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Cousins Mike and Murray’s Yiddish Primer #3: Nebbish

Since I started hosting The Cousins on Mondays and Fridays, the boys have been giving me lessons in Yiddish. Check out below for an example:

So with the help of the boys, we thought we’d share insight into this wonderful language to the younger Stoolies. Last week, we covered the words “Yutz” and “Putz” (there’s a link to all the lessons at the bottom of this blog).

The word for today is “Nebbish,” which is one of the many Yiddish words I’ve never heard before.

What is someone who is Nebbish? According to Merriam-Webster, it means “a timid, meek, or ineffectual person.”  

Well, we all know people like that. According to Cousin Mike, a couple of examples of Nebbishes in history include George Costanza from Seinfeld and Bud Abbott, the fat half of the Abbott & Costello comedy team no one’s talked about for 50 years. And the term is still used in media; a movie reviewer recently noted that the actor Jesse Eisenberg in the movie Art of Self Defense “excels at playing an easy-to-dismiss type: the nebbish, the misanthrope, the loner.”

I’ve got a GREAT sentence example for you. “The only person more of a nebbish than Mike McCarthy, the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, is Mike Nolan, the defensive coordinator.” 

So your goal this week is to use Nebbish in conversation at least once, hopefully, while busting your friend’s balls. 

Class dismissed. See you all next week and if you’re interested in learning more Yiddish words, tune into the Cousins on Sirius XM Radio Power 85 every weekday at 9am EST. 

Lesson 1: Schmuck

Lesson 2: Yutz & Putz