Yiddish insult "ge-----?"

“The rabbi was a putz. He was a ge_____”

From The Will: Family Secrets Revealed episode “The Estate of Joey Bishop.”

Basically, a charity run by Bishop’s rabbi at one point was to have received the bulk of the estate. But, the will didn’t actually refer to it by name, just “children’s charities,” and no mention of the Rabbi Mintz.

Bishop’s will was revised once or twice later, ultimately dropping the bequest to any charities.

When he died, Rabbi Mintz challenged it in court, but the suit was dismissed.

Sandy Hackett, Buddy’s son, makes the comment in the episode, “The rabbi was a putz! He was a ge_____!” Of couse, I’ve since deleted it so I can’t render it phonetiically.

But I know he didn’t call him a gefilte fish!

Any ideas???

Are you sure it wasn’t “gonif”? Which basically means “thief” or a “crook”, including swindlers.

I agree.

And, with the article** “a” a simple noun would fit.

There are many Yiddish verbs with “ge…” with an accent on the ensuing verb where the dots are.

“Gonif” has the accent on the first syllable, BTW.

Sounds about right. When it comes on again, I’ll pay closer attention. Thanks.

And, FWIW, the Yiddish word gonif derives from the Hebrew גנב (ganav), the verb “steal”.

Yes, and the plural is gonovim (although gonifs is also used).

Thanks, all. This ep was rebroadcast yesterday, which confirms everything mentioned. . . including the fact that I was misremembering how it was pronounced. ETA: Criminy! Over three months ago! I thought it was maybe last month!

I don’t know from Yiddish, but I spent some years in German classes, and as a result can sort of follow Yiddish. “Ge” is a prefix placed on most verbs * when using the plu-perfect, which is a bit more commonly used in German than English. (or maybe it just stands out more due to the change in the verb) So that doesn’t narrow it down much at all.
*Some verbs get no prefix, and a few others have special forms.

:slight_smile: You obviously do know something from Yiddish, by using this locution.

I challenge you to find English speakers from any city without large numbers of Jews to use “I don’t know” with “from” to mean “about” or “not much at all.”

Around here we say, “I don’t know nuffin 'bout nuffin!”