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Hemingway’s Yiddish

In response to:

Who Was Ernest Hemingway? from the August 14, 2014 issue

To the Editors:

In my article on Hemingway’s letters [NYR, August 14], I referred to “yencing” as his private slang for the sexual act. It is in fact a Yiddishism (“yentzing”) that had migrated into underworld slang. Hemingway used the word in letters to friends who shared, he said, his hatred of “Kikes,” and he was perhaps unaware of its origin.

Edward Mendelson
New York City