10 Ladino Expressions You Should Be Using Right Now

If your non-Jewish friends are already throwing words such as schmooze, shwitz and schlep with such ease that it makes you wonder how come Yiddish is still considered a foreign language, it’s time to expand their vocabulary. Enter Ladino, or Judaeo-Spanish, the beautiful language of the Sephardic Jews, still spoken in some 30 countries and acknowledged as a minority language in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, France and Turkey. Start with these 10 easy expressions. Salud i beraha!

Special thanks to Dr. Devin E. Naar and Ty Alhadeff of the University of Washington’s Sephardic Studies Program, best source for all things Ladino, for compiling the list.

1. Already up to a good start.
2. Schmoozing, Sephardic style. Literal meaning: “to throw tongue”.
3. With all the bad news in the world, not reserved for grandmas only anymore.
4. Perfect timing for this expression too.
5. Sephardic food: now we are talking. Don’t forget to thank the “bendichas manos”.
6. The Sephardic “tables of joy” are a given. You better memorize this one too.
7. We all have THAT uncle.
8. Extremely useful if you are THAT uncle.
9. Can there be a Jewish conversation without this word?
10. Because tomorrow is another day and we need you rested.