Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker
(Gimpl Beynish der Shadkhn)
Yiddish Comics of the early 20th century

Translation and commentary by Jane Peppler
Click here to read about and order the seven Gimpel books I've published.

Comics read right to left. Click on any comic strip for larger view.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Buying a horse or a wife, what's the difference? Just: who gets the fee.

It's obvious Sam Zagat loved to draw horses. In the summer of 1913 Gimpel spent a lot of time in the country, giving lots of opportunities for Zagat to draw barnyard animals. They are wonderful! Here's a horse being showcased the following March.

Notice that in the second frame Beril is called Shmeril. Is this the old Beril/Shmeril gag or just evidence of extremely sloppy editing?

Beril/Shmeril is using all the turns of phrase we've heard Gimpel use scores of times before when referring to women. Another reflection on the way Gimpel and his cronies regard women and horses, both, as skhoyre (merchandise). Click for a larger view:

March 16, 1914: Oh well, sometimes the ears can lead one astray.
  1. Beril: If I tell you she's all right, she's all right. I've seen her.
  2. Shmeril: There she is, see where she's standing there? Well, she's OK. You should go have a look.
  3. Beril: Come, you'll see her and we'll seal the deal. You're no youngster who can be fooled.
  4. GB: They're speaking, here, about a match. One should follow them, perhaps I'll pick up a little business.
  5. Beril: So, is she some ugly nag? I hate swindling.

מאַלע װאו דער אױער קען אַמאָל פֿאַרפֿיהרען אַ מענשען.

בעריל: אַז איך זאָג דיר אַז זיא איז אָלל-רײַט, איז אָלל-רײַט. איך האָב זיא געזעהען. ־
שמעריל: אָט דאָס איז זיא, װאָס זיא שטעהט דאָרט? װעלל, זיא איז נישקשה. מען דאַרף אַ קוק טהאָן. ־
בעריל: קום, װעסטו זיא זעהן, װעלען מיר אײַנקאָפּען. ביסט דאָך ניט קײן אינגעלע אז מען זאָל דיך אָפּנאַרען. ־
גימפּעל בײניש: זײ רעדען דאָ װעגען אַ שידוך. מען דאַרף נאַכגעהן, אפֿשר װעל איך עפּעס מאַכען. ־
בעריל: נו, אפֿשר אַ מיאוס׳ע שקאַפּע? איך האָב פֿײַנט אָפּצונאַרען. נו, לאָמיר אָנהײבען רעדען ביזנעס. ־

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