What does it mean to ‘geschrei’?

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Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: geschrei…

When I read the very funny and urbane book Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dryer, I was expecting to be both amused and educated. But I wasn’t expecting quite so many words that were new to me.

Last week, I wrote about his use of the word faffing. Now I’m focusing on another surprising term (surprising in a book on English, that is), geschrei. Here is how Dryer used it:

People who couldn’t care less about “could care less” will, faced with the use of “impact” as a verb, geschrei the house down, and that mob that see fifty shades of red, scarlet, and carmine over the relatively newfangled use of “begs the question” to mean “raises the question” may well pass by a “comprised of” without so much as batting an eye.

I had guessed the word was perhaps Japanese. But I was wrong. In fact, it’s yiddish. It means to yell, shout or engage in an uproar. Alternatively spelled geshrey, the word’s etymology is German with schrei meaning to cry, hoot, shout or shriek. The prefix ge means “big.”

When researching this post, I was lucky enough to discover a marvellous Yiddish Slang Dictionary, which I bookmarked immediately. I’m sure I’ll be able to use this site again. I like their slogan or motto which is:

Oy vey, stop your kvetching! You’ve found the Yiddish Slang Dictionary to help you shmooze or kibitz. Be warned though, this website contains some words not fit for your bubbe.

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