Do you know what Mazal Tov means?

Discussion in 'General' started by TwinsItIs, Feb 24, 2010.


Do you know what it means?

  1. Yes

    53 vote(s)
  2. No

    27 vote(s)
  1. TwinsItIs

    TwinsItIs Well-Known Member

    I'm curious if the 'phrase' Mazal Tov (or Mazel Tov) is being used by the general American population the way the word Chutzpa, or Klutz or other somesuch is being used (and is even in dictionaries).

    So please vote in the poll just to still my curiosity.

    Thank you.

  2. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    Yes, but I generally just say it to Jewish people. Does that count?

    Just curious, are non-Jews not supposed to say klutz, chutzpah, schlep, etc?
  3. sullivanre

    sullivanre Well-Known Member

    I'm having trouble voting now, but I didn't know what it meant. I know several other Yiddish or Hebrew words--like the ones Kelly mentioned above, but I didn't know the proper meaning of mazel tov. I was also confusing mazel tov with shalom.
  4. Kendra

    Kendra Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yes but the only time I use it is when Black Eyed Peas come on (and in my life thats not very often)

    I have a co-worker who uses it all the time but she also uses Spanish, Russian, French and other Yiddish in her day to day talk. (she is an "odd duck" - not for the language thing, just general odd)
  5. j_and_j_twins

    j_and_j_twins Well-Known Member

    Not really the only time I hear it is watching jewish weddings on tv and when they step on the glass they say it, so I'm thinking its some kind of congrat's or a blessing type thing
  6. TwinsItIs

    TwinsItIs Well-Known Member

    Of course they can use it. I hope it didn't come across as it being wrong in any way. I was simply wondering how many Yiddish/Hebrew words are part of the typical English lexicon today. :)
  7. DATJMom

    DATJMom Well-Known Member

    I use it. Our family is part Jewish.
  8. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    No, not at all. I was just curious like if it bothered Jewish people to hear non-Jews using Yiddish or something.
    I do have Jewish family, so I grew up with the words too.
  9. jamey

    jamey Well-Known Member

    No clue. I, like Kendra, only sing/say it with the Black Eyed Peas. I do know what Shalom means, though. In my defense, I grew up in a very non-diverse environment.
  10. TwinsItIs

    TwinsItIs Well-Known Member

    :) Nah! No reason to get offended. I find it sweet when I hear others using these words.
  11. missmomoftwins02

    missmomoftwins02 Well-Known Member

    I know what it means, but never use it. I would however if I went to a Jewish wedding...but I haven't ever been to I haven't had that opportunity.
  12. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    And I had no clue there was a Black Eyed Peas song that says Mazel Tov. I'm so out of it.

    Not offended! It's all good.
  13. momotwinsmom

    momotwinsmom Well-Known Member

    I do. My husband is Jewish, so it's a word his family uses a lot.

    I've got a Feeling
    by Black Eyed Peas
  14. Cristina

    Cristina Well-Known Member

    I dated a wonderful Jewish boy in high school, Joshua. His parents were great, and there was an ongoing joke about how such a boy could be with a German goy. (Josh has since moved to Amsterdam where he lives an almost hippie existence, but I digress) I used the term Mazel Tov when I was with them and they used it. At Josh's Bar Mit vitzah, when he finally passed his drivers license, when his siter got engaged, etc.. I loved hanging out with his family, they were so fun and I learned a lot of great Yiddish words along the way.

    Now in my everyday language, no, I don't use them. (except maybe bagel and putz :) )
  15. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I thought I knew what it meant, so I googled it to make sure. I did. But no, I don't use it.
  16. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    I know what it means but don't use it as a regular expression myself. My DH does sometimes use it.
  17. AimeeThomp

    AimeeThomp Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I've never heard it used IRL but maybe that's b/c I don't know anyone IRL who is Jewish. I have no idea what it means either. :unknw: I've heard it said in movies and television shows.
  18. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    I think I do. At least I know that in the circumstances I've seen it used it could be substituted for "congratulations." I didn't vote because I couldn't be sure. I'll google it and come back.

