Sun 20 Mar, 2011 05:16 pm
I've been trying to read a book in yiddish (which I don't really know very well, but am trying to learn) and came across a word I'm not familiar with, and that, to my disappointment, is not to be found in Weinreich's dictionary. The word is שלפֿדיק, and to be precise: שלפֿדיקע געגנווארט.
I'd be very grateful, if someone out there could give me its translation, and even better, if he or she could explain to me the etymology of the word.
Thanks in advance,
I am guessing at the pronunciation. Is it something like (transliterated) shulefadim
? Should be a male plural word, I figure.
It's rather hard to guess the pronunciation due to the lack of vowels. That's what makes me think it's a loanword from hebrew, despite the fact that I can't find any hebrew word with that stem for which it would make sense. Nonetheless I suppose the transliteration would have to be something like "shelafdik"? It's definitely an adjective.
That's true, but it's a different word. There's no komets alef and nun in שלפֿדיק.
Not so sure it's a different word as the root word is there. FWIW, it seems clearly adjectival and it may be a sleep-related adjective.
Hebrew works on 3 letter roots (this means sleep): שלפ
Yes, but hebrew verb for sleeping is לישון, and the word שלאָפן comes from german "shlafen". Therefore I don't really think that word should loose vowels, it can however change them, as in שלעפֿעריק — "sleepy" (according to Weinreich).
But I don't know. Also, judging from the context nothing sleep-related really makes sense.
Thank you for responding.
Hebrew words can drop or gain vowels. Use of vowels is not strict. I'm well aware that 'shluffen is its Germanic derivation. However, I'm no Hebraic expert by any means.
I know hebrew words loose vowels. What I was trying to say, is that since the word derives from a german word, I'm not sure about the loss of vowels.
But than again, I'm no expert too.
oh I'm sorry. I sounded it out. I think it means sloppy. Schlump-(a dik)
Perhaps there's a typo but if it's a P sound not the F sound, then it might make sense. Does that fit the context?
Vowels are basically superfluous so don't get hung up on them - particularly in a transliteration from German(Yiddish) or English to Hebrew.
No, no. It's certainly an F.
The author of the text sets it against "great past". So it has to mean something like "small", "plain", "common", "vulgar".
I checked with Weinreich's dictionary all the possible combinations (of vowels), and there's nothing. Also, it's clearly not a typo, because it repeated twice in the same sentence.
How odd. Can you provide the remainder of the sentence (as translated into English)? Maybe we can derive it from context plus dictionaries.
The sentence is: "With one difference: Mendele struggled with the problem of influence, either taking on the שלפֿדיקע present, or the great past. For the new poetry that problem is: weather to take on the שלפֿדיקע past, or the great present?"
Sorry if it doesn't make sense, english is obviously not my first language.
What do you think?
Even with your supplying the context, it's unclear even with the whole sentence. I can't help you.
It's okay. Hmm sounds like the gist of it is something small (e. g. "not great") or maybe something like distant, as "distant past" or "forgotten past" or even "unforgotten past", those could also be idiomatic.
From the context it seems either 'sleepy' (שלאָפעדיקע) or maybe even 'sickly' (שלאפעדיקע). In either case, the word is missing yiddish vowels. Old publications weren't careful with consistency and uniformity, so this misspelling is not surprising.