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arthur naiman quotes

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Chicken Soup:
An ancient miracle drug containing equal parts of aureomycin,
cocaine, interferon, and TLC. The only ailment chicken soup
can't cure is neurotic dependence on one's mother.
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


The distinction between Jewish and goyish can be quite subtle, as the
following quote from Lenny Bruce illustrates:

-- "I'm Jewish. Count Basie's Jewish. Ray Charles is Jewish.
Eddie Cantor's goyish. The B'nai Brith is goyish. The Hadassah is
Jewish. Marine Corps -- heavy goyish, dangerous.
"Kool-Aid is goyish. All Drake's Cakes are goyish.
Pumpernickel is Jewish and, as you know, white bread is very goyish.
Instant potatoes -- goyish. Black cherry soda's very Jewish.
Macaroons are ____very Jewish. Fruit salad is Jewish. Lime Jell-O is
goyish. Lime soda is ____very goyish. Trailer parks are so goyish that
Jews won't go near them ..."

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Chicken Soup, n.:
An ancient miracle drug containing equal parts of aureomycin,
cocaine, interferon, and TLC. The only ailment chicken soup can't cure
is neurotic dependence on one's mother.

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Half-done:
This is the best way to eat a kosher dill -- when it's still
crunchy, light green, yet full of garlic flavor. The difference
between this and the typical soggy dark green cucumber corpse is like
the difference between life and death.

You may find it difficult to find a good half-done kosher dill
there in Seattle, so what you should do is take a cab out to the
airport, fly to New York, take the JFK Express to Jay Street-Borough
Hall, transfer to an uptown F, get off at East Broadway, walk north on
Essex (along the park), make your first left onto Hester Street, walk
about fifteen steps, turn ninety degrees left, and stop. Say to the
man, "Let me have a nice half-done."

Worth the trouble, wasn't it?

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


One of the oldest problems puzzled over in the Talmud is: "Why did God
create goyim?" The generally accepted answer is "________somebody has to buy
retail."

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Chicken Soup:
An ancient miracle drug containing equal parts of aureomycin,
cocaine, interferon, and TLC. The only ailment chicken soup
can't cure is neurotic dependence on one's mother.
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


half-done, n.:
This is the best way to eat a kosher dill -- when it's still crunchy,
light green, yet full of garlic flavor. The difference between this
and the typical soggy dark green cucumber corpse is like the
difference between life and death.

You may find it difficult to find a good half-done kosher dill there
in Seattle, so what you should do is take a cab out to the airport,
fly to New York, take the JFK Express to Jay Street-Borough Hall,
transfer to an uptown F, get off at East Broadway, walk north on
Essex (along the park), make your first left onto Hester Street, walk
about fifteen steps, turn ninety degrees left, and stop. Say to the
man, "Let me have a nice half-done." Worth the trouble, wasn't it?
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


“God gives burdens; also shoulders”

Jimmy Carter cited this Jewish saying in his concession speech at the
end of the 1980 election. At least he said it was a Jewish saying; I
can't find it anywhere. I'm sure he's telling the truth though; why
would he lie about a thing like that?
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Shamus, n. [Yiddish]:
A shamus is a guy who takes care of handyman tasks around the
temple, and makes sure everything is in working order.
A shamus is at the bottom of the pecking order of synagog
functionaries, and there's a joke about that:
A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out in the
middle of a service, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The cantor, not to be
bested, also cries out, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!"
The shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries, "Oh, Lord, I
am nobody!" The rabbi turns to the cantor and says, "Look who thinks
he's nobody!"

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


An old Jewish man reads about Einstein's theory of relativity
in the newspaper and asks his scientist grandson to explain it to him.
"Well, zayda, it's sort of like this. Einstein says that if
you're having your teeth drilled without Novocain, a minute seems like
an hour. But if you're sitting with a beautiful woman on your lap, an
hour seems like a minute."
The old man considers this profound bit of thinking for a
moment and says, "And from this he makes a living?"

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


There are some goyisha names that just about guarantee that
someone isn't Jewish. For example, you'll never meet a Jew named
Johnson or Wright or Jones or Sinclair or Ricks or Stevenson or Reid or
Larsen or Jenks. But some goyisha names just about guarantee that
every other person you meet with that name will be Jewish. Why is
this?
Who knows? Learned rabbis have pondered this question for
centuries and have failed to come up with an answer, and you think ___you
can find one? Get serious. You don't even understand why it's
forbidden to eat crab -- fresh cold crab with mayonnaise -- or lobster
-- soft tender morsels of lobster dipped in melted butter. You don't
even understand a simple thing like that, and yet you hope to discover
why there are more Jews named Miller than Katz? Fat Chance.

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


One of the oldest problems puzzled over in the Talmud is:
“Why did God create goyim?” The generally accepted answer is
"SOMEBODY somebody has to buy retail."

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Shamus, n.:
A shamus is a guy who takes care of handyman tasks around the
temple, and makes sure everything is in working order.
A shamus is at the bottom of the pecking order of
synagog functionaries, and there's a joke about that:

A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out in the
middle of a service, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The cantor, not
to be bested, also cries out, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!" The
shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries, "Oh, Lord, I am
nobody!" The rabbi turns to the cantor and says, "Now look
who thinks he's nobody!"

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Gay shlafen: Yiddish for "go to sleep".

Now doesn't "gay shlafen" have a softer, more soothing sound
than the harsh, staccato "go to sleep"? Listen to the difference:

"Go to sleep, you little wretch!" ... "Gay shlafen, darling."
Obvious, isn't it?

