Self portraits

Self portraits

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hak Mir Nisht Ken Tshaynik

Literally meaning "don't bang away at me like the lid on an empty kettle", the phrase "hakn a tshaynik" was tossed around freely when I was little. But, mainly I remember it in Yinglish (Yiddish-English) as "quit hakkin' me a tshaynik". I've since found that every culture has an idiom for the elders to tell the young people to shut-up.

Also, my grandmother never learned the English name for tea kettle; it was always, "Give me the tshaynik" or "Shut off the tshaynik". . . so my mother thought that 'tshaynik' was English for 'tea kettle' until she was well into her 20's.

Mishegoss Clown, acrylic on cd, 4.5" diam., 2007

me·shu·gaas or mish·e·gaas or mish·e·goss (msh-gäs)
n. Slang
Crazy or senseless activity or behavior; craziness.
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