Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My father, passing someone on the street on שבת, says "גוט שבת, גוט שבת" (Yiddish, "good sabbath, good sabbath"): that is, he repeats himself. I thought it might be his own idio-custom — until I came across someone else who does the same. Neither could really explain to me why he does it, though the one not my father told me "that's the minhag [=custom]!". Does anyone know where this repetition comes from or why people do it?

share|improve this question
"Thank you, thank you very much" - Elvis Presley –  jake Mar 25 '13 at 16:36
Once each for shamor and zachor, undoubtedly. –  HodofHod Mar 25 '13 at 16:40
Perhaps once for the Neshama Yesaira –  Gershon Gold Mar 25 '13 at 16:57
Well, saying it once, you don't really mean it, do you? So you say it again as in: "no, really, do have a good sabbath!" –  yair Mar 26 '13 at 23:02
frumsatire has a funny video about this where he mentions this and also mentions what people say "mazal tov mazal tov" (two times) at weddings so as to get out of awkward situations and not talk to people you don't want to talk to, kind of like a conversation ender, just say the phrase twice and walk away –  Efraim Feb 3 '14 at 7:25

2 Answers 2

I thought it was greeting like Sholom. You say Sholom when you meet someone, and you say Sholom when you depart from someone. Therefore, you say Gut Shabboth twice as in nice to see you and have a good day.

share|improve this answer
I'm trying to imagine someone speaking Yiddish but pronouncing 'ת' as 'th' –  Daniel Apr 10 '13 at 18:25

I say this, for the same reason that I instinctively reply "fine, and you?" before knowing what I'm saying, if someone asks how I am, despite coughing up blood or something.

I would be surprised if there was an answer other than "because that's what I've always done."

share|improve this answer
Apparently my question was unclear. I've edited it to clarify that I was asking about the repetition. Is that what you meant in your answer? Anyway, welcome to the site and thanks for this (attempted?) answer. –  msh210 Mar 25 '13 at 16:27
@msh210 Yes, I say it twice, because that's what I've always done. –  930913 Mar 27 '13 at 22:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.