bageling

Alternative Spellings

beigeling, beygeling, bagelling

Definitions

  • Identifying another person as a Jew.
  • Inserting a Jewish phrase or concept into a conversation in order to determine whether the other person is or isn't Jewish.

Example Sentences

  • "I thought my seatmate might be Jewish, so I bagelled him by asking if he was headed home for the hagim."
  • "Will got bageled at the doctor's office; the doctor said that she was taking Rosh haShanah off, too."

Languages of Origin

Yiddish, English

Etymology

derived from Yiddish בײגל beygl (see "bagel" entry)

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Younger: Jews in their 30s or younger

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

None

Notes

Doodie Miller, former Director of Operations at YU's University School Partnership, takes credit for inventing the term and maintains a web site about the concept, "The Bagel Theory" (http://bageltheory.com/). Writer Jessica Levine Kupferberg popularized the concept in an article for "j. weekly" (http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/34034/have-you-ever-been-bageled/), in which she credited Miller. "Bageling" is also used in several other ways: to describe stockings (especially nylon panty hose) falling in circles around someone's ankles; a Japanese fad involving facial modification; the act of shopping for bagels or discussing the art of bagel making; in tennis, to be bageled is to lose a match without winning a game.

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