16 July 2007

Baby Got Back

Stop me before I blog again...

but really, when reading a local rabbi's LJ leads you to a YouTube video for a Gilbert & Sullivan version of Baby Got Back, how can you resist?

I can't!

So I wrote as follows:

"It loses something in the original"
--was the comment of a classicist friend of ours (who refers to himself as The Last Hellenized Jew), after we'd sent him the link to the translation of same into Ancient Greek.* He was puzzled, since although he's a decade or so older than us and likes AC/DC as well as classical music, his tastes in contemporary music apparently never extended to Sir Mix-a-lot, so he was unfamiliar with the song. When we sent him a link to it, he responded as above.

Whereas our Yiddish-rapping friend Avigayl (a.k.a. Abby) had been part of the crew of Yiddish Book Center interns who had translated it into Yiddish; I've got her transcribed transliterated version somewhere still, which begins with the spoken intro:

Oy, Rivke! Gib a kuk af ir tukhes! 's iz azoy groys!
Ver farshteyt di rap-maydlekh, say-vi-say?

'Khob lib groyse tukhesn, 'kh ken nisht lign

un azoy vayter (and so on)!

*See http://www.languagehat.com/archives/000909.php if you're interested, for links to Latin and Greek* (and Geek) versions as well as for kvetching about the translations!

Thanks for this amazing addition to the list of renditions that are an improvement on the original!

*Link no longer works, but Internet Archive has it here.

I can't seem to find an actual Yiddish version online, but I did find this"little ditty that ... [the LJer] first wrote about eight years ago, when the Yid-Hop movement was going strong...in the guise of Sir Mitz-vah-lot, who proceeds to tell the world which culture invented the concept of zaftig":

And just for posterity, here are those immortal translation efforts
(reproduction of same does not constitute or imply endorsement by MiriyaB of the translation efforts, grammar, sentiments, or mad rap skillz of the creators of the works found below):


ἡ παρθένος[1] καλλίπυγον ἐστί -- ὑπὸ[2] τοῦ Πόλλύ Μιγνύοντος, ὁ ἱππεύς

The maiden has a well-formed butt, by the Much-Mixing One, the calvaryman


μά τοῦς θεόυς

By the Gods

πρόσιδε τὴν πυγήν

Look at her butt


Superlatively large[3]

ὡς παρθένος τοῦ ῥαψοδού βλέπει

She looks like the maiden of a singer

τίς τοιουτότροπους ἐννοεῖ;

Who understands such people?

