This is not as serious as your usual questions but my daughter and I are really curious. I know that Yiddish is a mixture of Hebrew and German, my question is where does the name Yiddish come from?


We take every question seriously :-)

Yiddish is to “Yid” what Polish is to “Pole;” it can mean the language of the “Yid” or anything which pertains to him.

So what is a Yid?

Originally our nation was known as the "Bnei Israel" (Children of Israel) or "Ivrim" (descendants of Eber, grandson of Noah).

After ten of our twelve tribes were exiled, the remaining Israelites were ruled by the kings of Yehudah (Judah). Eventually we all came to be called Yehudim (Judeans). The term Yehudi slowly morphed into the Yiddish word, Yid, and the English word, Jew.

See also The Holiday When We Became Jewish.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Menachem Posner