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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION TOOK PLACE BETWEEN A CUSTOMER AND A
WAITRESS IN A JEWISH RESTAURANT.
FUNEM?
SVFM.
FUNEX?
SVFX.
OKMNX.
TRANSLATION:
HAVE YOU ANY HAM?
YES, WE HAVE HAM.
HAVE YOU ANY EGGS?
YES, WE HAVE EGGS.
OK, HAM AND EGGS.

Submitter comment: WHEN MY GREAT UNCLE TRIED THIS ON US NO ONE COULD GUESS IT JUST BY
LOOKING AT IT. HOWEVER, WHEN HE READ IT TO US USING EXPRESSION IT
WAS MUCH EASIER TO CATCH ON. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS "PUZZLE" IS
THAT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH ON TO THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE
IT. THEN ONCE YOU ARE TOLD WHAT IT MEANS THE ELEMENT OF CURIOSITY IS
DESTROYED. ALMOST INVARIABLY PEOPLE WILL TRY TO READ EACH LINE
AS A WORD NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU TELL THEM TO PRONOUNCE EACH
LETTER SEPARATELY.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): JEWISH PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001960S

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Entry filtered.

WHAT DOES A JEWISH WOMAN MAKE FOR DINNER? SHE MAKES
RESERVATIONS!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): THE SO-CALLED JEWISH-AMERICAN PRINCESS WOULD AVOID WORK,

Subject headings: JEWI

Date learned: 10-00-1983

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Caught

Three men: a Catholic, Jew and Protestant; were digging a ditch in front of a house of inequity. They looked up and saw the Rabbi coming down the street. The Rabbi stopped in front of the house, looked both ways and ran up the steps. When this happened the Catholic and Protestant really gave it to the Jew. A little later, the Protestant minister came down the street, stopped in front of the house, looked both ways and ran up the steps. Well now it was the Protestant's turn to be razzed. A little later the three saw a Catholic priest walk up to the front of the house, look both ways and run up the steps. The Catholic man yelled "There must be somebody sick in there!"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ALLUSION TO PROSTITUTION ; Catholic ; HUMOR ; Jewish ; JOKE ; PROSTITUTION ; Protestant ; RELIGION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

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A Joke

Informant told me that it is a standing joke among the Jewish people he knows that no two Jews can agree on anything except on what the third Jew should give.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Jewish is written in the upper left hand corner of the submission.

The original BN's [A566, B660] have the lightest ink mark running through them. It may be that they were crossed out, or it may simply be a very light, very faint pen mark.

Submission card located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: TELEPHONE ; TOLD BY

Keyword(s): ETHNIC JOKE ; HUMOR ; Jewish ; JOKE ; Stereotype

James Callow Keyword(s): Jewish

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

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Ethnic Joke: Jewish

Irishman, Scotchman and Jew visiting dead friend in funeral parlor. Sign on dead man's chest says, "I'd like to take some money with me when I go." Irishman puts out $500. So does the Scotchman. Jew writes a $1500 check and takes the $1000 as change.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [B66] crossed out

Submission card located in pile marked [?]

Where learned: BUFFALO ; NEW YORK ; Collection

Keyword(s): AFTERLIFE ; BURIAL ; Dead ; Distasteful ; ETHNIC ; Funeral ; Irish ; Jewish ; JOKE ; MONEY ; Offensive ; Penny-pincher ; SCOTTISH ; Stereotype

James Callow Keyword(s): Jewish

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery

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Ethnic Joke: Misc.

One fellow advising another to buy Fisher Price Toy MFG.Co. stock, because they were planning to marker a new item that was expected to go great. It was a boxed jigsaw puzzle made expressly for (Poles, or Italians, or Irish, etc.) with instructions which would eliminate any confusion by saying "open either end."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission located in pile marked [?]

Where learned: BUFFALO ; NEW YORK ; Collection

Keyword(s): BUSINESS ; Entertainments ; ETHNIC ; GAMES ; Investment ; Italian ; Jewish ; Mockery ; POLISH ; RIDICULE ; Stereotype ; Stock

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery

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Ethnic Joke: Jewish

Descriptions of a Jewish Christmas Card: on the front it has a tree, and strung from the tree, instead of the usually bulbs [sic], it has 32 colored Matzo Balls, and on the top, instead of the star of Bethlehem, it has a Jewish star, not the star adavin [sic], but a picture of Sammy Davis Jr. or Liz Taylor, you can take your pick.

