Yiddish insults are renowned for being colorful, witty, and biting, but not grievously mean. This may be because the Eastern European Jews who spoke Yiddish often lived in crowded conditions, and it was not the best idea to seriously insult a next door neighbor you saw fifteen times a day. Nonetheless, the language lets speakers say exactly what is on their mind, and nowhere is this more true than in its insults:
- May you run to the toilet every three minutes or every three months.
(Zolst azoy farfoylt vern az tsign, tchoyrn, un chazirim zoln zid opzogn tsu forn mit dir in eyn fur)
- May you turn into a pancake and he into a cat. He should eat you and choke on you - that way we will be rid of both of you.
(Vern zol fun dir a blintshik in fun is a kats. Er sol dir oyfesn un mit dir zin dervargn - volt men fun ayn beyd ptur gevorn)
- May your soul enter a cat and may a dog bite it.
(Dyn eshome zol arayngeyn in a kats, un a hoont zol er a bis tun)
- May you be invited to a feast by the governor and may you belch in his face.
(Me zol din aynladn tsum gubernator oft a seydeh in du zolst im gebn a grepts in ponem arayn)
- May a soft balcony fall on your head.
(A vecher balkon dir in kop)
- May a red beet grow out of your belly button, and may you pee borsht.
(Zoln dir a vaksn burekes fun pupik, in zolts pishn mit borsht)
Taken from “If Your Can’t Say Anything Nice, Say It In Yiddish” by Lita Epstein