μόνον ὡς τὸ τὴς πόρνης βλέπη ἐχούσα αὐτῄ λέγουσιν

Only because she has the appearance of a prostitute do they speak with her

περὶ τῄ πυγῄ λέγω

About her butt I am speaking


Superlatively large

ὅτι μέγιστη εἴη οὐ πιστεύω

So large it is, I cannot believe

ὡς δῆλη ἐστί

For it is conspicuous





ὡς μέλαινα τό παρθενός

How black the maiden

την μεγάλην πυγην ἐρῶ[4] καὶ ψευδής οὐκ εἰμί

I love big butts and I am not being untruthful

ὑμεῖς, οἱ κάσιοι, οὐκ ἀρνοῦ

Y�all, the brothers, do not deny

ἔπει ἡ τὸν μέσον μικρότατον ἔχουση ἔρχεται

When the small-waist-having one comes in

τὸ δε τοῦ ἀμφιτόρνου βλέπη ὁρᾷς, καὶ μετέωρος γίγνῃ

And the round image you see, you get excited

ὁ προσορῶν πρίνινος ἐπιθυμεῖς

You desire to appear tough

ὡς εἰδῶν

For seeing

την τῄ σκευῄ συνάπτουσαν πυγην

The butt stuck to the apparel

συνήθης εἰμί καί οὐ παύω εἰσβλέπειν

I am accustomed and I do not stop staring

ὦ παρθένος, σοῦ ὅμορος ἐπιθυμῶ εἶναι

Oh maiden, having the same borders with you I wish to be

και τό ζωγράφημα σοῦ ποιεῖν

And make a drawing of you

οἱ ἐμοῦ φίλοι ἐμοί ἐπεχειροῦν προλέγειν

My friends attempted to warn me

ὅμος ἡ σοῦ πύγη ἐμέ ἐγείρει

Excited your butt makes me

ὦ λεῖος χρώς

Oh smooth skin

λέγεις ὅτι τὸ γερμανικόν ἅρμα ἐπιθυμοῖς

You say that you want my German chariot

ἐμέ μεταχειρίζε, ἡ γὰρ σύντροφη αὐθάδης οὑκ εἶ

Use me, for the normal fanatic you are not

αὐτήν τήν χορεύμενην εἶδον

I see her the dancing one

τοῦ ἔρωτος ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ ἔσεσθαι ἐλπίζω

I hope love is about to be in hell


She sweats



αὐτή ὡς ἡ πετόμενη ἐστί

She is like the flying one

τά αἰσχρουγά γράμματα ἐμέ πιέζει

The obscene drawn-things tire me

τό τάς πλατείας πυγάς ἰδεῖν νόμιμον ἐστί

The seeing of flat butts is normal

ὡς ταῦτα ἐρεσόμενος ὁ σύντροφος Λίβυς

Because the average African is asked these things

ἡ μέγιστη νωτιαίπηρα ἔχει

She has much back-bag

ὧ ἄνδρες

Oh men







ὡς τό ἡμῶν παρθένος τήν πυγήν ἔρχον ἐστί

Because your maidens are the butt-having ones




Shake yourself




Shake yourself



τήν ὑγιᾶς πύγήν σείε

Shake the healthy butt

τό παρθένος τό νῶτον ἔχει

The maiden has a back

back to top

Translation by me.
Inspired by this guy.
Original lyrics here.

[1] It's hard to say "woman" (or "man" for that matter) in Greek without some serious cultural overtones. This word basically means a girl who's of age, but is not yet married (and, implied, virginal). This is the best choice, as there is no generic word for "girl/woman," and the others either imply she's married or a child.

[2] This construction is used to describe the agent of a passive verb, so I think it works

[3] The superlative is generally the way one says �extremely� in Greek

[4] Without getting into too much Greek philosophy, there are basically four different ways to say "love" in Greek; this one emphasizes the physical aspects, hence I thought it was fitting here


De clunibus magnis amandis oratio
Mixaloti equitis

(By Hercules!)
Rebecca, ecce! tantae clunes isti sunt!
(Rebecca, behold! Such large buttocks she has!)

amica esse videtur istorum hominum rhythmicorum.
(She appears to be a girlfriend of one of those rhythmic-oration people.)
sed, ut scis,
(But, as you know)
quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?
(Who can understand persons of this sort?)
colloquuntur equidem cum ista eo tantum, quod scortum perfectum esse videtur.
(Verily, they converse with her for this reason only, namely, that she appears to be a complete whore.)
clunes, aio, maiores esse!
(Her buttocks, I say, are rather large!)
nec possum credere quam rotondae sint.
(Nor am I able to believe how round they are.)
en! quam exstant! nonne piget te earum?
(Lo! How they stand forth! Do they not disgust you?)
ecce mulier Aethiops!
(Behold the black woman!)