Clearly the best thing you can do for you children is to start
speaking Yiddish right now and never speak another word of English as
long as you live. This will, of course, entail teaching Yiddish to all
your friends, business associates, the people at the supermarket, and
so on, but that's just the point. It has to start with committed
individuals and then grow ...

Some minor adjustments will have to be made, of course: those
signs written in what look like Yiddish letters won't be funny when
everything is written in Yiddish. And we'll have to start driving on
the left side of the road so we won't be reading the street signs
backwards. But is that too high a price to pay for world peace? I
think not, my friend, I think not.

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


“God gives burdens; also shoulders”

Jimmy Carter cited this Jewish saying in his concession speech at the
end of the 1980 election. At least he said it was a Jewish saying; I
can't find it anywhere. I'm sure he's telling the truth though; why
would he lie about a thing like that?

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


The distinction between Jewish and goyish can be quite subtle, as the
following quote from Lenny Bruce illustrates:

"I'm Jewish. Count Basie's Jewish. Ray Charles is Jewish.
Eddie Cantor's goyish. The B'nai Brith is goyish. The Hadassah is
Jewish. Marine Corps -- heavy goyish, dangerous.

"Kool-Aid is goyish. All Drake's Cakes are goyish.
Pumpernickel is Jewish and, as you know, white bread is very goyish.
Instant potatoes -- goyish. Black cherry soda's very Jewish.
Macaroons are ____very Jewish. Fruit salad is Jewish. Lime Jell-O is
goyish. Lime soda is ____very goyish. Trailer parks are so goyish that
Jews won't go near them ..."
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Murray and Esther, a middle-aged Jewish couple, are touring
Chile. Murray just got a new camera and is constantly snapping
pictures. One day, without knowing it, he photographs a top-secret
military installation. In an instant, armed troops surround Murray and
Esther and hustle them off to prison.
They can't prove who they are because they've left their
passports in their hotel room. For three weeks they're tortured day
and night to get them to name their contacts in the liberation
movement.. Finally they're hauled in front of a military court,
charged with espionage, and sentenced to death.
The next morning they're lined up in front of the wall where
they'll be shot. The sergeant in charge of the firing squad asks them
if they have any lasts requests. Esther wants to know if she can call
her daughter in Chicago. The sergeant says he's sorry, that's not
possible, and turns to Murray.
"This is crazy!" Murray shouts. "We're not spies!" And he
spits in the sergeants face.
"Murray!" Esther cries. "Please! Don't make trouble."

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


Gay shlafen: Yiddish for "go to sleep".

Now doesn't "gay shlafen" have a softer, more soothing sound than the
harsh, staccato "go to sleep"? Listen to the difference:
"Go to sleep, you little wretch!" ... "Gay shlafen, darling."
Obvious, isn't it?
Clearly the best thing you can do for you children is to start
speaking Yiddish right now and never speak another word of English as
long as you live. This will, of course, entail teaching Yiddish to all
your friends, business associates, the people at the supermarket, and
so on, but that's just the point. It has to start with committed
individuals and then grow....
Some minor adjustments will have to be made, of course: those
signs written in what look like Yiddish letters won't be funny when
everything is written in Yiddish. And we'll have to start driving on
the left side of the road so we won't be reading the street signs
backwards. But is that too high a price to pay for world peace?
I think not, my friend, I think not.
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


The distinction between Jewish and goyish can be quite subtle, as the
following quote from Lenny Bruce illustrates:

"I'm Jewish. Count Basie's Jewish. Ray Charles is Jewish.
Eddie Cantor's goyish. The B'nai Brith is goyish. The Hadassah is
Jewish. Marine Corps -- heavy goyish, dangerous.

"Kool-Aid is goyish. All Drake's Cakes are goyish.
Pumpernickel is Jewish and, as you know, white bread is very goyish.
Instant potatoes -- goyish. Black cherry soda's very Jewish.
Macaroons are ____very Jewish. Fruit salad is Jewish. Lime Jell-O is
goyish. Lime soda is ____very goyish. Trailer parks are so goyish that
Jews won't go near them ..."
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


half-done, n.:
This is the best way to eat a kosher dill -- when it's still crunchy,
light green, yet full of garlic flavor. The difference between this
and the typical soggy dark green cucumber corpse is like the
difference between life and death.

You may find it difficult to find a good half-done kosher dill there
in Seattle, so what you should do is take a cab out to the airport,
fly to New York, take the JFK Express to Jay Street-Borough Hall,
transfer to an uptown F, get off at East Broadway, walk north on
Essex (along the park), make your first left onto Hester Street, walk
about fifteen steps, turn ninety degrees left, and stop. Say to the
man, "Let me have a nice half-done." Worth the trouble, wasn't it?
-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"


A man goes to a tailor to try on a new custom-made suit. The
first thing he notices is that the arms are too long.
"No problem," says the tailor. "Just bend them at the elbow
and hold them out in front of you. See, now it's fine."
"But the collar is up around my ears!"
"It's nothing. Just hunch your back up a little ... no, a
little more ... that's it."
"But I'm stepping on my cuffs!" the man cries in desperation.
"Nu, bend your knees a little to take up the slack. There you
go. Look in the mirror -- the suit fits perfectly."
So, twisted like a pretzel, the man lurches out onto the
street. Reba and Florence see him go by.
"Oh, look," says Reba, "that poor man!"
"Yes," says Florence, "but what a beautiful suit."

-- - Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"