In 1985, a graphic designer named Janet Perr won a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. Twenty two years later she thought, “I have an idea.” She was wrong.
Yiddish for Dogs is not what it sounds like. It’s not what anything should be really. It’s a 75-word Yiddish dictionary, only you’re a dog and everyone is dogs? I’m not explaining it well because it’s a broken mistake. It’s pictures of dogs made more Jewish by Photoshop in a way your 2023 eyes will see as a problem, and they’re sort of acting out the words, but are mostly just there. It is a drunk newborn’s wild guess at a thought. There is no reason it shouldn’t be Azerbaijani for Potatoes or The Signing of the Declaration of Independence Only Get This: They’re Taxidermied Rabbits, but it’s not. It’s Yiddish for Dogs. I’ll let the book jacket try to explain:
Anti-semetic isn’t the right word for this, but there is no use for it other than as a gift to someone when the only thing you know about them is their semitism. It was sold in the HUMOR section, which sounds ironic, but anyone who ever walked through the HUMOR section of a bookstore in 2007 knows most of the titles were a bunch of dog corpses glued to a thin premise that wouldn’t age well. 2007 humor books were for turning Internet memes into paper debris, documenting the last of mankind’s gendered insults, and I hope I’m guessing wrong here: helping Jewish dog owners work through some sort of terrible loss?
Every word of this is just barely not a hate crime. This is the worst Spanish student ordering burrrritos for the table. It is a ’90s Judd Hirsch comedy about an unfrozen caveman hiding from the mob in a synagogue. It is a Christian juggler at a corporate retreat one minute after being told, “There is a bomb under the stage set to go off whenever you say something not Jewish.”
You don’t need to know what “kibbitz” means to know this is a clawing spout of demon limbs posing as a book. Kibitz means to hang around and talk shit, by the way. Which is not interchangeable with klutz nor something dogs do, making it both not funny and dumb as shit. And that’s the closer of the book jacket– that’s Janet’s sales pitch joke. She’s trying to say “This book has actual value” and she accidentally said, “Sled accident many minutes of silence, Jew.”
This is how Janet starts her book. It’s plainly insane in a way most people would forgive as failure. She’s not a talented comedy writer, nor even sure what one of those would look like, and her premise is already so fucked there’s nothing to stand on. Best of luck to you on this journey, Janet, but you can’t be silly or shocking when you open with, “YOU EVER MET A PUTZ DOG, AM I RIGHT, WELL WELCOME TO MY LIFE, WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ALL THESE JEWISH WORDS NEAR UNRELATED DOGS, LET’S SEE WHAT ELSE.”
I did my best to prepare you, but this is the book. It’s 75 of these. It’s the dictionary if the dictionary was also a horny Jewish dog diary and you shouldn’t really trust the dictionary part of it. The manuscript for this should have been tagged as evidence after being found next to a human head, yet here it is fucking existing in our world next to 101 More Chuck Norris Jokes for Her.
“Okay, maybe jokes aren’t my thing,” said Janet after she clinically explained ten words with meandering dog sex stories and no punchlines. “No problem, I’ll fall back on my main area of expertise: graphic design,” said Janet while roughly attaching clipart of a parachute to a sitting dog pasted over a child’s drawing of the sky near the word “Chutzpah” in the default font. Of all the terrible things I’m likely to say about Janet Perr, I hope that one is the most devastating.
I’m sure no one went into this book to learn, but why is “klutz” here? This is a very commonly used word, and is the default word for what it describes. Is there even a Gentile version of it? By the way, do you know what’s funnier than a dog falling down the stairs next to a mirthless description of a dog falling down the stairs? A lot of things! Most of them, in fact! Everyone knows this fucking word and you almost killed a dog to teach it to us, Janet!
I’m trusting you not to tell anyone this, but the second I saw the cover to this book my brain formed the thought, “Oh no, I hope they didn’t just, like, Photoshop a dog onto a bagel.”
“There are no consequences to our actions,” thought Janet Perr as she wrote fifty five words and zero jokes about large Jewish noses for her humor book. “Now, to add some poorly cropped novelty glasses to a random dog at the wrong angle,” said the Grammy-winning graphic designer. And yes, I agree, it would be weirder if this was good, but fuck. I mean, what the fuck.
Vilda Chayas have 5 hit dice and corrode any metal they touch (with magically endowed items gaining a 10% chance of not being affected for each plus). I’m not sure what Janet was going for here, or whether she nailed it. To describe a rambunctious Jewish child, she has assembled something an undercover cop would show to an animal murderer to earn their trust. This is what you hold up to warn God that AI is close to replacing Him. Congratulations, Janet, it’s troubling in simply every direction.
