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Yiddish Research: Reference Books

Yiddish research guide covering general resources, article and books, folklore, genealogy, linguistics, literature, music and dance, oral history, theater, film, radio, translation and student resources.

Reference Books

Beider, Alexander. Origins of Yiddish dialects.  Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2015.


בערנשטיין, איגנאַץ. ייִדישע שפּריכווערטער.

BernshteynIgnatsYidishe Shprikhverter. New York: Alveltlekher Yidisher Kultur-Kongres, 1983.
In Yiddish and organized alphabetically by keyword, this work does not explain all the sayings it lists, only the most abstruse ones. Quotations from Jewish texts show how the sayings were used in context.


Bratkowsky, Joan. Yiddish Linguistics: a Multilingual Bibliography. New York: Garland Pub., 1988.


Bunis, David M., and Sunshine, Andrew. Yiddish linguistics : a classified bilingual index to Yiddish serials and collections, 1913-1958 . New York : Garland Pub., 1994.


קלוג ווי שלמה המלך: 500 ייִדישע פֿאָלקספֿאַרגלײַכן פֿאַרטײַטשט אויף העברעיש, ענגליש און רוסיש

GuriIosifKlug vi Shloymeh ha-Meylekh500 Yidishe folksfarglaykhn fartaytsht oyf Hebreish, English un Rusish. Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1999.

ווי קומט די קאַץ איבערן וואַסער? טויזנט ייִדישע אידיאָמען פאַרטײַטשט אויף העברעיש, ענגליש און רוסיש
--. Vi Kumt di Kats Ibern Vaser?: toyznt Yidishe idiomen fartaytsht oyf Hebreish, English un Rusish. Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1997.

וואָס דאַרפֿט איר מער? 2000 ייִדישע בילדערישע אויסדרוקן פֿאַרטײַטשט אויף העברעיש, ענגליש און רוסיש
--. Vos Darft ir Mer?: 2000 Yidishe bilderishe oysdrukn fartaytsht oyf Hebreish, English, un Rusish . Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 2002.
--. Oyfn Shpits Tsung: 500 Yidishe shprikhverter. Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 2006.

These books give Yiddish expressions with idiomatic equivalents in English, Russian and Hebrew. They are not direct translations and convey overall meaning and usage.


Kumove, Shirley. Words Like Arrows: a collection of Yiddish folk sayings. Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, c1984.
--. More Words, More Arrows. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, c1999.
Sayings in Yiddish and transliterated Yiddish, with English translation.


The Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry. Tubingen: Max Niemeyer ; New York: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, 1992-


סטוטשקאָוו, נחום.  מאַמע לשון 

Stutchkoff, Nahum. Mame-Loshn.

Edited by Leyzer Burko. New York: Forverts, 2014.
Select episodes from Stutchkoff's linguistic radio program on WEVD, where he explains Yiddish idioms and expressions. Includes a detailed introduction and bibliography.



ווײַנרײַך, אוריאל

געשיכטע פֿון דער ייִדישער שפּראַך: באַגריפֿן, פֿאַקטן, מעטאָדן

Weinreich, Uriel

Geshikhte fun der yidisher shprakh: bagrifn, faktn, metodn. Nyu-Yorḳ : Yidisher Ṿisnshafṭlekher Insṭiṭuṭ, 1973.

-History of the Yiddish language. Edited by Paul Glasser ; translated by Shlomo Noble, with the assistance of Joshua A. Fishman. New Haven : Yale University Press, c2008.