Words of the Week

Memorial Words

Memorial (or ’S Ohdenkes) Words

Here are a few common words that are used when talking about the Memorial of Christ’s Death (also known as ’s Ohdenkes or ’s Nachtmohl).

  • pass (around) verb = rumm passa
    Miah zayla’s broht rumm passa.
  • the Passover = da Passover
  • lost verb = faloahra past tense

These articles may also be helpful to find phrases involving the Memorial and Jesus’ death:

Words of the Week

Meeting Parts Names

The format of the midweek meetings were updated in January 2024, and with that, some of the names of the sections and parts have been adjusted. This means that some of the translated Deitsh names have been updated as well.

Midweek Meeting (Deichdivoch Fasamling)

Our Christian Life and Ministry = Unsah Ministry un Vi Miah Layva

Treasures From God’s Word = Treasures Funn di Bivvel
  • The Treasures Talk = Da Treasures Talk
  • Spiritual Gems = Spiritual Gems Keshtlichi Sacha

Apply Yourself to the Field Ministry = Fa Bessah Vadda in di Ministry
  • Starting a Conversation = En Conversation Shteahra
  • Following Up = Viddah Zrikk Gay
  • Making Disciples = Yingah Macha
  • Explaining Your Beliefs = Dei Glawva Ekshplayna
Living as Christians = Fa Layva vi Christians
  • Congregation Bible Study = Congregation Bivvel Shtoddi
Confusing Words Words of the Week

patient and geduldich

Most native Pennsylvania Dutch speakers will understand both the words patient and geduldich. But when would it be best to each?

Patience noun (the quality)

  1. patience (more common)
    Du musht may patience havva.
  2. geduld (less common outside of the Bible, but understood by most. Most commonly used if at end of sentence along with mitt)
    Gott sei geduld is’n kshenk.
    Miah missa’s ohnemma mitt geduld.

Patient adj (what someone is or can become)

  1. patient
    See is immah patient mitt iahra kinnah.
    Sei patient mitt si.
  2. geduldich
    Gott is geduldich mitt uns.

Patiently adv = patiently (how someone does something)
Ich binn am patiently voahra biss ich healthy binn.

💡 Patience, patient, patiently can also give idea of endurance (continuing on with something hard to deal with).


  • When talking about about something from the Bible, or a Bible subject, geduld and geduldich are very common.
  • But if having a casual conversation, it would be more common to use patience and patient instead.
  • And if talking about someone patiently doing something or patiently waiting, then you’re safer to use the English word patiently.
Confusing Words Words of the Week

shpringa and shprenga

What’s the difference between the Deitsh words shpringa and shprenga?

Both of the words shpringa and shprenga are verbs (action words) that mean to run.

Shpringa verb = to run (as in movement, or to work and function)

Shprenga verb = to run (as in to operate something else)


Jon Heder Running GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment - Find & Share on GIPHY

Use shpringa when you’re talking about running (movement).

Ich shtay uf free meiyets so’s ich shpringa kann.

’S hutshli shpringd.

You can also use shpringa when you’re talking about something that is operating (working/running).

Gears GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

’Sis gans laut koss di generator am shpringa is.


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Use shprenga when you’re talking about operating something else—usually a piece of equipment or a machine.

Da Colton is di generator am shprenga.

See shprengd’s vesha machine Moondawks.

Du bisht dei maul am shprenga!

Confusing Words Words of the Week

yau and yo

Is there more than one way to say ‘yes’ in Pennsylvania Dutch? Yes, actually.

  1. yes = yau (to agree; opposite of no)
  2. yes = yo (definitely yes or absolutely yes; for emphasis)
  3. yes = yo (actually yes)

1. yau = yes

The most common way you’ll say yes in Pennsylvania Dutch is yau.

Yau means exactly what you’d expect it to mean—yes. Use yau when answering questions. It’s uncomplicated, and the opposite of nay (no).


While yo also means yes, knowing when and how to use yo is trickier and depends on the conversation.

… knowing when and how to use yo is trickier and depends on the conversation.

Let’s look at 2 of the most common ways to use yo in a Pennsylvania Dutch conversation.

2. yo = definitely yes

In some areas, yo is used to emphasize yes—as in, definitely yes. It can be used either in response to a question, or to a statement you really agree with.

Examples of definitely yes

Vitt samm ice cream?
Yo, ich du!

Eah is reeli am vaxa.
Yo, yo, yo.

3. yo = yes (actually)

You can also use yo for yes when responding to a question or statement that the other person assumes the answer to is no. Probably the closest to English would be: actually yes.


Person 1: ’Sis am shnaya grawt nau. Du bisht nett am do hivva kumma, gell?
Person 2: Yo. Ich zayl glei datt sei.

In the example, person 1 doesn’t expect person 2 to be coming over since it’s snowing. However, person 2 says the equivalent of, “Actually, yes. I will be there soon.”

Another example:

Person 1: Da Henry shaft nett heit, gell?
Person 2: Yo. Eah shaft biss middawk.

Again, person 1 thought Henry wasn’t working today. But person 2 says that actually (yes), he works until lunch.

As you can imagine, this use of yo is pretty limited and you probably won’t use it very often. But it’s good to know in case you hear someone else say it to you.

Confusing Words Words of the Week

nevlich and dufftich

Both nevlich and dufftich are adjectives (description words) that mean foggy.

Foggy adj = nevlich (when speaking about the weather)

Foggy adj = dufftich (as in fogged up; glasses, windows, etc)

💡 What’s the Difference?


Heit is gans nevlich draus.

Use nevlich (foggy) when you’re talking about the weather—when it’s foggy outside and hard to see.

’Sis gans nevlich dimeiya.

’Sis am reiyra draus un nevlich dimeiya.


Di fenshtahra sinn dufftich.

On the other hand, use dufftich (foggy) when talking about an object that is fogged up; usually from steam or a difference in temperature—such as glass, windows, mirror, or eyeglasses.

Dufftich can also be used jokingly:

Mei brain is dufftich dimeiya.

Confusing Words Words of the Week

mayna, ohgukka, da view

view / have opinion verb = mayna (to have a set opinion or view about something)
Dayl leit mayna es si immah recht sinn.

view verb = ohgukka (to look at something a certain way; perhaps even by comparing)
Boviah sacha ohgukka vi anri doon.

view noun = da view (an opinion or viewpoint)
Avvah, sell is da letz view.

💡 What’s the Difference?

While all three words look the same in English, mayna is a verb that refers to the action of having a certain (usually set or established) view or opinion about something.

Ohgukka is also a verb, but means to look at something a certain way; perhaps considering and comparing things.

On the other hand, da view is a noun that refers to the viewpoint or opinion itself.