magnae clunes mihi placent, nec possum de hac re mentiri.
(Large buttocks are pleasing to me, nor am I able to lie concerning this matter.)
quis enim, consortes mei, non fateatur,
(For who, colleagues, would not admit,)
cum puella incedit minore medio corpore
(Whenever a girl comes by with a rather small middle part of the body)
sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos
(Beneath which is an obvious spherical mass, that it inflames the spirits)
virtute praestare ut velitis, notantes bracas eius
(So that you want to be conspicuous for manly virtue, noticing her breeches)
clunibus profunde fartas(*1) esse
(Have been deeply stuffed with buttock?)
a! captus sum, nec desinere intueri possum.
(Alas! I am captured, nor am I able to desist from gazing.)
o dominola mea, volo tecum congredi
(My dear lady, I want to come together with you)
pingereque picturam tui.
(And make a picture of you.)
familiares mei me monebant
(My companions were trying to warn me)
sed clunes istae libidinem in me concitant.
(But those buttocks of yours arouse lust in me.)
o! cutis rugosa glabraque! (*2)
(O skin wrinkled and smooth!)
dixistine te in meum vehiculum intrare velle?
(Did you say you wish to enter my vehicle?)
in arbitrio tuo totus veni
(I am entirely at your disposal)
quia non es mediocris adsecula.
(Because you are not an average hanger-on.)
vidi illam saltantem.(*3)
(I have seen her dancing.)
obliviscere igitur blanditiarum! (*3a)
(Forget, therefore, about blandishments!)
tantus sudor! tantus umor!
(Such sweat! Such moisture!)
vehor quasi in curru quadrigarum! (*4)
(I am borne along as if by a four-horse chariot!)
taedet me in diurnis legendi
(I am tired of reading in the gazettes)
planas clunes gratiores iudicari.
(That flat buttocks are judged more pleasing.)
rogate quoslibet Aethiopes: responsum erit
(Ask any black men you wish: the answer will be)
se libentius expletiores (*5) anteponere.
(Rather that they prefer fuller ones.)
o consortes (quid est?) o consortes (quid est?)
(O colleagues [What is it?] O colleagues [What is it?])
habent amicae vestrae magnas clunes? (certe habent!)
(Do your girlfriends have large buttocks? [They certainly have!])
hortamini igitur ut eas quatiant (ut quatiant!)
(Encourage them therefore to shake them! [To shake them!])
ut quatiant! (ut quatiant!)
(To shake them! [To shake them!)
ut quatiant illas clunes sanas!
(To shake those healthy buttocks!)
domina mea exstat a tergo! (*6)
(My mistress stands out behind!)


(*1) Any apparent connection with flatulence, even in this context, is purely coincidental.
(*2) The original doesn't make much sense either. Is it a cellulite reference? -- ADDENDUM Nov. 14, 2003 : The reading of the text here is a problem which has much exercised the scholarly community, with attempts to explain "rumpled smooth skin," or to suggest that it is a pun (a lame one, if you ask me) on Rumplestiltskin. The likeliest reading is "rub her smooth skin" (cutem glabram eius tere [or terere volo]). Now, there are ten pages of comments below, and a great many of them are devoted to this matter. Please familiarize yourself with the status quaestionis before making your own contribution. -- UPDATE 12/9/03: a reader tells us that Sir Mixalot's official site confirms the lyrics "rub all of that smooth skin." I am therefore willing to declare the matter solved, and wish to hear no more of it. Thank you.
(*3) Or saltare?
(*3a) I can find no obvious Latin expression that implies "romantic courtship." -- ADDENDUM 10/14/03: Amores has been suggested, but that can also be used for purely sexual liaisons, which is clearly the goal here, and so not to be thus dismissed.
(*4)All right, how would you say "got it goin' like a Turbo 'Vette"? And what exactly is "goin'" here? I have chosen to understand that the unnamed woman's extraordinary callipygy has inspired a primal response in the narrator, rather than that she "has got it goin' on," i.e., that she "is all that" -- although the later lines (not included here) concerning Fonda's Honda and the speaker's anaconda can, ultimately, be invoked in support of either interpretation. -- ADDENDUM 10/24/03: I have heard from several readers that the music video suggests that this line should rather be interpreted along the lines of "she shakes her posterior most vigorously."
(*5) Or uberiores? Although that's perhaps better reserved for a different fetish.
(*6) This line is not as succinct as the original, to be sure. -- ADDENDUM 10/24/03: I wish I'd said puella here, as domina suggests a power relationship different from the English original.

UPDATE, later that same day:
Thanks to Nepenthe for pointing out that the lyrics link I had up here (to letssingit.com, which avoid) led to multiple pop-ups that install software without informing you. I've found one that seems to be pop-up free: but then my browser didn't respond to the other ones, either.

(This means, of course, that I translated a different transcription of the lyrics, and it might not match. Yeah, that's a good explanation.)

Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback, which has been overwhelming.

UPDATE 10/13/03:

For the rest of the song, see [info]ukelele's version here.

