Origin of kvell
What does kvelling mean?
Kvelling means bursting with pride or satisfaction, such as over the accomplishments of one’s loved ones.
Kvelling is the present progressive tense of the verb kvell, which comes from Yiddish. Like many Yiddish words, it is primarily used in the U.S. by Jewish people.
Example: Apparently my mother has been kvelling about our engagement since I told her about it—she’s already called all of her friends to tell them!
Where does kvelling come from?
The first records of kvell come from around the mid-1900s. Kvell comes from the Yiddish kveln, meaning “to be delighted.” It is perhaps related to the German quellen, meaning “to well up” or “to gush.”
People who are kvelling are known to gush—meaning they just can’t stop saying positive things about someone they’re proud of. Many similar words suggest being filled beyond capacity, and that’s what kvelling is—it’s being filled with pride to the point of bursting or overflowing. You kvell about people you love. Parents are especially known for kvelling about their children. If you post multiple times about how happy you are that your best friend got a promotion, you’re kvelling. If you text everyone you know 100 pictures of your new baby niece, you’re kvelling.
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How is kvell used in real life?
Like most Yiddish words, kvell is fun to say and is typically used informally. It’s primarily used by Jews, but it has also caught on outside of the Jewish community.
I was a great admirer of your dad who was the best governor of our generation’s time. He must be looking down and ‘kvelling’!
— Lyla J Liberman (@lylajliberman) March 21, 2020
— Nick Holmes (@narcissusholmes) January 3, 2020
And on a personal note, can I just say how awesome it has been to watch my first PhD student, @D_Wiwad, share his dissertation research — along with the awesome work by the rest of the team! I'm kvelling! pic.twitter.com/lC75DXBReL
— Lara Aknin (@lbaknin) March 16, 2020
Try using kvell!
Is kvell used correctly in this sentence?
Judy is always kvelling about having to correct other people’s mistakes.
How to use kvell in a sentence
You wanted to eat the thing she was kvelling about, right then and there, even before the next sentence.Remembering Nora Ephron as Our Dorothy Parker, but More|Stephen Schiff|June 27, 2012|DAILY BEAST