mensch

Alternative Spellings

mench, mentsh

Definitions

  • "An upright, honorable, a decent person." (Rosten)

Example Sentences

  • "Robert is such a mensch. Not only does he volunteer at the old age home, but he even goes out of his way to help his friends move."

Languages of Origin

Yiddish

Etymology

מענטש mentsh 'man, human being; responsible/mature person'

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

Rosten: The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
Yiddish: Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
JPS: The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
Weiser: Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
Steinmetz: Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

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