UPDATE 10/15/03:

Thanks again to everyone who has expressed approval, admiration, and/or promised sexual gratification; you're all very kind. I note that my "friend of" list has nearly doubled, and this is wicked cool, although I can't promise I'll have a chance to add you back immediately, as I like to read over other journals before adding them, and this takes time, and if your journal consists mainly of quiz results or Powerpuff Girls slash, I will probably pass; sorry. The above translation probably makes it seem as though I have an endless supply of time, to be sure, but sadly, it is not so. This also means that if you've added my journal in hopes for more of this sort of thing, it may be something of a wait, and you're more likely to get "this weekend I studied for a bit and then I watched a movie and it was okay."

NEW! [info]mishak, whose probably-not-serious request led to this whole thing, decided he wanted a t-shirt out of this. You can get one too on his Cafe Shop here.

[MiriyaB comment: clearly, the thing to get would be the boxer shorts or thong!]


Here is a little ditty that I found while I was cleaning my room. It seems that I first wrote it about eight years ago, when the Yid-Hop movement was going strong. I wrote this in the guise of Sir Mitz-vah-lot, who proceeds to tell the world which culture invented the concept of zaftig!
Anyway, I decided to update some of the topical references in the song for the new millennium. Of course, if you learned Yiddish with a different dialect than I did, some of the vowel quantities might seem weird to you. However, I think you can still appreciate the Yid-flow to it even if it sounds like it shouldn't rhyme to you. If I can find a instrumental track, I might actually produce an MP3 of this song or something...Without further ado, I present "Baby got Tuchus (2003 Re-mix)" by Sir Mitz-vah-lot

Oh my god, Gwen, look at her butt
It is so big
She looks like one of those yeshiva guys' girlfriends
Who understands those yeshiva guys
They only talk to her because she looks like a total JAP, ok?
I mean her butt
It's just so big
I can't believe it's so round
It's just out there
I mean, it's gross
Look, she's just so....Jewish!

I like gezunta tuchus and I cannot lie
You other bucherim can't deny
That when a maydel walks in with an itty-bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung
Wanna pull up front
Cuz you notice that tuchus was stuffed
Deep in the kleyd she's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get with ya
And have you meet my mishpokhe
My rabbi tried to warn me
But with that tuchus you got
(Oy, me so horny!)
Ooh, rump-of-smooth-stein
You say you wanna get in my Benz
Well use me, use me, cuz you ain't your average tchotchke

I've heard my parents talk
The hell with a shiddach
She shana, kleyna, got it goin' like a Tupperware container.

I'm tired of magazines
saying that zaftig ain't tha thing
Take the average Hebrew and ask him that
She gotta pack much back, so

Boychicks? (yeah), boychicks? (yeah)
Has your bashert got the tuchus? (hell yeah)
Well shake it, (shake it,) shake it, (shake it,) shake that healthy tush

Baby got tuchus

(Newton face with Brookline booty)

I like'em round and big
And when I'm throwin' a gig
I just can't help myself
I'm actin like an behayma
Right up in all my beyner
I wanna get you home
And ugh, shmooze it up ugh, ugh
But I ain't talkin' about Tolstoy
Cuz War and Peace is so hoi polloi

I wann'em real thick and geshmock
So geshmock I eat it with a gupple
Mitz-vah-lot's in trouble
Beggin' for a piece of that bubble

So I'm lookin' at rock videos
Watchin' these shiksas walkin' like kurvahs
You can have them nafkas
I'll keep my women like Rivkah

A word to the zaftig Semite sistas
I wanna get with ya
I won't cuss or hit ya
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna shtup
Till the break of dawn
Baby, I got it goin on
A lot of shaygetses won't like this song
Cuz them punks like to zetz and quit it
But I'd rather stay and play
Cuz I'm long and I'm strong
And it's a mitzvah to get the friction on

So maydels (yeah), maydels (yeah)
If you wanna taste my knaydls (yeah)
Then turn around
Stick it out
Even goyim got to shout
Baby got tuchus

(Newton face with the Brookline booty)

Yeah baby
When it comes to females
The shadchen got nothin to do with my selection
Only if she's not meshugge.

