GENUG! is genug!

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Yiddish Expression


Yiddish/English Expression



GENUG: Pronounced geh’-noog (hard G)


         There are many Yiddish words that have been incorporated into the English language such as:


         1.   chutzpah:          nerve, guts, daring

         2.   dreck:                 worthless,“crap”

         3.   gonif:                  thief, scoundrel

         4.   gelt:                     money

         5.   klutz:                  clumsy person

         6.   mensch:            a decent human being

         7.   putz: (vulgar)  a penis [term used as an insult]

         8.   shlep:                 to drag or haul (an object)

         9.   schmatta:         a rag, low quality merchandise i.e. a dress

         10.  schmooze:      make small talk or chat


         For some reason, the word “genug” doesn’t seem to make any of the lists of Yiddish/English expressions I know of (There may be exceptions of which I am unaware.). It is one of my favorite Yiddish/English responses. The word(s) are usually spoken in a raised voice: GENUG! or GENUG! is GENUG!


         Usually one GENUG! is enough. However, volume and tone can be an added factor that can still an auditorium or gathering filled with noisy people. While GENUG! is not synonymous with QUIET! it often does a  more effective job in hushing even the largest audience or crowd.


         There is, however, a more polite use of the word that is more effective than any English counterpart.


         Example: You are in a social situation where your host or hostess is pouring tea into your hand-held cup. You want your cup to be only half filled, leaving room for your six teaspoons full of sugar and lots of cream. As the pouring reaches the halfway point you can say, “stop” that will probably result in a slow reaction from your pourer in which case you only have room for three teaspoons of sugar and half the amount of cream.  Disappointment!

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         Let’s go back to: As the pouring reaches the halfway point you say...GENUG! Not only will the pouring cease immediately, chances are your host or hostess might drop the teapot. Therefore, you must be careful of the tone in which you use the word. It is an expression to be drawn from your arsenal of words that must be used carefully and with discretion.


         It is important to remember:



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 © robert 2014