Donald Trump Should Not Be Giving Yiddish Lessons

Or language lessons. Or etiquette lessons.

He's telling the world that his use of "schlonged" is not vulgar, that it just means that Hillary Clinton was beaten.

Once again, #MSM is dishonest. "Schlonged" is not vulgar. When I said Hillary got "schlonged" that meant beaten badly.
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2015

And people are defending him by ignorant statements like "schlong is just a word for penis."

No it's not, it's a vulgar word for penis, just like putz, schmuck, and the somewhat cuter-sounding schmekl. The most common Yiddish word for penis is penis (with a short "e").

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But slang changes more rapidly than standard forms of the language and Yiddish slang has taken all sorts of turns in American English. The Urban Dictionary has some really vile definitions of the word schlonged, whatever its original derivation, which include being slapped across the face in a crude form of "bitch slap."

Trump knows "schlonged" is vulgar and that's why he used it, to dominate a news cycle. There's a word for someone like Trump in Yiddish, which isn't slang: he's a tsutchepennish: "a persistent, irritating nuisance."

Lev Raphael is the author of 25 books in genres from memoir to mystery.