Word: Coffee Klatsch?


In New York this is a big word as in Coffee Klatsch, where a bunch of friends get together and dish.  I  would have never known it was spelt like that. I thought it was clatch, they are having a coffee clatch, sort of like a clutch of hens just said oddly.  I was never sure it that was intentional or the accent.   Either way, the idea was the same.

Klatsch is German and means fist, clutch is from the Scottish and means to hatch.  Both are nouns.  So while I got the meaning straight,  which is just a time to talk and gossip while drinking coffee, I was totally off on the spelling.  Dictionary.com claims it comes from the German from seems circa 1953, and since in New York it is older than that, who knows?

SNL, Saturday Night Live, had a skit called Cawffee Tawk, run by a male comic (Mike Myers) dressed up like a female tawking about  kawfee and all those other tawky things — very New York Jewish.    The scene above has Madonna in the middle and Rosanne Barr as the mother from Arizona.  They were obviously going for a New Yawk Yiddish connection. I had to admit the skit was funny but Yiddish is the ultimate bastard tongue, with lots of fathers but only one drunken mother.

klatsch  — 1953, from Ger., “gossip,” which is said in Ger. sources to be onomatopoeic (cf. klatschen “clap hands,” klatsch “a single clap of the hands”).  klatsch \KLAHCH\, noun: A casual gathering of people, esp. for refreshments and informal conversation.

Here are some examples:

This morning, in order to finish a set of essays in time to hand them back and discuss them in his eleven o’clock class, he had to resist his desire to be part of the klatsch.– John Wheatcroft, The Beholder’s Eye

I guess the boys at the conspiracy klatsch couldn’t figure how else a woman could afford a car like mine.”– Alistair Boyle, The unlucky seven: a Gil Yates private investigator novel

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