Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A tremendous post

The problem with all my Heblish posts is that I risk being typecast.

After all, I certainly don’t want to be dismissed as, “Mrs. S? Oh, you mean that Heblish blogger?”

And so, I’ve decided to turn my attention to another made-up language: Yeshivish.

While Heblish is a blend of Hebrew and English, Yeshivish is compromised of four languages: Yiddish, Aramaic, Hebrew, and English.

But if Yeshivish doesn’t interest you, let me assure you that my foray into this topic will be brief and limited to a single question.

Specifically, I’ve been wondering:

Do non-Yeshivish speakers use the word “tremendous”?

I mean, one hears the phrases, “a tremendous learner,” “a tremendous ba’al tzedakah,” and even [the rather oxymoronic] “a tremendous anav,” all the time.

But no one ever says, “a tremendous software developer,” “a tremendous doctor” or even “a tremendous blogger.”

Feel free to leave a comment with more anecdotal evidence, but in the meantime, I headed to Google for some cold hard facts.

As you can see from the following chart*, an incredible 14% of the time that someone used the word “tremendous” somewhere on the Web, they did so in a Jewish context.

Moreover, when I searched for the emphatic “tremendous tremendous”, the percentage jumped to a whopping 17%.

If 17% doesn’t sound like much, please note that Jewish-themed pages presumably account for considerably less than 17% of the Web.

Search term

Number of hits


tremendous34,400,000 --
tremendous Jews OR Jewish OR Jew OR Israel OR rabbi OR Torah OR Yisroel OR Yisrael OR Yiddishkeit4,760,000 14%
"tremendous tremendous" 14,500 --
"tremendous tremendous" Jews OR Jewish OR Jew OR Israel OR rabbi OR Torah OR Yisroel OR Yisrael OR Yiddishkeit 2,390 17%
”tremendous tremendous”

Now that’s tremendous…



* Yes, I am inordinately proud of myself for figuring out how to make HTML tables. Why do you ask? :-)


  1. i think this is label


    (the a hundred is supposed to be big just i cant do that)

    (mag: i am first this time)

  2. Your research skills are tremendous. I am impressed.

  3. Tremendous linguistic post!

  4. A tremendous comment:
    YAT: there are 101 labels. this post has two new ones. we did not have the big 100 Labels party...

    (BTW: I'm going be first next time. you can't beat me...)

  5. I must not hang around with enough Yeshivish types. Can't think of anyone who says tremendous.

    But continue with Yeshivish lessons. They are mamish gevaldik (do you know anyone who says that? my kids' principal cannot stop using that expression).

  6. YAT - See MAG's comment.

    MiI and Ilana-Davita - Thanks for the tremendous compliments.

    MAG - It's really too bad that we didn't have a "100 Labels Party." I'm pretty sure that we would've been the first ones on our block to host such a celebration...

    Leora - Truthfully, most of the time, we don't really move in Yeshivish circles either. I just happened to be reading an article online, and the author was obviously, well, a tremendous fan of the word "tremendous"...

  7. The topic was interesting but the way you proved your point was impressive.


  8. SPYYZ - Welcome back to the blog! It really is a tremendous honor to have a comment from you...


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