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.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Notke's unsuccessful negotiation for increased wages, and a striker is murdered in New Jersey. 1-20-1915

Usually there is no connection between the Gimpel Beynish cartoons and the news of the day. I imagine that Sam Zagat delivered a sheaf of cartoons every once in a while and they got published as he wrote them. I wonder if Notke asking for more than a penny for his silence and subsequently getting booted out of the frame was just coincidentally related to the strike reported in the same paper.

Today's Yinglish: eksperiment, peni, bizi, niks, noten duin, nikel, and my favorite, the Yiddishized English word "to bother" - bodern

January 20, 1915: He conducts a successful experiment concerning flying.
  1. GB: Take a penny, loafer, and get lost. I need to talk with somebody about an important matter.
  2. Motke: Go, right now you can get a penny from Papa. He's making a match, he doesn't want to be bothered.
  3. GB: So, why are you standing here like a clay dummy? Surely you see I'm busy with somebody.
  4. Notke: A penny? Nix, nothin' doin'. I want a nickel, otherwise I'll stand here and you won't be able to talk to...
  5. GB: I see you don't know that we're in America and that I can make you fly. So take that.

In the editorial part of the same January 20, 1915 newspaper there was a political cartoon drawn by Zagat referring to the previous day's strike:

The "lawful" murder in New Jersey

Hellraisers Journal: Strikers Shot Down at Roosevelt, New Jersey, by Deputized Company Gunthugs has several articles about the strike, with this being the lead:

FOURTEEN SHOT IN LABOR RIOT -- 250 STRIKERS AND DEPUTY SHERIFFS IN PITCHED BATTLE: Roosevelt, N. J., Jan. 19-Fourteen men were shot, four of them being mortally wounded, in a pitched battle between 250 striking laborers and fifty deputy sheriff at the plant of the American Agricultural Chemical Co. here today.

ער מאַכט אַ געלונגענעם עקספּערימענט װעגען פֿליהען.

גימפּעל בײניש: נאַ, לױפֿער, נאַדיר אַ פּעני און טראָג זיך אָפּ. איך דאַרף רעדען מיט אַ מענשען מכּח אַ װיכטיגען עסק.
מאָטקע: געה, קענסט איצט קריגען אַ פּעני פֿונ׳ם פּאַפּאַ. ער רעדט אַ שידוך, װיל ער גיט מען, זאָל איהם באַדערען.
גימפּעל בײניש: נו, װאָס האָסטו זיך אַװעקגעשטעלט װי אַ גולם? זעהסט דאָך, אַז איך בין ביזי מיט אַ מענשען.
נאָטקע: אַ פּעני? ניקס, נאָטען דואין. איך װיל אַ ניקעל, אַז ניט שטעה איך דאָ און װעסט ניט קענען רעדען מיט…
גימפּעל בײניש: זעה איך דאָך אַז דו װײסט ניט, אַז דאָ אין אַמעריקאַ און מען קען פֿליהען אײַך. טאָ נאַדיר.

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