Funny Jewish Sayings

Updated April 17, 2017
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Funny Jewish sayings have been around a long time. We are going to look at some of these sayings, some funny quotes and jokes about Jews, and some Yiddish words and their meanings.

Funny Jewish Sayings and Wise Proverbs

Since Jews have been around over 3000 years, there are many words of wisdom that are still true today. Here are some funny Jewish sayings and some wise proverbs.

Funny Jewish and Yiddish Sayings

  • Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house.
  • Don't live in a town where there are no doctors.
  • If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.
  • If the rich could hire the poor to die for them, the poor would make a very nice living.
  • He has more in his head than in his pocket.
  • Rejoice not at thine enemy's fall - but don't rush to pick him up either.
  • Worries go down better with soup than without.
  • You can't sit on two horses with one behind.
  • They are both in love: he with himself and she with herself.
  • With horses you check the teeth; with a human you check the brains.
  • The hat is fine but the head is too small.
  • He's meditating on whether a flea has a belly-button.
  • Thieves and lovers like the dark
  • All is not butter that comes from a cow.
  • If he were twice as smart, he'd be an idiot!
  • If a girl can't dance, she says the musicians can't play.
  • Dress up a broom and it will look nice too.
  • Even a bear can be taught to dance.
  • Don't give me the honey and spare me the sting.
  • A black hen can lay a white egg.
  • Man plans and God laughs.
  • If you sleep with dogs, you get up with fleas.

See more funny Jewish quotes.


Wise Proverbs

  • A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.
  • A mother understands what a child does not say.
  • A pessimist, confronted with two bad choices, chooses both.
  • As he thinks in his heart, so he is.
  • As you teach, you learn.
  • Do not be wise in words - be wise in deeds.
  • Don't be sweet, lest you be eaten up; don't be bitter, lest you be spewed out.
  • Don't look for more honor than your learning merits.
  • First mend yourself, and then mend others.
  • He that can't endure the bad, will not live to see the good.
  • If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
  • If not for fear, sin would be sweet.
  • Make sure to be in with your equals if you're going to fall out with your superiors.
  • Not to have felt pain is not to have been human.
  • What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth.

Funny Quotes About Jews

  • Anytime a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies. - Milton Berle
  • Jesus was a Jew, yes, but only on his mother's side. - Archie Bunker
  • America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas. - John Burton
  • A car hit a Jewish man. The paramedic says, “Are you comfortable?” The man says, “I make a good living.

In the early part of the 20th century, more than 10 million people world-wide spoke Yiddish. By the middle part of that century, the numbers had declined to around 2.5 million but it is still being spoken today.

Here are some of the common words you might want to know the meaning of:

  • bubbe - Grandmother, other similar words are bobe or bobeshi
  • chutzpah - extreme arrogance or nerve, another similar word is khutspe
  • glitch - a slip or nosedive
  • kibbitz - to chat or joke around
  • kibbutz - a collective farm
  • klutz - a block of wood; a clumsy of dumb person; another word is klots
  • kosher - food or other things that is acceptable to Orthodox Jews
  • kvetsh - to press or squeeze; complain
  • Mazel Tov - good luck; congratulations; another word is mazltof
  • mishegas - craziness; insanity
  • mishpocheh - family; other words are mishpokhe or mishpucha
  • oy vey - means dismay or grief; “oy vey iz mir” means “Oh, woe is me.”
  • plotz - to explode, extreme aggravation; another word is plats
  • shalom - deep peace; a greeting
  • shlep - to drag; unwillingly carry something
  • shtick - gimmick; something you do, like a routine on stage
  • spiel - very long sales pitch
  • shiksa - implies that a non-Jewish woman’s main traits are her good looks and youth
  • shagetz - a non-Jewish boy who is unruly or bad natured
  • tuches - your bottom; your rear end; other words are tuchis, tuches or tokhis
  • yente - a gossip; a busybody