Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

The Gallivanting Spatula

Words Jews use

Print Email

The Gallivanting Spatula is our compendium for words only Jews use. (For a fuller explanation of this feature, see here.) Here you will find a complete list of Gallivanting Spatula entries, updated as new words are introduced. Please email us at to suggest new entries.

Appetizing (noun only): “I have to pick up the appetizing for the Men’s Club sukkah event.”

Federation (noun): “Federation’s Peoplehood Committee is commissioning a study on unaffiliated Jews in the Greater Metro region.”

Gall stones (noun): It is a well-known medical fact that non-Jews, while not immune to gall stones, do not discuss gall stones, publicly or privately.

Gastro-man (noun): Courtesy Ed: “My mother (72 years old, Jewish, Brooklyn) and her friends have always referred to the gastroenterologist as the ‘gastro-man.’ I thought this was normal and used it myself until someone asked me if my stomach doctor wore a cape and tights.” To be frank, the more popular locution is “GI guy.”

Livid (adjective): “Irma is livid with the caterer.”

Luncheon (noun): Not “lunch,” which is an ecumenical term. “Join us for the kick-off luncheon of the American Friends of the Weizmann Institute.”

Peoplehood (noun): Mythical state of bliss sought mainly by Jews who are paid by other Jews to think about Jews. Usage: “The Jewish Peoplehood Subcommittee will meet in Room 404, immediately following the plenary.”

Sit-down dinner (noun): See here. Not to be confused with heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The Arabs (noun): “There could be peace if the Arabs would stop teaching hate in their textbooks.” (“Arabs” without the article “the” is used by non-Jews.)

Traipsing (verb): Fatigued gallivanting.

Viennese table (noun): A buffet table of desserts (usually parve.) Unrecognizable to Austrians, or anyone else who has not visited Leonard’s of Great Neck. Here is its use in a sentence: “We were going to do the Viennese table, but our catering manager advised us to skip it and do the chocolate fountain instead.” This is not a sentence we made up. Related phrases include “modified Viennese” and the “mini-Viennese”—neither of which should be confused with “shmorg (noun)”—which itself has absolutely nothing to do with “shmorg” (verb), go wash your mouth out with soap.

Print Email

having a canniption (sp?): Nowadays referred to as a “shit fit.”

Whenever my mother was asked if she was hungry, she never answered yes or no. It was always, “I could eat.”, with a slight inflection up at the end.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

The Gallivanting Spatula

Words Jews use

More on Tablet:

The Lost Tribes of Israel

By Matt Rees — The Jewish state seeks to bring the Bedouin in from the desert