Tuesday, July 18

Lingo With Kasamba’s Ma (Part 2)

I speak English. Plain English, as I learned it.
My mother on the other hand, does not.
No, she is far more creative, because she has taken the English language and she has made it …. Exclusively hers.

My mother is the original Mrs Malaprop and commits no end of malapropisms. That combined with a Hungarian accent is a lethal combination, I assure you!

I remember once I asked her where my boots were, she answered me, saying, "I don’t know where your bootses are.” I said, “Ma, you don’t say bootses, you say boots!” “Oh”, answered my mother, “I vas just trying to say it plurial.”

I used to cringe when I went shopping with her. She asked for animal paint when she wanted enamel paint. She’d shout, “Look there’s Clarence!” and when I’d say, “Who’s Clarence?” I would see she was pointing to the clearance section.

There was this one time she asked a salesman for terminal underwear. The clerk said, “wha?” so she repeated, “do you have terminal undervear”. So the guy says, “You mean the kind that blows up after a certain time? No. We don’t have it.” Finally, I clarified it for the poor slob who thought he was a comedian. “Excuse me” I said, “My mother meant thermal underwear.” Whereupon my mother said, “That’s vat I said, terminal undervear!”

She is also creative with names. I once had a dentist called Dr Capinegro, my mother called him Dr Cappuccino. When he corrected her he said, “Actually, my name is Dr Capinegro,” my mother said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m always sinking of food!”

When I left to go to seminary, she made me a welfare party.
She also told me to precipitate in class. I told her, it’d be difficult, but I’d try.

And the classic line when she brought in a bowl of grapes, “Vant grep?”

Instead of splenda in her coffee, she asks for placenta.

When I went to college, I majored in marketing; she told everyone I majored in shopping. She always said, “Marketing – shopping, same sing.”

A DVD is PVD, MPT, TVT, basically, any three letters except for DVD.

Marks and Spencer is Max Factor.
The exclusive London Restaurant Kaifeng is... K-mart.

Many years ago, my mother found herself in Lord and Taylor after having shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue, when she lost her Saks Fifth Avenue bag. She searched for it high and low asking people for help along the way. She couldn’t understand why people were looking at her like she was insane until her friend heard her asking people if they saw her ‘seks bag’.

She doesn't just create new words, she also sees words she wants to see:
My parents have quite a bit of stock in Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company. Every time one of their products is in the news, the stock goes up. Well, every time my parents see the word ‘viagra’ in the news, they celebrate, visualising their sky rocketing stocks. A few months ago, I was on the phone to my mother who was leafing through the Jewish Press. Suddenly she shouted excitedly into the phone, “I don’t believe it! Even the Jewish Press is writing about Viagra and in huge letters!” Then she stopped and said, “Oh, I made a mistake…it said Vayikra!”

There are so many more stories about my mother that there’s no way I could ever repeat half of them.
One thing I can tell you, her English is music to my ears!


At 9:33 AM, Blogger jemima3 said...

thanks. Hilarious. Reading that really cheered me up!

At 9:58 AM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...


that's great :) Yiddish Mama speak!!

it's like my grandfather says 'tenkscot' and i said 'who's scott?' :P

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I love that, if the Yidishe Bubbes would teach English I bet no one would fall asleep during the lessons, of course someone would have to calrify a few things afterwards but it would be very instructive.

Ever heard of Yinglish

At 11:13 AM, Blogger exsemgirl said...

"The exclusive London Restaurant Kaifeng is... K-mart."
LOL!! I am sure they would appreciate that.

One of my friends who lives in Israel but has forgein parents came to England for a holiday. She has spoken English from when she was very young yet it is not her mother tongue.
Once we were on a trip and our train was delayed for over 4 hours. When we finally got on the trian and the conductor came round my friend angrily told him that he had no right to demand a ticket after that horredous delay and their service was just not good enough. To conclude she raised her voice in the silent English train carriage and said.
"I demand constipation!"

We haven't stopped laughing since.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger HanginUp said...

Your mom's a riot - it's funny how she is living in the states longer than you were born and how she never did seem to get a grasp of the lingo - my mother in law is the same way. She spoke to my husband in "yinglish" until he was seven and there are just some words he cannot say properly until today because he learned them from her!!