So your girlfriend rolls a Honda
Playin' workout tapes by Fonda
But Fonda ain't nuthin' but a big ol' shanda
My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns hon
You can do side bends or sit-ups, but please don't lose that butt

Some brothers wanna play that hard role
and tell you that a shana tuchus ain't gold
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to retrieve it

So Dr. Atkins says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that
Cuz your waist is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout schtupin'

To the beanpole dames in Hadassah magazine
You ain't it Miss Thang
Give me a sista I can't resist her
Schmaltz and gribbenes didn't miss her

Some bulvon tried to dis
Cuz his girls were on my list
He had game but he chose to quit 'em
And I pulled up quick to get with 'em

So ladies if the tuchus is round
And you wanna fully kosher throw down
Dial 1-900-Mitz-Vah-Lot and kick them nasty thoughts
Baby got tuchus


Baby Got Rack
My tribute to geeky women. With apologies to Sir Mix-a-Lot. :)

Baby Got Rack

Oh my god
Becky, look at her laptop
It is sooo big
She looks like one of those geek guys' girlfriends
But y'know, who understands those geek guys?
They only talk to her because she looks like a total nerd
I mean, her laptop, it's just sooo big
I can't believe it's so square, it's like out there
I mean -- it's gross
Look, she needs some... sun!

I like big procs and I cannot lie;
You other coders can't deny
That when a girl logs in with a Gigafloppin' RISC
And solid state for its disk
You get sprung
Wanna pull up tough
'Cause you noticed that rack was stuffed!
Deep in the slots, it's RAID 5
And a T-3 just to stay live
Oh, baby I wanna log in ya
And scan your picture.

My yuppies tried to warn me
But that rack you got
Makes me so horny
Case paint of smooth tan
You say you wanna get in my van?
Well use me, use me,
So long as I get an I.D.

I've seen her typin'
On azithromycin.
She's a shrill pill,
Got it flowin' with the VapoChill.

I'm tired of magazines
Saying minitowers are the thing.
Take the average tech man and ask him that;
She gotta pack much rack.

So Fellas (yeah) Fellas (yeah)
Has your girlfriend got the proc? (Hell yeah)
Tell her work it (work it), work it (work it),
Work that beefy proc;
Baby got rack.

(Mini-Rap -- HP case with a liquid coolant)

I like 'em big, and square,
And when I'm throwin' an error
I just can't help myself
I'm actin' like my manager
(Now *he's* a scavenger!)

I wanna get you home
And mount, double-up, mount, mount!
I ain't talkin' Playstation
'Cause silicon chips are made to run!
I want 'em four to a module:
So find that MP backplane;
Stronae's had some eyestrain
Goin' for the shortest path endgame.

So I'm lookin' at users' woes:
Pointy-haired techs talkin' through their nose?
They can have Bill's Windows;
Unix better works our egos.

A word to the goth and geeky
I wanna get with thee
I won't demodulate thee
But I gotta be straight when I say I just need [video game explosion]
'Til a quarter past three
Baby gotta keep it real
Corporate Veeps won't like this peal
'Cause them suits just like to abuse it
But I'd still support your port
'Cause I ping, on token ring,
And I'm down to get you networking!

So Honeys (yeah), Honeys (yeah)
Wanna roll my Town and Country? (yeah)
Then hook it up --
Blow it out --
Even rednecks got to shout:
Baby got rack.

Baby got rack.

Yeah baby,
When it comes to females,
Cosmo ain't got nothin' to do with my selection.
Only if she's got a P-4...!

So your girlfriend wears green lipstick
Playin' songs by some grunge beatnick.
That maverick ain't got the bandwidth to support her toy NIC;
My Wingman joystick don't want none unless you got hubs, hon!

You can do installs or backups, but please don't lose that proc.
Some gamers wanna play it solo
And reject your parallel flow,
So they clock it, and unlock it,
And I pull up quick to resocket.
So Cosmo says you're weird
Well that ain't to be feared
'Cause your specs are large and your box is hummin'
And I'm thinkin' about comin'
To your home with UPSes
(The power's yours, my Miss!)
With an admin I can't react when
She privileges my login.
Some businessman tried to spam
'Cause his girls were on my LAN.
He had 'net but he sniffed their session
And I show 'em how to V-PN.
So ladies if the case is square
And you wanna dirty chat room lair
Hash s-t-r-o-n-a-e
And type them nasty thoughts
Baby got rack.

Baby got rack.

Pale in the vale but she got much rack...
Pale in the vale but she got much rack...
Pale in the vale but she got much rack...
Pale in the vale but she got much rack...

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