Klutz, kvetch & kvell


I spent a fair amount of time in Pennsylvania as a teenager, with a lot of Pennsylvania Dutch and Jewish friends. My vocabulary improved vastly! As a linguaphile, I couldn’t wait to integrate the words I learnt into daily use. Here are some brilliant words borrowed from Yiddish, which I love using:

KLUTZ : a klutz is a clumsy person. A klutz has the agility of a wooden beam.

KVETCH : both a verb & noun. To complain and be a complainer.  Multipurpose! One can kvetch and be a kvetch. Plus, the ‘kv’ sound is just so satisfying.

KVELL : To burst with pride, especially for a family member. To shout it out loud. As in, I’m usually  kvelling about DD. Again, the ‘kv’ sound. Lush.

Have you got any audacious or fun K words to share? Last year, I wrote about kaffi, kanilsnudar and koeksisters.

7 thoughts on “Klutz, kvetch & kvell

  1. Julie M says:

    I’m not sure if it’s spelled correctly, but my favorite yiddish “k” word is keppie. It means head. My mom and nana always said it to me and I always say to the kids “lay your keppie” when I want them to lay their heads down (for bed).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. stephie5741 says:

    They like their “k” words, don’t they? I live in the South, so I hear a completely different vocab. Here’s something interesting–I’ve started using “y’all” in posts on social media because some of my fellow Southern writers do it. I never, ever say it in real life, but on social media it can kind of add a little humor to what I’m saying. Same with the “k” words, I would imagine.



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