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, May 16, 2016

Gimpel's audience takes refuge in his comforting triviality. 11-24-1914, 11-25-1914

In the first strip we have the endearing Yinglish invention "ptshuen," to go ATCHOO with your cold. Two more: "snis" and "spoylen." And in the second strip: "paleh" for parlor and "meridzsh laysens."

In 1940 the matchmaker was still a common figure if we can believe what we see in the Leo Fuchs movie "American Matchmaker." A quarter century earlier, even among progressive and Americanized Jews, he was making a living but becoming an anachronism. In the seconds trip here we see that a couple feels perfectly able to go off without him and get married in modern style.

November 24, 1914: A cold is certainly not conducive to matchmaking.
  1. GB: Come for a walk, little loafers. It's a pretty day for carrying out matches.
  2. Motke: Atchoo!
  3. Notke: Atchoo!
  4. GB: What are you atchooing for, what kind of a sneeze will I have?
  5. GB: We'd better take you home. You've ruined such a pretty day for me, you loafers.

November 25, 1914: He does too good a job, but his fee is in a precarious position.
  1. GB: Go into the parlor, children, and talk it over. I'll wait here.
  2. GB: It's taking a long time; probably it's getting sorted out. Soon I'll get at least $50.
  3. GB: Why are they sitting there so long? They are as slow as oxen.
  4. GB: Say, little girl, where is your sister and that boy who was with...
  5. The little girl: They said they were going to get a marriage license.

אַ ״קאָלד״ איז געװיס ניט קײן אַפּעטיט-מיטעל צו אַ שידוך.

גימפּעל בײניש: קומט, לױפֿערליך, אױף אַ שפּאַציער. אַ שעהנער טאָג הײַנט אױף דורכפֿיהרען שידוכים.
מאָטקע: אַ-פּטשי!!
נאָטקע: אָ-פּטשי!!
גימפּעל בײניש: װאָס האָט איהר זיך צו פּטשועט, װאָס פֿאַר אַ סניס װעל איך האָבען?
גימפּעל בײניש: קומט שױן בעסער אַהײם. אַזאַ שעהנעם טאָג מיר געספּאָילט, די לױפֿערס.

ער מאַכט אַ צו גוטען דזשאָב, אָבער זײַן שדכנות געלד האַלט זעהר שמאָל.

גימפּעל בײניש: געהט אײַך אַרײַן אין פּאַלע, קינדערלעך, און רעדט זיך דורך. איך׳ל דאָ װאַרטען.
גימפּעל בײניש: עס נעהמט לאַנג; משמעות עס געהט אױף אַ לאָד. באַלד קומט כאָטש אַ פֿופֿציגער.
גימפּעל בײניש: װאָס זיצען זײ דאָרט אַזױ פֿיעל? מ׳האָט דאָך שױן געקענט אײַנהאַנדלען אַ פּאָר אָקסען.
גימפּעל בײניש: סעי, מײדעלע, װאו איז דײַן שװעסטער מיט דעם באָי װאָס איז דאָ געװען מיט…
דאָס מײדעלע: זײ האָבען געזאָגט אַז זײ געהן אַרױסנעהמען מערידזש לײַסענס, האָבען זײ געזאָגט.

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