Here’s an interesting query we had recently about a Yiddish expression a reader remembered from a Mickey Katz song.

My friend uses the expression (excuse the transliteration): “its good for the maugen” whenever we are eating celery which he got from his father. I have not been able to find a specific translation of the yiddish term in any glossary, but the meaning seems clear from the context. I noticed that Mickey Katz uses the expression in his tune “The Barber of Schlmiel”. My elderly mother who is a yiddish/polish speaker from Warsaw knew the expression but could not give me a satisfactory translation other than stomach (then why not pupik or kishke). Can you help?

“Maugen” (or “mogn” in standard transliteration) is the actual word for “stomach.” “Pupik” is a navel, “kishke” an intestine (or any other tube-like organ: the appendix, for instance, is the blindeh kishke); your mother’s translation is really the only accurate one.

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