Yiddish(?): Bardash

aefrizzo

Senior Member
italiano
Hello people.
I am reading "La famiglia Karnowski" (I.J.Singer, Di Mischpohe Karnowski, 1943) directly translated into Italian from Yiddish (2013).
In the first pages of chapter 8 we meet a minor character, a young Jew, sort of wanderer student with Russian roots, extensive wandering all around Europe and eventually settled in Berlin (first decade of XX century). His Berliner friends use to address him with the nickname "Bardash" because of his extravagant attires and behaviour, what he seems to enjoy .
The term "Bardash" altough obsolete actually occurs in almost all Western European languages, English included, but not in German as one can see from the common on-line dictionaries. It displays slightly spelling variants with huge meaning differences.
I wonder whether the above nickname is (was) Yiddish and which Eastern Europe country (if any) presumably comes it from. Or is it just a borrowing from Western Europe in spite of the German bypass?
Thank you for any hint.
PS I am not able to read Hebrew or Yiddish.
PPS. If someone is interested in the "prequel" of this post of mine, look please at the thread "Bardascio, Bardache, Bardash" in the EHL forum: etymo, borrowings, travel roads.
 
Last edited:
  • duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    I have never heard this word but on the web:

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Definition of bardash
    plural -es
    : a homosexual male : catamite
    --------
    Origin and Etymology of bardash

    Middle French bardache, from Old Italian dialect bardascia youth, homosexual, from Arabic bardajslave, from Persian bardah
     

    aefrizzo

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Thank you, Duvija, for your attention.
    A contributor of my previous trhead suggested a possible format of that word, assuming it was Yiddish.
    באַרדאַש , with a patah under each aleph.
    Does it help?
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Thank you, Duvija, for your attention.
    A contributor of my previous trhead suggested a possible format of that word, assuming it was Yiddish.
    באַרדאַש , with a patah under each aleph.
    Does it help?
    It is wrong to assume.
    As pointed out in #2 and mentioned in your previous thread on this subject, it was probably a loan word from French.
    Bardache : Définition simple et facile du dictionnaire
     

    aefrizzo

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Hello, WR-pals
    Have a look, please to some more detailed dictionaries, f.i. TLFi (fr), Treccani (it), Crusca (it)...Beside the first meanings (casimite, war slave ….) a more colloquial one occurs to playfully define, without any sexual innuendo, a disorderly young person who displays messy extravagant attires and behaviours. It fits thoroughly to the character Singer friendly describes in a few pages, as well as to the colloquial meaning occurring in my neck of woods.

    Wrong to assume it was Yiddish? Just a loan word? I would expect a different spelling, i.e. Bardache from French or Bardach from (unexistent) German. Actually we have no evidence.

    The weak link is my reading the novel in a Yiddish>Italian translation-transliteration. I was hoping to bump into a Yiddish speaker who happens to have read the original Yiddish text. He should be able to evaluate by comparison the appropriateness of the word in those Italian pages. I didn't realize how low is such a likelihood.

    Anyway Grazie, ragazzi. Thank you for the time you took to read my lucubrations.
    Have a nice summer and good readings.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top