At 12:23 PM, Blogger chaverah said...

funny! you explained it so perfectly! we all have a mother or grandmother just like that! i have to admit i myself make up my own language as well. i hope my kids will love me the same as you to your mother.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

LOL v funny. My father is from Denmark and the Great Danes don't have the letter "V" in their alphabet. So my father asks for a "wase" every friday to put the flowers in! and he has two types of vests a winter "west" and a summer "west".
He also calls the Van Wyck Expressway what "Wan wyck".


At 1:34 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

my grandparents - the best in the world of course
always say
'tenks for de comink' - when any of the grandkids visit
Hungarians - nobody beats em! lol

my husbands grandma describes a special item or experience as
'sometink sometink'

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Pretty Green Eyes said...

LOL! Hysterical! Lovin' it!
Exsemgirl..thats really funny too!!

At 1:50 PM, Blogger workingema said...

You're mom is the FUNNIEST!

It reminds me of my grandparents.. I just love Hungarians!:o)

The food... the accent....The Best!

At 2:03 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

roflmao! too funny.

Reminds me of the time my grandma sent my hungarian grandfather to the supermarket to get sanitary towels for her. HE asked the cashier......Where are the peds?
CAshier - the what ?
Z - the peds? (he's getting redder by the second.)
c- huh?
z- You knough.......peds....for vimin. time of the month?
c- AAAAAAAAh (she calls out over the tannoy.) Maureen a pack of sanitary towels to aisle 1 please.

That was successful the previous time he came home with brillo cleaning pads because he was too embarrassed to correct the shop assistant.
Funny exsemgirl, that story happened to a classmates dad......she never lived it down.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Very funny, she sounds hilarious. Enjoy your mom!

At 3:17 PM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

Wow, did you just bring back memories of all my Russian grandparents...my grandmother always said, "Honey, vuts not to like?" She kinda spoke backwards, like Yoda. Great post.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

Kaifeng is... K-mart.
i tend to agree

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Scraps said...

Oy! That's truly priceless butchering of English.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger torontopearl said...

Kasamba, I LOVE your mother. The quintessential spokesmodel for Merriam-Webster.

She should live long and be well!

At 4:37 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Glad to be of service!

Thank you!

Ain't that the truth!
Yinglish rocks!

That story deserves the best comment award!

I guess they want to retain their identity!

At 4:43 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

That's so nice- thanks!

He sound like so much fun!

Hungarians - nobody beats em!
Don't you know it!
They are really sometink!

Pretty Green Eyes:
Thank you!

Then you too are from the royal lineage that is hunkie- dorie!!!

They're the best!

Great story!
That is too too funny!!!!! He is so adorable!

Thank you, I will!

At 4:46 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

It's true- they do speak backwards!
Don't ya just love it!

Be nice!

She's just a really good butcher!

Thanks so much! I love her too and will pass on your best wishes! Amein!

At 6:30 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

kas - come visit my blog for a sec - see what our friend wrote..lol

At 7:38 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

youre funnier than the comedy club... and theres no two drink minimum!

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

LOL. Nu, when are you coming to Monsey again?

At 11:11 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Is he misbehaving again?

Why thanks!!!
(And I don't smell like smoke!)

Bezras Hashem next thursday!!!!!

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

very entertaining just like all the alta kackers

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Chana said...


Reminds me of the Wendy's commercial many years ago where the matronly woman came out on a runway wearing the same grayish outfit as a voice said, "Beach Vear... Very naaice!"... "Evening Vear... Very naaice!"

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Okee said...

HAH!! ---(snort!)--chhhhaaahhccchhh----SO CUTE!!!

At 1:58 AM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

So Funny!!
My grandparents are from Poland..they dont even bodder vit Engelish...They just assume that everyone knows Yiddish...
But my wifes gradmother is HUngarian..and I totally hear her in ur monlogue...
I love de vay she always somehow pronounces the second L in Lincoln Tunnel

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Moiy-rah said...

i think i know you mother
does she wear a short sheitel??


this is great.


