Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

Debra wrote asking for help with a Yiddish rhyme:

The following has been passed down through the ages (at least 150 years) by my mothers family, though we can only guess what the words mean now or the correct spelling of the words. I am hoping you may recognize it or be able to decipher it at least. The words were recited and accompanied by hand movements from infancy and on. I will use parenthesis to detail the hand motions that accompany the words.  The spelling of the words are my best estimate based on phonetics only:
Salz           (Take baby’s hand, palm open/up and gently run your palm across it, from heel to fingertip)
Schmalz     (Same motion but use the back of your hand this time)
Glievula    (With finger tips, tickle palm of child’s hand)
Glovula     (Same thing- Tickle-tickle?)
Nosgasauger       (Gently pinch/tug on tip of child’s nose -still holding child’s hand)
Augasauga          (Same to the ear)
Haudagasauga    (Same with the hair)
Elabauga            (Put your elbow in child’s palm and wiggle it around)
Glienabach         (Gently clap your palm to the child’s open palm)
Glosabach!         (Same thing but a little sharper/harder)
We as kids tried to interpret it and came up with: Front, Back, tickle-tickle. Nose, Ear, Hair, Elbow. Soft clap, Hard clap!  But Salz means Salt, and Schmalz seems to mean Lard so, I wonder if it in fact had an entirely different meaning?
Good luck, and please feel free to email me whatever you may find out!
If anyone can help with this rhyme, please let us know in the comments below.
Mama Lisa

This artilce was posted on Friday, May 10th, 2013 at 2:03 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Finger Plays, Handplays, Israel, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, USA, Yiddish. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Can Anyone Help with a Yiddish Rhyme that Starts, with "Salz Schmalz"?”

  1. Uly Says:

    Schmaltz doesn’t mean lard, being pig fat, it means chicken fat and, metaphorically, excessive and maudlin sentimentality (which is the common meaning in American English).

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