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Old 10-01-2001, 03:48 PM
Jimbrowski Jimbrowski is offline
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Is there any language, anywhere, that contains the word 'jreck'?

If so, is that word in any way related to 'dreck' in Yiddish?

In an eariler thread I asked about the word 'jreck' and whether or not it meant 'shit' in Yiddish (it doesn't).

Is there any tie-in whatsoever? Are there similar words meaning similar things in similar languages? Did the Yiddish language absorb the word 'jreck' and substitute a 'd' for the first letter? Is there another language similar to Yiddish which contains the word 'jreck'?
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Old 10-01-2001, 09:48 PM
regnad kcin regnad kcin is offline
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Gosh, I have to assume that you know that "Dreck" means "dirt" in German. You dont, however, state this in the OP, so I cant be sure.
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Old 10-01-2001, 10:04 PM
regnad kcin regnad kcin is offline
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After looking at your earlier thread, I see nothing was clarified.

Yiddish is the language spoken by German Jews. It is extremely close to German and could almost be considered a dialect (at least as long as Swiss German is considered a dialect. Where you draw the line between dialects and languages is another debate).

Ninety-nine times out of 100 a Yiddish word has a cognate in German.
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Old 10-01-2001, 11:40 PM
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In the other thread, adam yax said that dreck in Yiddish means "shit". The OED does say that it comes from the Yiddish drek meaning "filth, dregs, dung." Whether drek is an expletive like shit versus a more exceptable crap or manure, I couldn't say. The OED does say that the Yiddish word comes from German and that the ultimate origin is uncertain but might be related to the Greek word for "dung."

As to jreck being a word in any language, my guess is no. According to the Jreck Subs website:

Quote:
The humble origins of Jreck Subs go back to 1969, when a group of school teachers from Carthage, NY (their initials combined to form the name Jreck) began selling submarine sandwiches from a converted school bus during the summer months.
All the Google search results seem to be related to Jreck subs. I would guess that the rumor you heard was someone trying to be clever with the similarity between "Jreck" and "dreck."
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Old 10-01-2001, 11:47 PM
scampering gremlin scampering gremlin is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by regnad kcin
Ninety-nine times out of 100 a Yiddish word has a cognate in German.
That might be overstating it. Yiddish shares German and Hebrew roots, something like the way modern English adds French and German-derived vocabulary to an old Germanic grammar.

Historically Yiddish was written with Hebrew characters. Most Americans who transliterate it into an English alphabet attempt to make it sound phonetic to American ears. So you'll see some variations in spelling.

My guess is that "jreck" is a pronunciation variant of "dreck."

Of course I'm not a Hebrew scholar or a linguist. I just know enough High German to follow the gist of the occasional Yiddish poem or radio broadcast.
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Old 10-02-2001, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JeffB
Whether drek is an expletive like shit versus a more exceptable crap or manure, I couldn't say
The German expletive for that is Scheisse. Dreck could mean human or animal waste, but only in the same sense that filth has that meaning in English. It's primary meaning is that something is trash or dirt.

From the way I've heard it used in Yiddish it seems to carry the same connotations. It sounds slangy when it peppers English speech, mainly because it's a dialect term that not everyone would recognize. But no, this is not a vulgarism in the way that shtupp or schmuck are.
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Old 10-02-2001, 03:43 AM
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And in Swedish you can find the word Träck meaning the same thing. For all I know it's a loanword from German.
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Old 10-03-2001, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scampering gremlin
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffB
Whether drek is an expletive like shit versus a more exceptable crap or manure, I couldn't say
The German expletive for that is Scheisse. Dreck could mean human or animal waste, but only in the same sense that filth has that meaning in English. It's primary meaning is that something is trash or dirt.

From the way I've heard it used in Yiddish it seems to carry the same connotations. It sounds slangy when it peppers English speech, mainly because it's a dialect term that not everyone would recognize. But no, this is not a vulgarism in the way that shtupp or schmuck are.
Just to follow up on this... I asked my father since he knows Yiddish better than anyone else that I know.

His response was that "'dreck punim' literally translates into 'shit face' but it is not used in High Yiddish."

My apologies to the Mods for the gratuitous swearing in this thread.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:32 AM
jeffharter jeffharter is offline
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Real meaning of Jreck Subs...

For what it's worth, this is not going to answer any question regarding the origins off the word "Jreck." First, I can verify that it came from the first letters of school teachers, who were not concerned with anything other than making great subs. Secondly, I can tell you an anecdotal story - I ate my first Jreck Sub on my way to a family camping trip to Cayuyga Lake State Park. Turkey, provolone cheese, mayo, lettuce, onion, oil and vinegar and oregano on a white roll. I was maybe 7 or 8, but what I remember was that it was the most delicious sub I have ever had. When I was in college, I got a job at the Fingerlakes Mall Jreck Subs, partly for the extra money, but in all honestly, so I could eat a free sub for my lunch! Once while working, an angry old man approached me with the unsolicited feedback: "Did you know that Jreck subs means garbage?" or something of that nature. Then he shuffled off to, probably to spread more anger somewhere else. I frankly don't care what it means in other languages. In my mind, it means "most delicious subs ever." I'm in my early 50's now. Whenever I return to Central NY, I make it a point to buy a Turkey on white Jreck sub.The rolls are delicious (I'd love the recipe for those!)
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:56 PM
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The proportion of German words depends which dialect of Yiddish you're talking about. There are lots of Slavic words in some dialects of Yiddish, not cognate with German.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:12 PM
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Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharter View Post
Once while working, an angry old man approached me with the unsolicited feedback: "Did you know that Jreck subs means garbage?

Never heard of it, but it looks like a different word should come to mind.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:44 PM
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Since the thread has been resurrected, I'll mention that dreich means dreary or bleak and is common here in Scotland. It's particularly used with respect to the weather.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Since the thread has been resurrected, I'll mention that dreich means dreary or bleak and is common here in Scotland. It's particularly used with respect to the weather.
At a guess, I suspect unrelated. The Irish droch/Welsh drwg both mean "bad" (in the moral sense; evil), but they are used to describe foul weather. So that could be the source of the Scots word.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:24 AM
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ISTM they are sufficiently similar that there may be a common ancestor word.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
ISTM they are sufficiently similar that there may be a common ancestor word.
Not if you dive into the deep etymology. Similar today is not really a good guide to similar in origin.

Last edited by MrDibble; 02-11-2019 at 05:48 AM.
  #16  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbrowski View Post
Is there any language, anywhere, that contains the word 'jreck'?
Assuming you're writing the word here how it's pronounced, then yes. That language is English.

The usual spelling of the word is "dreck", and in careful pronunciation it sounds much like its spelling implies: /dɹɛk/. However, in casual speech many (maybe most?) North American speakers assimilate the first consonant cluster to /dʐɻ/ or /dʒɹ/, which you might approximate in English spelling as "jreck".

Quote:
If so, is that word in any way related to 'dreck' in Yiddish?
Again yes. The English word is a slang term for something worthless, and comes from the Yiddish "drek", meaning filth.
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