A new initiative called  The Jewish English Lexicon is (re)creating a field of Jewish Linguistics by keeping track of Yinglish, Hebrish, and other distinctive ways English-speaking Jews speak.

The person who is single-handedly behind this new and very useful resource is Professor Sarah Bunin Benor, who recently authored the book, Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism.

To be clear, The Jewish English Lexicon, is more than just what is offered in the book penned by noted lingust Chaim M. Weiser,  Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish. According to Professor Benor, “the goals of the Jewish English Lexicon are to collect data on the English of Jews in America and elsewhere and to make it available to the general public. JEL is a collaborative database of distinctive words that are used in the speech or writing of English-speaking Jews. Think of it as the Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary of Jewish language.”

We encourage you to look around The Jewish English Lexicon or recommend it to others who are looking for a way to become familiar with and better acclimated to the various nuances and jargons that one comes across while hanging out with American Jews.

To learn more about Professor Benor and her method of sociolinguistics, read her interview here.



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