Just Say Nu

just_say_nu_coverJust Say Nu – a cross between Henry Beard’s Latin for All Occasions and Ben Schott’s Schott’s Original Miscellany, the book is a practical guide to using Yiddish words and expressions in day-to-day situations. Along with enough grammar to enable readers to put together a comprehensible sentence and avoid embarrassing mistakes, Wex also explains the five most useful Yiddish words – shoyn, nu, epes, takeh, and nebakh – what they mean, how and when to use them, and how they can be used to conduct an entire conversation without anybody ever suspecting that the reader doesn’t have the vaguest idea of what anyone is actually saying. Readers will learn how to shmooze their way through such activities as meeting and greeting; eating and drinking; praising and finding fault; maintaining personal hygiene; going to the doctor; driving; parenting; getting horoscopes; committing crimes; going to singles bars; having sex; talking politics and talking trash.

Now that Stephen Colbert, a Catholic from South Carolina and host of the Colbert Report is using Yiddish to wish viewers a bright and happy Chanukah, people have finally started to realize that there’s nothing in the world that can’t be improved by translating it into Yiddish. Wex’s book is the one that’s going to show them how.

Read extracts from the book, send someone the talking Just Say Nu e-card, click on the links at the bottom of the page to buy the book or go to our online store for all your Just Say Nu merchandise.


“When a tipesh (moron) dawdles in front of you on the highway, selecting the right curse matters. Mr. Wex, like a Yiddish sommelier, knows just the expression for this or any other occasion.” William Grimes, New York Times Read the full New York Times review here

“Nu Yiddish? Nu problem. Maven’s latest is a gem” Loretta Eskenazi, J
Read the full J review here.

“Words like “shmooze” and “shlep” have long been part of New York City’s lingua franca, thanks to an influx of European Jewish immigrants here in the early 20th century. More than just a dictionary, Wex’s book waxes on the possible Biblical origins of certain words and offers useful phrases as well. The next hot day, try saying: “Nisht azoy hays vee faykht.” (It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity.) Wex’s parents must be kvelling.” Billy Heller, New York Post Required Reading column

“A colorful, uncensored guide to the idiomatic use of Yiddish” – Publisher’s Weekly

So you enjoyed Michael Wex’s Born to Kvetch, a North American introduction to Yiddish…? Even if you have no social connection with the haredi Ashkenazic community, you will probably also enjoy Just Say Nu – Yiddish for Every Occasion…. [I]t’s a delight.” – Jerusalem Post

“It just goes to show you the value of Wex’s advice: ‘Uttered in the proper tone of voice, virtually any phrase in this book can be turned into an insult.'” – Nora Krug, Washington Post.
Read the full Washington Post review here.

“I am not Jewish and, prior to reading the press release, I didn’t even know that words like putz and schmuck were Yiddish…Michael Wex completely sold the book to me with the first five paragraphs of his Introduction to Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Every Occasion.” – The Literate Housewife
Read the full Literate Housewife review here.

Click on the links below to order your copy of Just Say Nu today:




Everyone can buy the downloadable audio version by clicking on the image below.

Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won't Do)

For all your Just Say Nu-related merchandise go to our online store by clicking on the images below:

Just Say Nu buttonJust Say Nu t-shirtJust Say Nu tote bag