Strop! Mame-zitser! Gornisht!
Earlier this year an amazing article came out in the New York Times Magazine about the insular language used by the many demographics that make up the crazy world that is 46th- 48th st between 5th and 6th- the famous diamond district. When taking any of the 6 week classes, Liloveve students will be given a tour of some of the main source spots in the diamond district. This will you give some insight into the crazy labyrinth of all the casters, setters, bench jewelers and stone dealers that work closely packed together in these buildings. Through out the years the dialogue about stones and jewelry has surpassed just the 4 Cs- color, cut, clarity, carat. Now there is an entire street lingo that those in the know use day to day. Generally comprised of Yiddish, it has been also has bee influenced by the many cultures that make up the district- Romanian, Indian, Belgian and Russian to name a few. Below are some of the highlights.
Click here to read the full article.
Links-shtivl · “Left-footed boots”; a parcel of khazeray in which nothing matches. “I can’t find a pair of stones to make earrings in this links-shtivl.” Also, linker: left; awry; illegitimate; illegal.
Fisheye · An unappealingly flat stone. Also, pancake.
Shmate · A cloth for cleaning shmutz from stones.
Shatsn · To price or give an opinion on a diamond. “Hey, shats this stone for me.”
Roval · A nearly round, fat oval; ugly; undesirable; unsalable.
Fir-kantike eyer · “Four-cornered eggs”; an impossible request; a stone (or price) that doesn’t exist. “You’re looking for fir-kantike eyer — go down to the Smithsonian.”
Melee · From mêlé, French for “mixed”; small cut-and-polished diamonds (often 0.18 carats or less) used as accent stones or in dense pavé settings, where many stones cover an area of metal. Melee is commonly sold in parcels or lots, for which the price rises as the buyer becomes more selective.