The New York City Public Schools have officially declared Jewish English, now dubbed Hebronics, as a second language.
Backers of the movement say the city schools are the first in the nation to recognize Hebronics as a valid language and a significant attribute of American culture.
According to a linguistics professor at Brooklyn College and renowned Hebronics scholar, the sentence structure of Hebronics derives from middle and eastern European language patterns, as well as Yiddish.
The Professor explains, “In Hebronics, the response to any question is usually another question with a complaint that is either implied or stated.”
Thus “How are you?” would be answered, “How should I be, with my bad feet?”
He says that Hebronics is a superb linguistic vehicle for expressing sarcasm or skepticism.
An example is the repetition of a word with “sh” or “shm” at the beginning: “Mountains, shmountains. Stay away. You should want a nosebleed?”
Another Hebronics pattern is moving the subject of a sentence to the end, with its pronoun at the beginning: “It’s beautiful, that dress.”
He says one also sees the Hebronics verb moved to the end of the sentence.
Thus the response to a remark such as “He’s slow as a turtle,” would be: “Turtle, shmurtle! Like a fly in Vaseline he walks.”
He provided the following examples of Hebronics:
Question: “What time is it?”
English answer: “Sorry, I don’t know.”
Hebronic answer: “What am I, a clock?”
Remark: “I hope things turn out okay.”
English response: “Thanks.”
Hebronic response: “I should be so lucky!”
Remark: “Hurry up. Dinner’s ready.”
English response: “Be right there.”
Hebronic response: “Alright already, I’m coming. What am I a race car?”
Remark: “I like the tie you gave me. I wear it all the time.”
English response: “Glad you like it.”
Hebronic response: “So what’s the matter; you don’t like the other ties I gave you?”
Remark: “Sarah and I are engaged.”
English response: “Congratulations!”
Hebronic response: “She could stand to lose a few pounds!”
Question: “Would you like to go riding with us?”
English answer: “Just say when!”
Hebronic response: “Riding, shmiding! Do I look like a cowboy?”
To the guest of honor at a birthday party:
English toast: “Happy birthday!”
Hebronic toast: “A year smarter you should become.”
Remark: “It’s a beautiful day.”
English response: “Sure is.”
Hebronic response: “So the sun is out; what else is new?”
Answering a phone call from a son:
English answer: “It’s been a while since you called.”
Hebronic response: “You didn’t wonder if I’m dead already?”