I’m fascinated at Janet’s joke construction. She starts dumb, then gets sad, then finds the strength to keep going, and nowhere along the way does she try to be funny. And look at what she’s made. This is a weirdly sexualized dog asshole next to three sentences of a dog justifying an eating disorder, and to do what? To tell the reader how to say butt in Yiddish? I mean this in the cruelest possible way: Janet has accidentally made an Andrew Dice Clay act adapted for a children’s book. In a way it’s amazing. There are no conceivable paths to get to what this is. If you asked 100,000 geniuses from all walks of life to create two pages of joyless nothing using a dog and butts, no one could create anything sadder or less. You did it, Janet.
Yiddish for Dogs is uniquely ignorant. It’s a confused woman blindly stomping through pictures of asshole dogs and dog assholes fully confident there’s no way to fail at comedy or discussing Judaism. As long as man exists, there will never be anything else like i–
Janet published Hip-Hop For Dogs one year later.
You knew this was going to be a problem, but I bet you didn’t expect it to fall apart this quickly. I mean, dawgs, look at this mad schmutz. This is a fucking disaster. This is the n-word run a hundred times through German submarine code. This is the script for a Eugene Levy / Lou Gossett Jr body switching comedy called Gray Area (aka Blackface Soccer in France).
It’s so perfectly wonderful how this is the face of the woman who had this idea and then pursued this idea. “IS YOUR DOG A PLAYA, DOES HE REPRESENT?” asks the 52-year-old blonde woman as if that’s anything. “Yo, phat bitch, am I doing this shizzle properly?” she says to a black child at the airport TCBY, holding up what she was told to be the finger sign identifying someone as a Blood. “It’s for a book, I’m a writer!” she explains to him.
I own a book for World War II soldiers to identify the race of potential enemy Asians by eye and forehead shape, and it is less offensive and more practical than this. This is nonsense translated into a different language by someone who speaks less than one of them. This fucking maniac is just calling the reader’s dog names. More than once, Janet Perr has gone up to a black person and said, “Hello, phat playa, I know some words in your language! Bitch! Ho! Ni– oh, darn they left.”
Never has a point been made faster: I, Janet Perr, have no goddamn idea what is going on, and yet here I am continuing with this bullshit. She keeps saying nothing other than kind-hearted racism while rearranging the fifteen words she learned from popular rap songs. Speaking of rap, Janet explains rapping got its start when “parties were thrown where people chanted rhymes over the beats of songs.” So if you were concerned this HUMOR book was a sincere attempt at explaining what blacks are to readers unfamiliar with them, it is. It’s exactly that yet worse in so many ways. For instance:
This is 90 words, from a dog’s perspective, on how to use the word bitch around black people written by a middle-aged white woman who decided to write a book on African American culture after looking up rap in her encyclopedias. If a white supremacist found the crates of Hip-Hop For Dogs in Janet Perr’s garage, he would say, “Oh thank god, you’re a monster. I was worried I’d have to spend this whole barbecue pretending not to be racist.”
What’s crazy, truly insane, about Hip-Hop For Dogs is that it’s not a G-rated book for kids and grandmas. It’s written that way because the author infantilizes non-white races, but these dogs are smoking marijuana and fucking. I already thought the indelicacy of racism meeting puppies made it a bad kid’s book, but this is objectively adult material. It’s something to keep in mind when you try to figure out who -the fuck- Janet was imagining when she wrote this.
Working backwards from words she remembers from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air dialog she thinks is called Ebonics, Janet explains again to her readers what a butt is. And like she did in Yiddish, she does this by having a dog emotionally grapple with a weight problem. “I spent the day Photoshopping dreadlocks onto a dog to explain how brothas like badonkadonks, which is a type of round booty, which is what their people call butts,” Janet said to her publisher when they asked how the new book was going.
In another hilarious HUMOR entry, Janet defines a commonly used word by having a dog struggle with body issues. And don’t get me wrong, this is great. Great job, Janet. This isn’t strange and stupid and you almost matched the number of dog legs in the text to the number of dog legs in the picture. But man, as a comedy writer, if I kept forgetting to write jokes and instead just had my characters fight to overcome their physical insecurities, I’d worry my readers would figure out I look like absolute shit naked. I’d be concerned that’s what I was telling them, Janet. Anyway, time to write the punchline for this paragraph, something that should be easy since I have normal balls and not terrible, strange balls. I have good people in my life who are not suspicious of the hypothetical monster balls I keep mentioning.
I don’t know enough about black hair to know if you’re allowed to Photoshop these particular hairstyles onto dogs, but I do know 2008 marked the 20-year anniversary of the last teenager who had to tell their parents no one says “da bomb” anymore. It might be a useful phrase book for time travelers trying to figure out if Biz Markie is afraid of or enjoying their sweater, but they’d also have to know bombs are alphabetized under D for “da.” Ridiculous.