Submitter comment:

Sammy Davis Jr. and Liz Taylor are Jewish movie stars.

Data entry tech comment:

I believe that adavin is supposed to be "of David."

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in pile marked [?]

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; OAK PARK

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; Decoration ; Distasteful ; ETHNIC ; Hollywood ; HUMOR ; Jewish ; JOKES ; Offensive ; Stereotype ; Tree

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery

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Toast

Here's to the world as round as a wheel

That all must feel,

If this life were a thing that you could buy,

The Jews would all live while the Irish would die.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): Buy ; DRINKING ; ETHNIC ; Irish ; Jewish ; LIFE ; MONEY ; Purchase ; Social ; Stereotype ; TOAST ; Wheel

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
SPEECH -- Formula

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Wedding Custom

Wedding Custom:

At Jewish weddings there is a practice of the bride and groom smashing their champagne glass againsst the floor during the ceremony to symbolize that marriage sometimes involves disorder and discontent.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): CEREMONY ; Cultural ; Culture ; DISCONTENT ; Disorder ; GLASS ; Jewish ; MARRIAGE ; Practice ; RELIGION ; Smash ; SYMBOL ; Symbolic ; Symbolize ; tradition ; WEDDING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

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WHAT'S THE DEFINITION OF A CPA?
A JEW THAT CAN'T STAND THE SIGHT OF BLOOD AND STAMMERS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): CPA: Racism ; ETHNIC SLUR ; Jewish

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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Q:WHAT DID MR. & MRS. MINK GIVE EACH OTHER FOR CHRISTMAS?
A:A FULL LENGTH JEW.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): ; CHRISTMAS ; ETHNIC SLUR ; Fur ; GERMAN ; HOLOCAUST ; Jewish ; JOKE ; Mink

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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Entry filtered.

Q:WHAT ARE THE THREE SHORTEST BOOKS EVER WRITTEN?
A:JEWISH BUSINESS ETHICS, ITALIAN WAR HEROES, AND THE POLISH
MIND.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): ETHNIC SLUR ; Italian ; Jewish ; JOKE ; POLISH

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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Q:WHY DO JEWS HAVE BIG NOSES?
A:AIR IS FREE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): ETHNIC SLUR ; Jewish ; JOKE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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A:WHAT DO YOU HAVE WHEN YOU CROSS A NEGRO WITH A JEW?
B:A JANITOR, BUT HE OWNS THE BUILDING!

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): African American ; Black ; ETHNIC SLUR ; Jewish ; JOKE ; NEGRO ; Stereotype

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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BUTTON BELIEF

YOU SHOULD NOT SEW A BUTTON ON YOUR OWN GARMENTS (ON YOUR BODY)
UNLESS YOU ARE CHEWING SOMETHING.

Submitter comment:

THE REASON IS THAT YOU SEW THINGS ON DEAD PEOPLE. A JEWISH
CUSTOM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Button ; CUSTOM ; Dead ; Deceased ; Jewish ; Mend ; Sew ; Sew ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 04-00-1968

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JEWISH NARRATIVE: CEMETERY

FOUR MEN WERE BOASTING ABOUT THEIR BRAVERY. THEY FINALLY DECIDED
THAT A FAIR TEST WOULD BE A SOLO TRIP THROUGH THE CEMETERY. TO
PROVE THAT THEY HAD TRAVERSED THE ENTIRE ROUTE THEY WERE TO POUND
STAKES INTO THE GROUND PERIODICALLY. THREE OF THE MEN ENTERED THE
CEMETERY AND MET ON THE OTHER SIDE PROUND OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
THE FOURTH NEVER RETURNED.
THE NEXT DAY THE THREE WENT IN SEARCH OF HIM AND FOUND HIM DEAD OF
A HEART ATTACK. HE HAD POUNDED A STAKE INTO THE GROUND AND HAD
INADVERTANTLY PINNED THE TAIL OF HIS COAT TO THE GROUND.
APPARENTLY AS HE GOT UP TO COMPLETE HIS JOURNEY, HE WAS
IMMOBILIZED FROM BEHIND BY THE STAKE AND HE SUFFERED A HEART
ATTACK FROM HIS PANIC.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT RELATED THIS STORY AS ONE THAT EVERY JEWISH BOY
LEARNS ABOUT FALSE BRAVERY AND RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; CEMETERY ; Fable ; Jewish ; Tale

