Yiddish: נפקא

אדם

Senior Member
English - USA
שלום לכולכם,

I was told by a friend that in Yiddish nafka means whore. Recently I searched nafka to try to find its plural, and I came upon a Wikipedia page that was titled "Nafka minnah". Is there a large difference in the meaning between the nafka used in these two situations? Maybe nafka is just slang?

תודה
-
אדם
 
  • Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Hi Adam,

    I've never heard nafka meaning "whore" in Yiddish. Is your friend sure about that?

    Nafka minna is a term used in legal and Talmudic texts. The nafka minna of something is the result it produces.
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    The words I've heard for "whore" in Yiddish are mufkeres (מופקרת) and zoyne (זונה). I don't see how nafka makes any sense.

    But I forgot that we're in the Hebrew forum and Yiddish belongs in Other Languages. :eek:
     

    scriptum

    Senior Member
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    "Nafqa" means "whore" in Aramaic. It is the feminine present participle of the verb nun-pe-qof, "to go out". Nafqa is a woman who doesn't stay quietly at home.
    The word exists in Hebrew, too. It is very rarely ever used.
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I've never heard it with that meaning, scriptum, though I trust you on this implicitly. And it's spelled the same as in נפקא מינא?
     

    scriptum

    Senior Member
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    And it's spelled the same as in נפקא מינא?
    Yes of course. It's the same word. נפקא מינה means "this goes out of that" (literally: "she goes out from her") = "these are two different things").
    In the Even Shoshan dictionary you will find both נפקה and יצאנית =) נפקנית).
     

    jordkutz

    New Member
    English
    Nafke means whore in Yiddish although you're going to hear zoyne or kurve a lot more commonly. Nafke is from Aramaic, it has almost a literary flavor to it.
     

    driftingmoods

    New Member
    Hindi & English
    The words I've heard for "whore" in Yiddish are mufkeres (מופקרת) and zoyne (זונה). I don't see how nafka makes any sense.
    I was reading Sophie's Choice in which a character called Nathan gets upset with his girlfriend and calls her nafka(see page 410 of the book) for he thinks that she's been cheating on him. So nafka must mean "a whore". I hope this helps :). Have a nice day.
     

    Mendele

    New Member
    English-US
    Nafke was widely used by Lenny Bruce for "prostitute" and more generally as an affectionate term of abuse, Murray, you nafka, what are you doing with my car? If the Aramaic etymology above is right, it would be on the lines of the English "common nightwalker." 'Zoinah' is from Biblical Hebrew "Zonah" prostitute or inn-keeper, example the zonah who sympathized with Jonah and Caleb in Jericho. Mufekeres I have seen only in Talmudic discussions as a woman who has relations without going to the mikva, but would be typical of circumlocutions used in Talmud if applied to a professional sex-worker.
     
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