a “loyal observer of the language and culture,” wrote that he was “rocked” by its use and that “tsuris” isn’t the kind of Yiddish the goyim throw around lightly.

“This goes with ponim, mishpokhe, shpilkes and keynehoreh. This is for the pros. This is Triple-A ball.”

I have to agree — hard to imagine too many non-members of the tribe walking around going “Oy, I got such tsuris, you don’t want to know” — but it’s not like this was FOX or ABC. The Sopranos is HBO, for heaven’s sake — isn’t everyone Jewish over there?

5 thoughts on “Brian Williams Knows His Yiddish

  1. Hey Yo:
    Would you believe it? Stephanie Abrams (a Jew, I’ll have know!), of The Weather Channel, said (hold on) ‘oy vey’ – on the air. Such nachas; such a mechaiya – I loved it. I wonder what sort of grief she paid after this great group-specific event.

  2. What, now you think I have a brain? How should I remember? I was just flipping.
    Have you had a chance to look at my more recent blogs. Amateur stuff, but it’s my version of free association. Chapztem read!

    Another item. I checked out Yo Yento’s
    ‘El Yenta Man’s’ website, you hedonist!

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