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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JEWISH NARRATIVE: CEMETERY

FOUR MEN WERE BOASTING ABOUT THEIR BRAVERY. THEY FINALLY DECIDED
THAT A FAIR TEST WOULD BE A SOLO TRIP THROUGH THE CEMETERY. TO
PROVE THAT THEY HAD TRAVERSED THE ENTIRE ROUTE THEY WERE TO POUND
STAKES INTO THE GROUND PERIODICALLY. THREE OF THE MEN ENTERED THE
CEMETERY AND MET ON THE OTHER SIDE PROUND OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
THE FOURTH NEVER RETURNED.
THE NEXT DAY THE THREE WENT IN SEARCH OF HIM AND FOUND HIM DEAD OF
A HEART ATTACK. HE HAD POUNDED A STAKE INTO THE GROUND AND HAD
INADVERTANTLY PINNED THE TAIL OF HIS COAT TO THE GROUND.
APPARENTLY AS HE GOT UP TO COMPLETE HIS JOURNEY, HE WAS
IMMOBILIZED FROM BEHIND BY THE STAKE AND HE SUFFERED A HEART
ATTACK FROM HIS PANIC.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT RELATED THIS STORY AS ONE THAT EVERY JEWISH BOY
LEARNS ABOUT FALSE BRAVERY AND RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; BRAVERY ; Fable ; FEAR ; GRAVEYARD ; Jewish ; RESPECT ; Tale

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-24-1967

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JEWISH NARRATIVE: CEMETERY

FOUR MEN WERE BOASTING ABOUT THEIR BRAVERY. THEY FINALLY DECIDED
THAT A FAIR TEST WOULD BE A SOLO TRIP THROUGH THE CEMETERY. TO
PROVE THAT THEY HAD TRAVERSED THE ENTIRE ROUTE THEY WERE TO POUND
STAKES INTO THE GROUND PERIODICALLY. THREE OF THE MEN ENTERED THE
CEMETERY AND MET ON THE OTHER SIDE PROUND OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
THE FOURTH NEVER RETURNED.
THE NEXT DAY THE THREE WENT IN SEARCH OF HIM AND FOUND HIM DEAD OF
A HEART ATTACK. HE HAD POUNDED A STAKE INTO THE GROUND AND HAD
INADVERTANTLY PINNED THE TAIL OF HIS COAT TO THE GROUND.
APPARENTLY AS HE GOT UP TO COMPLETE HIS JOURNEY, HE WAS
IMMOBILIZED FROM BEHIND BY THE STAKE AND HE SUFFERED A HEART
ATTACK FROM HIS PANIC.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT RELATED THIS STORY AS ONE THAT EVERY JEWISH BOY
LEARNS ABOUT FALSE BRAVERY AND RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; BRAVERY ; Fable ; FEAR ; Jewish ; RESPECT ; Tale

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-24-1967

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IT IS VERY IMPORANT TO A JEWISH STORE-OWNER THAT THE FIRST
CUSTOMER ON A MONDAY MORNING MUST BUY SOMETHING, REGARDLESS
OF THE PRICE. IF AND WHEN THE CUSTOMER DOES BUY SOMETHING, IT
MEANS GOOD LUCK AND GOOD SELLING THE REST OF THE WEEK.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Buy ; CUSTOM ; Customer ; Jewish ; Merchant ; Monday ; OMEN ; Purchase ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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Entry filtered.

FOLK ETYMOLOGY: SHYSTER

THIS WORD IS THE CURRENT NAME OF AN UNSCRUPULOUS LAWYER. A
GERMAN LAWYER OF NEW YORK ONCE APPLIED FOR A WARRANT FOR A
CLIENT WHO HAD SLANDERED HIM BY CALLING HIM A VULGAR NAME
WHICH, AS PRONOUNCED BY THE LAWYER, SOUNDED LIKE SHYSTER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Anti-Semitic ; ETYMOLOGY ; INSULT ; Jewish ; Origin ; Slur

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Common law
SPEECH -- S478

Date learned: 11-29-1969

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