    BTW, no I've never used it, but have used many of the other words mentioned.
  19. Susanna+3

    Susanna+3 Well-Known Member

    yup! But growing up 'Fiddler on the Roof' was one of my favorite movies! L'Chaim is another phrase we use... we're not jewish, but my family does throw in jewish phrases for fun... and others as well. I had to get to college before I realized some of the things I said were actually from the pennsylvania dutch language (which my grandparents spoke, and used words with my parents, and they in turn used them with us...)... things like 'rutching' around... 'gretzing'...and other phrases. I thought they were english until my college friends looked at me like I had 3 eyes when I used them! LOL. Amazing that even a handful of words have made it through the generations when PA dutch is pretty much a dying language outside the amish community.
  20. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I know what it means and have occasionally used it because I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood (though I am not Jewish), but I wouldn't use it in general conversation.
  21. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I don't use it in general conversation, but at the handful of bar & bat mitvahs I've been to and the one Jewish wedding, yes when speaking to the honored.

    But you know what? I think I might start using it more frequently. It is such a lovely phrase, congratulations/good fortune to come. It sounds much better than "Oooh congratulations" after the first 15 people say it.
  22. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I know what it means, but I don't use it.
  23. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    I knew what it meant but no I don't use it either...
  24. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    I didn't know what it meant and the only time I use it is when I'm singing along with the Black Eyed Peas. :)
  25. agolden

    agolden Well-Known Member

    I'm Jewish and I use it whenever appropriate. I rarely rarely say congratulations. That being said, I grew up thinking lots of Yiddish words were English and was very puzzled when other people didn't understand me. Conversely, I assumed some English words were "tongue" as in the deli meat. C'mon. They couldn't really be feeding me tongue could they?
  26. momofangels

    momofangels Well-Known Member

    I think it's so cool that language's change with new meanings attached to things. Such as words I use, that mean one thing to me and sound like nonsense to others not from my hometown (like "redding up" or "slippy").
    Or take the word "gay" for example -- it certainly had a different meaning than it did 100 years ago!
    For example, I sometimes use the word "kosher" -- like things aren't OK by the rules, or by the book -- and the original meaning of the word is much different. I think if words come to have a different meaning/usage, that's part of the growth of the language. But I also think hat the original meanings of words should be remembered, when possible. (Not all changes in meaning are bad, and not all original meanings have to be left as is).
  27. Cristina

    Cristina Well-Known Member

    This is my favorite You Tube video for that song: You tube
  28. momofangels

    momofangels Well-Known Member

    I like tongue, when I found out it was really tongue I was kind of turned off from it for a while. I'll stick with bagels and lox. I once had a friend who made a big thing about his favorite meal of tripe being cow stomach. Same feeling, I guess.
  29. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

  30. TwinsItIs

    TwinsItIs Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the votes and really interesting comments. I smiled quite a few times through the thread. Mazal Tov is a beautiful phrase IMO. The results are also interesting.
  31. momotwinsmom

    momotwinsmom Well-Known Member

    Cristina, that was great! I loved it!
  32. tamaras

    tamaras Well-Known Member

    Fun poll Esther!! :good:
    I use Mazel Tov around my family at parties or holidays or at weddings & Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. I also L.O.V.E. 'I Got A Feeling' by the black eyed peas & love that Mazel Tov is in the song (along with L'chaim!)
  33. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    Cristina, that was a great video!

    I wanted to add my favorite! Flash Mob- 20,000 dancers dance to I Got a Feeling on the Oprah show. Apparently, she did not know it was going to happen. Start the video at 40 seconds. After it is done, they show how they got the participants and how they practiced.
    1 person likes this.
  34. akameme

    akameme Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    that was so cool Nicole! I think that is the most geniune expression I have seen on Oprah's face in the last decade.
  35. TwinsItIs

    TwinsItIs Well-Known Member

    This was SERIOUSLY fun to watch!
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