“This African American dog, like many of them, went to prison.” Janet tells her comedy fan readers. “He also has kennel cough, which isn’t really part of it and their community doesn’t have a fun word for it,” she elaborates. “I tell ya, I’d much rather be in the hood chillin’ wit’ da crew,” Janet adds in flawless Hip-Hop. Speaking as a frequent book-owner, this is one of the most fucked up things I’ve ever seen an author put together. It’s a horror of bad decisions, most of them very racial. I’m not saying Janet Perr is unfit to walk among us, I’m only saying a person capable of this is capable of anything.
Most of this book is just the stupid racism of a dumb talentless racist who would be shocked to find out she was any of those things, but sometimes there are these wild surges of world building. Like this one where Janet explains how dawgs be droppin’ bootleg food in their mouth, yo. So they live in a society where no one has hands, but it’s illegal to keep non-food objects in your mouth. And this is the only law mentioned in the entire section on dog cops. That’s nuts in an entirely new direction, which is such an impossible achievement when you’re already a book and a half deep into an idea any human brain would have rejected as nonsense before it formed. Creatively speaking, she is rearranging the entrails on a train derailment.
Wait, okay, sometimes I forget, but these dogs do not live in a universe where everyone is a dog. You’d think that since they have their own police enforcing their own savage code of laws, but this book takes place in our world. These fly, illin’, phat dogs still have owners, and Flavor Flav, the human, exists and has dog fans. And if I’m understanding correctly, this one has tasted him. I’m not sure it’s humor, Janet, but it is fascinating.
Comedy writer Janet Perr sat at her computer. She had already finished defining the obscure African American term “foxy.” Though the muse can sometimes play coy with her, the description of the word came to her almost immediately. She quoted herself, “Mmmm, mmm . . . all the dawgs on the block be sniffin’ me and following me around.” Perfection. “Nearly indistinguishable from a real Black,” she said into her voice recorder. Her right index finger clicked the familiar icon for Photoshop. It was time to begin work on the day’s new task: FUCKABLE DOG. The fingers on her left hand were already curling around a hardening nipple.
Let me see if I can explain “GET BUSY” to you, readers. You know when a dog fucks “the baby’s fluffy toy?” A human baby, not a dog baby. These are regular dogs, remember, not talking dogs from a universe where they’re the people. And this one has sex with human baby toys, drenching them in dog semen while it masturbates to the idea of stalking a bichon. “This joke looks finished,” decided a humor author in 2008 and then an actual one fifteen years later.
Oh no. Janet, as a fellow White, I’m worried this one is our word.
“I’m not a ho, but I’ll have sex with you, please anyone,” says the dog written by a woman with a clear creative vision.
Come on, Janet. This dog has never seen malt liquor, but it can describe its effects in its second language? Or not really, because I don’t think you’re using this word correctly . . . the point I’m making remains the same: this is stupid even for a racist. Speaking of, we’re closing in on the letter n. It’s probably a good idea to jump way ahead in the alphabet.
If you were never a big rap fan, that’s sure to change when you learn it’s a style of music where rhyming is combined with rhythm. And I know I’ve been pretty hard on Janet for all this unthinkable ignorance and her inability to write a joke, but let’s stop here and get serious. This biyatch wrote a D+ third grade book report on “rap” followed by a completely sincere attempt at it. There is no comedy here by any stretch of the imagination. There aren’t even dog references! This rap isn’t about burying bones or impregnating baby toys– it’s about how good they are at rapping. Why? Any of it!? As long as you live, you’ll never see anything fail to be anything as much as Hip-Hop For Dogs fails at doing whatever it’s trying to do. There’s no elegant way to put it– it’s a better dentist eulogy than it is a comedy book, and better at water skiing than it is at education. Fuck the universe that allowed it.
As always, when a terrible author spends this much time being defeated by the same idea, their weak spots get exposed. Like how Janet tried to define black womanhood and only came up with five things: hairstyles, fucking, sometimes being ugly, sometimes having a big butt, and watching each other’s fatherless children. Then this 52-year-old white lady added an afro to a picture of her own jet black dog to represent “sistas.” And if she considered for a second not to include that hair pick, I will find Janet’s dog’s remains and eat them. Again, this isn’t really my area of expertise and you would not believe the ways I disappoint my black friends, but I feel confident in saying Janet Perr understands black culture worse than she understands comedy. This is like setting out to write a book on nuclear physics and proudly publishing seven wrong diagrams of inclined planes.
This lady writing about WACK is like a bank self-regulating, fucking boom: roasted financial crisis style, which is my way of telling myself I should skip to the Special Thanks and wrap this book up. . .
