Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gratitude - Letter - "O"

This post is part of the 2012 A-Z challenge, created by the intrepid Arlee Bird at: http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/


I just love the expression "Oy Vay!" It's Yiddish and it really can't be translated literally, but it means oh my goodness, oh my, uh oh, and several other feelings all rolled into one. I didn't grow up in a religious family and my parents didn't speak Yiddish, but the neighborhood I grew up in did have many Jewish families where the language was spoken, so I learned a few things. I have gratitude for Oy Vay because when English words fail me in response to certain things, Oy Vay does it. I think it may even have crossed over to use by those who are not of Jewish heritage. Has it?



Claudia Moser said...

It fits so many situations, I agree with your comments!

Anonymous said...

I use Oy Vay and not sure why. It just sounds like the right thing to say when I can't find the words to say at the time.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I have never heard those words Karen, so this is something new I have learned today.

Have a good day.


Talli Roland said...

In England, people shout 'Oi!' quite frequently. It's a way of getting people's attention... a stronger form of 'hey' (and a bit ruder).

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Claudia,
Stephen, exactly!
Yvonne, that's cool!
Talli, that's interesting.

Kathleen Valentine said...

I say "Oy vey!" all the time and I'm Catholic -- it's just an excellent expression.

L.G.Smith said...

Sometimes it's just the exact right thing to say. I use it like a verbal eye roll. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I didn't know the phrase was Jewish.

Tracy Makara said...

I grew up listening to my grandmother say 'Oy vey' and it definitely rubbed off. Love the saying. As you wrote, it conveys so many things all in two little words.

Tracy Jo said...

Lol! Love it and have a Jewish friend that every time she said it, it put a smile on my face.

Glynis said...

I think I might have used this in my novel, or something similar. I have a Jewish book seller, and researched words he might use. I fell in love with some, and this one was one of them. Not sure if I changed it to another I found. Great choice of word, Karen.

Patricia Stoltey said...

That's funny, Karen -- yes, I've been known to use phrase and I'm not Jewish either. This is a clever "O" choice for your theme.

Feather Stone said...

Hey, I love it. I'm going to add it to my vocabulary. I had an elderly German friend years ago; her favorite expression, which I never understood, was something like Gauto, gauto, gauto (?spelling). Anyone know what it means? Feather

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I won't tell you what I say when intelligent words fail me.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've never used it, though I've been living a Jewish life since I was 18 (over 13 years). It would feel really forced and fake if I started bursting out with Yiddishisms. I'm more likely to exclaim something in Slovakian, Russian, or German, since I'm used to reading, hearing, and speaking those languages. My favorite expression, which I use for shock, delight, and exasperation, is the German "Zeigenhaf!" (or however it's spelt). It was one of the stock phrases used by Mozart in the old Mac game The Dissonance Quartet.

Gina Gao said...

I love this post. You have such good writing.


Karen Walker said...

Kathleen, I had no idea so many non-Jewish folks used this word. Guess it has crept into our lexicon.
L.G. It goes perfectly with a eyeball roll.
Diane, it's Yiddish, which is quite similar to German.
Tracy, was your grandma Jewish?
Tracy Jo, yes, it seems to do that to folks.
Glynis, that would be cool if you used it.
Patricia, thanks
Feather, hope someone answers the question
Alex, awww, come on.
Carrie-Ann, thanks
Gina, thank you so much

Heather M. Gardner said...

I use it all the time. Not Jewish either.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm not Jewish and I love this expression - it conveys so much! :)

DL Hammons said...

I've actually uttered that phrase, although I am totally ignorant of its origins! :)

Amanda Heitler said...

Yes. Know it and use it. Great expression - so versatile :)


baygirl32 said...

yet another phrase I learned watching Seinfeld :)