Judaeo-Piedmontese

Judaeo-Piedmontese was the vernacular language of the Italian Jews living in Piedmont, Italy, from about the 15th century until World War II. It was based on the Piedmontese language, with many loanwords from ancient Hebrew, Provençal, and Spanish.

Small vocabulary[edit]

The dialect never had written phonetic rules; the words in this list are written according to Agostino della Sala Spada's short satirical poem La gran battaja d’j’abrei d’Moncalv (The great battle of the Jews of Moncalvo, La gran battaglia degli ebrei di Moncalvo in Italian) and Primo Levi's book The Periodic Table.

Pronunciation:

(kh) as in German "Nacht".

(ñ) nasal, as in English "sing"; not to be confused with the Spanish ñ.

(ô) as in English "loom".

(u) like the French u or the German ü.

(sc) like the English sh.

(j) as in German "Jung" or in English "young".

  • (a)brakhà - blessing
  • Adonai Eloénô - God, Lord
  • bahalòm - in a dream (used for jokes)
  • barakhùt - blessed
  • barôcabà - Welcome! (literally: Blessed be he who comes!)
  • batacaìn - cemetery
  • beemà - beast
  • berìt - pact, penis (vulgar)
  • Cadòss Barôkhù - God
  • cassèr - community, ghetto
  • ganàv - thief
  • ganavé - to steal
  • ghescér - bridge
  • gôì - non-Jewish man
  • gôià - non-Jewish woman
  • gojìm - non-Jewish people
  • hafassìm - jewels (lit. "stuff")
  • hamòr - donkey
  • hamortà - stupid woman (lit. female of donkey)
  • hasìr - pig
  • hasirùd - rubbish
  • havertà - rough and dissolute woman
  • khakhàm - rabbi (lit. "learned one")
  • khalaviòd - breasts (from Hebrew "halav", milk)
  • khaltrùm - Catholic bigotry
  • khamisà - five
  • khamissidò - slap
  • khanéc - neck (pregnant with meaning, used to swear)
  • khaniké - to hang (kill)
  • khèder - room
  • kinìm - lice
  • lakhtì - (exclamation) go away!
  • Lassòn Acòdesh - Sacred Language
  • macòd - blows
  • maftèkh - key
  • mahané - neck (generic and neutral)
  • mamsér - bastard
  • mañòd - money
  • medà meshônà - accident (lit. "strange death")
  • menaghèm / meraghèl - spy
  • Milca - Queen
  • morénô - rabbi (lit. "our master")
  • nainé - to look at
  • ñarél - non-circumcised
  • nero - evil, bad
  • pakhàt - fear
  • pegartà - dead woman
  • pôñaltà - dirty, shabbily-clothed woman
  • pôñèl - dirty, shabbily-clothed man
  • rabbenù - rabbi
  • rashàn - non-pious
  • rôkhòd - winds
  • ruàkh - wind
  • samdé - to baptize (lit. "destroy")
  • sarfatìm - guards
  • saròd - disgraced
  • scòla - synagogue, temple
  • sefòkh - toddler vomit
  • sôrada - appearance, look
  • sôtià - crazy woman
  • tafùs - prison, jail (it is a Hebrew loanword in Piedmontese jargon. Ca tafus meaning "jail", from ca house, although the piedmontese word is përzon)
  • takhôrìm - haemorroids
  • tanhanè - to argue

Sources[edit]

La gran battaja d’j’abrei d’Moncalv

See also[edit]