When I was a little kid my mom often would discipline me using phrases sprinkled with Yiddish. Her favorite was "Oy gavalt, such a shmatta". This bon mot was used to describe my poor choice of attire, like, for instance, when I tried to wear a White Sox cap to my uncle's wedding. With those words, she would send me scurrying back upstairs to change into something more appropriate like a Bull's jersey. When someone did something stupid on the highway, instead of swearing in sign language like all good Chicagoans, my mom would ask rhetorically, "Is he mishuggina?" The reason I'm bringing this up is that recently I've found myself using some of the same refrains around my house. Am I becoming an alter cocker? When I mentioned to my mother that she'd filled my noggin with all of this Yiddish jargon, she told me to stop cvetching, fershtinkiner ; Anglo-Saxon translation: "quit bitchin', butthead."
English sounds much more lovable in Yiddish.