Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Slang Warm and comfortable; homey; folksy: "It is very gentle and sweet up here. It's . . . sort of haimish” ( Janet Malcolm).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. homey, folksy

Etymologies

Yiddish heymish, from Middle High German heimisch, from Old High German heimisc, from heim, home; see tkei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Yiddish היימיש (heimish) (compare German heimisch) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Brooks uses the Yiddish word "haimish" to describe what it was the simpler camps had but the luxurious ones did not, a word that "suggests warmth, domesticity and unpretentious conviviality."

    Michael Rossmann, SJ: Finding God And Community In Simple Dwellings

  • Privacy, space, and refinement are not bad things and we tend to choose them when we can and work in order to purchase more of them, though in the process, we may end up spending less time in environments with haimish and not experience the warm interactions with others that tend to happen in those places.

    Michael Rossmann, SJ: Finding God And Community In Simple Dwellings

  • But our haimish breed of armchair soldiers hasn't been confronted with the draft, rationing, or the bill for our foreign adventures; these homespun hawks haven't had to cut back on resources, food, or any comfort, however slight, as part of the war effort.

    Ben Tripp: It's Time to Grow Up

  • But our haimish breed of armchair soldiers hasn't been confronted with the draft, rationing, or the bill of our foreign adventures; these homespun hawks haven't had to cut back on resources, food, or any comfort, however slight, as part of the war effort.

    Ben Tripp: It's Time to Grow Up

  • To her audiences, she brought both laughter and tears; to her foster children she offered a haimish [homey] present and the vision of a humane future.

    Molly Picon.

  • His manner was both familiar and overbearing, a combination of haimish and obnoxious.

    ‘Right Time, Right Place’

  • Contrariwise, the Yiddish haimish means “homely” but is a compliment, suggesting home cooking for food and a homebody for a person who does not long for dancing in nightclubs or trips to spas.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • Not as exotic, but more delicious, haimish, his favorite flavor.

    Enemy Within

  • At the Chabad house, the sofas were tattered and the rooms cramped, but, the students said, it was more haimish.

    NYT > Home Page

  • I know only one word to describe what the simpler camps had and the more luxurious camps lacked: haimish.

    NYT > Home Page

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  • "On the other hand, some of them were mysteriously, sinisterly rich, and built showy McMansions that had no place in haimish Forest Hills."
    Iphigenia in Forest Hills by Janet Malcolm in The New Yorker, May 3, 2010, p 43

    June 3, 2010