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It is fairly common to find the abbreviation ודו"ק at the end of a complex explanation of a Torah thought (Maharsha, for example, famously does this very often). Roughly, it means: "I didn't explain every detail, but think about it for awhile and you'll see that everything falls into place."

What is the full expression that is being abbreviated here? The only thing I could find was ודרוש וחקור קרוב, which I can pretty confidently say is not what everybody has in mind when they use this expression. Another option I thought of is that it is not an abbreviation, but rather, the two lines are meant for emphasis, and the word is simply telling the reader to be מדקדק carefully.

Anyone have more information about this?

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5 Answers 5

This is the closest I found to your rough translation:

ודייק ותמצא קל

Sources: here, and here

This one seems the most likely, since I also found it in ערוך השלחן (Choshen Mishpat 1:3)


Two others I found (also quite similar):

ועיין דבריי ותמצאם קלים and ודקדק ומצא קושטא

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I was once explained in Yeshiva that it can stand for ודייק ותמצא קל.

(After a little Googling, I found this) (A little more Googling, and I found this and this)

Some of the things it might stand for:

  • ודייק ותמצא קל
  • ודוחק קצת
  • ודוק וקל
  • ועיין דברי ותמצאם קלים
  • ודקדק ומצא קושטא
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Chapter 7 of the Petach Davar to the Chumash Shai LaMorah (printed at the end of Sefer Bereshit) says the following (my translation, my emphasis):

It is known the custom of writers to put a quotation mark in words that are the names of letters, vowels, numbers, foreign words, etc. And at times to emphasize the word. And at times instead of parentheses.

So, there are times when the various commentaries put quotation marks in words to emphasize the word, not to make an abbreviation.

My understanding is that in early days of the printing presses, they had no way (or if they did, it was more difficult) to underline/bold/italicize text. So when they wanted to emphasize a word, they put a quotation mark in it.

And in this case, the words ודוק and ודו"ק mean the same thing. ודו"ק is just saying really look into it.

According to this answer, all the explanations about what ודו"ק stands for are just backronyms.

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That was the second theory I suggested in my question... –  Dave Sep 21 '11 at 1:29
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Aside from the standard explanations, when I was in yeshivah I heard a jocular explanation that it stands for, going forwards and backwards, in Yiddish:

וויפיל דו וועסט קוועטשן, קדחת וועסט דו ווערן

"No matter how much you try to force an explanation, you will still be good for nothing."

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Funny. But I never heard קדחת used in this sense. –  Dave Sep 21 '11 at 2:47
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I thought it was veDochak Ktzas, i.e. though it's still a bit forced.

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To the best of my knowledge, it's most often used in cases where the author is quite sure of himself. –  Dave Sep 21 '11 at 1:32
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