Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe Marjorie Wolfe
Welcome
by Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
A YIDDISH GUIDE TO “FIFTY SHADES OF GREY”

Have you noticed that the ladies are giggling in the “bicher-krom” (book store)?

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is #1 in Trade Fiction and #1 in Fiction, according to The New York Times Book Review, May 13, 2012. The book has been flying off the shelves and has become the hot pick for book clubs across the country.

Shown below is A Yiddish Guide to “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E. L. James.

“aynkoyfn” (to shop)
Katie Roiphe wrote, “Reading Fifty Shades of Grey is no more risque or rebellious or disturbing than, say, shopping for a pair of black boots or an arty asymmetrical dress at Barneys.”

“bal-toyve” (benefactor)
Christian Grey is a major benefactor to WSU and is the commencement speaker at graduation.

“biblioteck” (library)
The Brevard County Public Library in east- central Florida has pulled copies of “Fifty Shades of Grey” from its shelves after officials decided they were not suitable for for public circulation. They view the books as pornographic material. The book has also been banned in growing numbers of libraries in Georgia and Wisconsin. (see “opozitsye”)

“bilyon” (billion)
Christian Grey is a 27-year-old billionaire entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. His 20-story office building is an architect’s utilitarian fantasy.

“blitspost”/“elektronish post” (e-mail)
Anastasia feels that E-mailing Christian is addictive. Ana refers to the computer (MacBook) as the “mean machine.”

“ersht” (first)
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is the first novel in a trilogy by British author, E. L. James.

“folgn” (obey)
Christian Grey wants Anastasia (AKA “Ana”) to obey his every command.

“frage” (question)
James has signed a multimillion deal to have her stories brought to the big screen. The question: Will actor Ian Somerhalder (“Vampire Diaries”)—who has expressed interest in the role of Christian Grey—get the job? Selena Gomez is the latest star that fans are hoping to see score the role of Ana.

“fraynd”/“khaver” (friend)
The Seattle Times contained a photo of Christian and Anastasia together at graduation. The caption: Christian Grey and friend at the graduation ceremony at WSU Vancouver.

“frosh” (frog)
Ana’s mom gives her this advice: “Darling, you know what they say, ‘You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.’”

“ganaiden” (Garden of Eden/paradise) Anastasia feels that she’s Eve in the Garden of Eden and Christian is the serpent.

“helft” (half)
According to Google searches and fan sites, more than half the women reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” are in their 20s and 30s, and far more urban and blue state than the rampant caricature of them suggests. (Source: Newsweek, April 23 & 30, 2012)

“heym” (home)
Christian’s apartment is an art gallery, not a home. He lives in isolation, surrounded by beautiful, precious works of art.

“kindhayt” (childhood)
E. L. James is a former television executive, wife and mother of two, based in West London. Since early childhood she dreamed of writing stories that readers would fall in love with. She told a room of 400 women at Carlyle on the Green, that if her home computer ever gets confiscated by social services, “my children will be taken away from me.”

“kine” (envy)
Anastasia is envious of the relationship between Kate and Elliot. (Elliot is warm, open, physical, and very physical with Kate.)

“klutz” (ungraceful, awkward person)
Anastasia has been upgraded to first class on her flight to Georgia. Christian was, of course, responsible. Ana said she wished he would have asked or told her, not made her look like a complete “klutz” at check-in.

“krign” (to acquire)
Anastasia receives an e-mail from Christian
regarding a proposal. It makes her weep. She says, “I am not a merger. I am not an acquisition.”

“matone” (gift/present)
Christian gives Anastasia a BlackBerry so that he’s able to contact her at all times.

“maykhl” (food/tasty dish)
Christian is fussy about food. One of his rules {Chapter 11] is that “The Submissive will eat regularly to maintain her health and well-being from a prescribed list of foods. The Submissive will not snack between meals, with the exception of fruit.” (Note: This rule was crossed out at a later date.)

“oysgeputst” (dressed up)
Christian’s customary dress is a white linen suit, black jeans, black tie, and black jacket “Dos oibershteh klaid fardekt di untershteh leid.” (The outergarment conceals the inner torment.)

“opozitsye”(opposition)
Random House fervently opposes literary censorship and supports the First Amendment rights of readers to make their own reading choices.

“oyg” (eye); “oygn” (eyes)
Christian’s Rules state that the Submissive shall not look directly into the eye of the Dominant, except when specifically directed to do so. “Er hot modneh drochim.” (He has odd ways.)

“oytomobile (automobile)
Christian gives Anastasia a red hatchback Audi to replace her old blue Volkswagon Beetle. “Es is zaier teier.” (It is very expensive.)

“paynikung” (torture)
Reviewers have called Christian Grey a “tortured” man. Christian admits that he is not a “hearts and flowers” kind of guy.

“raykhkayt” (wealth)
Christian wants Ana to have the best of everything. He works exceptionally hard so he can spend his money as he sees fit. He calls it “redistribution of wealth.”

“shemevdik” (shy)
Anastasia Steele is a shy college student, majoring in literature, who resides in Seattle. When her roommate, Kate, becomes ill with the flu, she interviews Christian Grey, the mega-industrialist tycoom, for her campus “zhurnal” (newspaper).

“sheynkayt salon” (beauty salon/parlor)
Christian’s Rules include the fact that the Submissive will visit the beauty salon of the Dominant’s choosing at times to be decided by the Dominant and undergo whatever treatments the Dominant sees fit.

“shlofn” (to sleep)
Christian’s Rules state that the Submissive will sleep a minimum of eight hours at night when she is not with the Dominant. “Der shlof iz der bester dokter.” (Sleep is the best doctor.)

“shtele” (job)
Anastasia thinks that Christian’s idea of a relationship is more like a job offer. It has set hours, a job description, and a rather harsh grievance procedure.

“shver” (difficult)
Katie Roiphe calls Christian Grey, “the easiest difficult man of all time.” (Source: Newsweek)

“tantsn” (to dance)
While Anastasia is dancing with Christian, she recalls her mother’s often-recited warning: “Never trust a man who can dance.”

“tsaar” (grief)
Without revealing the book’s ending, Anastasia feels grief—grief that she has brought on by herself.

“tsuzogn” (to promise)
President Obama told the ladies on “The View” that he was not aware of the best seller, “Fifty Shades of Grey”...but he promised he would ask his wife.

“umetik” (sad)
Christian has a sad side. He’s a “tselularer telefon” (a cell phone)-tracking, helicopter owning stalker.

“Vos iz in kop iz ahfen tsung!” (What’s on his mind is on his tongue!)
Christian is constantly telling Anastasia to stop biting her lip.

“zamlung” (collection)
Anastasia’s collection includes a car, the BlackBerry, the Mac, Christian’s black jacket, a set of valuable old first editions, and clothes. “Vos noch?” (What else?) Maybe a condo???

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Marjorie Wolfe disagrees with the woman on CNN, who called “Fifty Shades of Grey” a Disney story for adults.

Marjorie Wolfe
  Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe