In many Chasidishe and Heimishe Shuls - Vodka, Whiskey and the likes are known as "Yash" which is an acronym for Yayin Saraf - יי״ש. However would it not be more appropiate to call it Yas? Then why do we call it Yash?

  • I think it appears in Halacha books (e.g. Chayei Adam) as יי״ש – Shalom Oct 18 '10 at 20:26
  • It is actually an acronym and not some Germanic word, right? – Shalom Oct 18 '10 at 20:26
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    We do call the Sifsei Kohen the Shach, not the Shak., for example (like Dave's answer). – b a Jul 16 '12 at 1:18
  • @ba or better yet, the Sak (sifsei, not shifsei) – Y     e     z Oct 22 '14 at 18:22

I would guess because it is relatively uncommon for the letter Sin to appear at the end of a word, so the "natural" reading is Yash. Or, it could be that some people thought the second letter represented "Sheichar" rather than "Saraf," and their mispronunciation caught on.

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A friend of mine just told me, "well the guy drunk a bit and is mixed up".

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    Very funny! Or maybe the originators of the term were Litvaks... – Dave Oct 18 '10 at 20:03

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