At 11:50 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

thanks, but she ain't no alter kaker- she has more energy than I do!

I can see we have the same taste- that was my FAVOURITE commercial ever!!!


LOL! Of course, the Licolin tunnel!

yeah she does!!!
I bet you DO know her!

At 1:43 PM, Blogger ADMITNOTHING said...

Check it out !


You'll be glad you did !

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Shoshana said...

Very cute! Btw, it's even worse when your English teacher in high school speaks like that! Try taking dictation from that one - quite a challenge!

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

i miss my grendmudder....... :{

At 5:50 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

My Mom is tougher than them guys!

I can't even imagine my mother as an english teacher!

That's sweet.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

I love your mom! I bet she is a kick in the pants to be around. You are so lucky.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

She really is! Thanks!

At 11:06 AM, Blogger her next door said...

Caught myself smiling all troughout reading this blog with warm fuzzy feeling. What is it about our Jewish mothers, they drive us insane yet we adore them and need their constant approval.

I love the love you have for your mom, especially the way you finished your last blog. How special to be proud of your mum. Usually pride is a feeling every parent wants to feel for her child.

Here is to whacky, funny, excentric Jewish mothers! Let's do the same to our daughters.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Her Next Door;
Thank you so much! You really nailed how I feel about that entire post! Thank you for that lovely comment!

At 11:58 AM, Blogger kishmech said...

I feel a song coming.....My yiddishe mamaaaaaaaaaaa........i love her more than ever nooooooooow...........lalalallala.....wrinkled brow......pearls and something something something......i know that i am today because of my wooooooonderful yiddisheeeeeee maaaaaaaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaa.........

At 2:14 PM, Blogger jemima3 said...

Kish..OUCH. Next time sing in tune.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

Which reminds me of an incident that happened while I was waiting on line in a local grocery, there was this cute old Hungarian lady talking to her friend she met there… “surikuh… mein rucheleh is buying a condom for mein einekel who is getting married this week… ich zug dich the yingwart nowadays they have it too easy…”. Apparently she meant to say that her daughter is buying a condominium… but I guess it got lost in translation.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

jemima and aac - lol!

At 3:34 PM, Blogger ultrafrumguy said...

the best line i heard was " my grandmother speaks hungarian in four different languages".

At 3:48 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

I didn't know you could sing!!!


That is such a funny story!
Actually, every time my mother would say 'sheet'- as in bedding or 'fork'- as in cutlery my brothers and I would dissolve into fits of laughter!

At 3:48 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

That's so cute!

At 3:23 PM, Blogger notahottie said...

no time to read the comments and i missed this when you put it up, but anyway, thanks once again for a great laugh!

At 7:18 PM, Blogger A Frum Idealist said...

:-) very funny.
You should appreciate her ad meah v'esrim, and then some.
I agree with you and some of your commenters, the hungarian ones are great. I had an aunt who lived in Israel for fifty years after the war, and when I'd see her she'd say "shalomaleichemmahnishma" with such a heavy hungarian accent, that it took me a while to realize that she was speaking hebrew and not hungarian.
One of my favorite phrases from another relative, "Don't look a gifted horse in the mouth". She also had another funny one about money, but I can't remember it right now.

At 12:26 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Thank you! I love when you visit!

A Frum Idealist:
LOL! Hunkies really are the best- Amein and thanks!

At 5:02 PM, Blogger RR said...

I laughed throughout this post- especially at the placenta in the coffee (blech!) and the seks bag. What a riot! At one time I had a best friend who's father was Hungarian, so I know what you mean-love the way they hack through the English language with a machete!

At 11:45 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

LOL! I love the way you said that!

At 8:25 AM, Blogger ch chick said...

WHich reminds me of the story I once heard from a friend. She was in an elevator in Macy*s together with a pair of ladies from WIlliamsburg. One says to the other " Ich mein as ich vel nit huben koach fahr sex shpeiter". WHAT????I think to myself. Don't these ladies have any discretion at all? After all, they can see that I am a frum woman and can easily understand their conversation. Then the second lady answers the first one " ersht vellen men gein tzu Lord & Taylor and oib men vet huben koach veillen men gein tzu sex"!!

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