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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Yiddish?

I have an Android smart phone, and on my home screen, I have the Dictionary.com widget. Every day there's a "word of the day" and I try to pay attention to what it is to expand my repertoire of words. Often I''m already familiar with the word, but there have been plenty of words that I've never come across, or wasn't sure of the exact definition. Thanks to Dictionary.com, I now know them.

When I saw Sunday's word, I was very amused. It's not only a word that every single one of you know, but it's also a word that (I'd venture to say) 99.5% of Americans do not know.

The full definition is: an entire family network comprising relatives by blood and marriage and sometimes including close friends; clan.

I found it very funny that mishpocha, of all Hebrew words, made its way into the English dictionary. But, eh, whatever.

What I found more amusing is that they made a mistake. See, they give the source as being Yiddish. As we all know, it's not.

So I sent Dictionary.com an email that informed them of their egregious error. Of course, I wanted to source it for them, so I found an online Hebrew text of the Torah, and searched through it trying to find Mishpocha, or, משפחֹה. I did, but it took until Devarim for me to find it in that conjugation! Devarim 27:19 if I recall correctly...? There are plenty of other conjugations, but it took until Devarim for משפחֹה by itself to appear. And it only appears once in that form!

Anyway, that's my random post of the day. Hope you enjoyed :-)


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