Being someone’s only black friend is a hard job, but no one has fucked it up worse than Pam. Janet called up to ask, “What does your kind call shoes and marijuana cigarettes?” and Pam told her. Pam, you knew this was the dingbat who wrote Yiddish for Dogs. She has given you at least four copies. Did you think she was suddenly taking up weed at 52 and wanted to get the terminology right? Your response should have been “A blunt is when y– hey wait, if this is for a book, no. Fucking absolutely not, Janet. Whatever you’re typing, stop. Hang up now and burn any computer that has touched that file.” I know this isn’t all on you, Pam, but you kind of gave this white vilda chaya permission to publish a 103 page racist joke.
So this woman has now published two books, and since no one has stopped her, Pam, Janet set aside an afternoon to write a third. From the author of 2007’s Yiddish for Dogs and 2008’s Hip-Hop for Dogs comes 2009’s . . . oh Jesus fucking Christ.
Please don’t tell anyone, but my brain did that thing again where it saw the cover and went, “I hope she didn’t Photoshop a baby onto a bage–
This is the same book as Yiddish For Dogs with fewer jokes, and there already literally weren’t jokes! God damn it, how absolutely dare you.
Most writers take more than three books to find such a clear literary voice. This is Janet at her best– as a moron looking at butts while explaining the basic idea of butts, only dumber and weirder than that sounds. This is, word-for-word, how Janet’s worst enemy would make a sarcastic book to mock her.
What am I supposed to do with this? That hat is baby-sized, which means it’s for a baby. The baby is wearing it because someone put a baby hat on the baby. Everything here is working as fucking intended, Janet! Your friend Pam explained rap to you, but never got around to hats!? Fuck you both. I’m sorry, Pam. You don’t deserve that. You’re probably still dealing with Janet insisting that there’s no problem in saying it because all lives actually do matter.
Oh, it’s a naked baby escaping with a full, cooked lobster. “What are you doing with a non-kosher food item?” is my only question.
“This Mardi Gras necklace won’t look like anal beads if I enlarge it,” thought the award-winning graphic designer.
“T-that baby is wearing anal beads,” thought everyone else.
I don’t have a joke for this one. I just wanted you to see how Janet Perr talks about a baby pooping in the potty the same way she talks about every sensitive issue facing people of color.
Ha ha ha the Yiddish word for fart is fart with a Swedish accent!? I can’t believe I learned something I can use from a Janet Perr book.
Imagine you were a published author and an award-winning graphic designer and the way you explain trash is to throw a baby in it and say “There’s a baby in the trash. Or sorry, oy vey, there’s a baby in the trash. The Jewish word for trash. Whatever, you get it. NEXT WORD!” I’m only saying that on top of everything, Janet Perr is a mad schlepper, dawg. I can barely look at what I just typed. I’m skipping to the end before I do any more self harm.
A decade and a half ago, these were the last words Janet Perr ever published. In only three years she managed to have no ideas and still ran out of them. Across three racial comedy dictionaries she wrote zero jokes and betrayed two races while educating no one and plagiarizing herself. With as much delight as you’d expect from it, she threw a dog down the stairs and a baby in the trash. No author will fail at such a championship level in this many categories, and Baby waves bye-bye. Zai gezunt!
7 replies on “Upsetting Day: Yiddish for Dogs 🌭”
I know its entirely besides the point, but it also bothers me that the dictionary entries aren’t formatted correctly:
“1. From the word flavour”
IS NOT A DEFINITION.
Do something right, Janet.
I cringed so hard I know less Yiddish then I did going into this article. Perr suppressed my Jewishness out of sheer embarrassment.
Honestly, when your claim to fame is winning a Grammy for something unrelated to sound twenty years earlier; this is probably what everyone should expect when you decided on a career that is not music -or- art.
Cockamamie isn’t even Yiddish! The etymology is not entirely clear, but the most likely origin is probably from decalcomania, which comes from the French decalcomanie, which is the art of decorating things with decals. (It was a huge fad in the 20’s, which apparently kids in New York didn’t think much of because they started using the word as a synonym for bullshit around the same time. And then corrupted it into cockamamie.)
I mean, it’s a tiny thing compared to how amazingly wrong everything else about these books is, but to declare yourself enough of an expert on a language to write two damned dictionaries on it and then include an unrelated word just because it kind of sounds Yiddish is just…well… Actually, I guess it fits perfectly with the rest of her shit. (Or merde, as she probably thinks they say in Yiddish.)
At first I thought this was just a Jewish lady with a lot of chutzpah, but is she even Jewish? Does Pam actually exist? Is this author just a foxy white Gentile stalking Jewish and Black people from a bush?
“I own a book for World War II soldiers to identify the race of potential enemy Asians by eye and forehead shape”
Is this just a joke, or is it a teaser trailer for a future article?
As somebody with a degree in Linguistics I just have to say that it bothers me that the pronunciation guides for these books are neither correctly formatted nor useful