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“Wig” vs “Sheitel”
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nightingale1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 12:40 am
So this is a silly question, but up until recently (read: 3 years-ish) I’ve mostly heard the term “sheitel”. “Wig” was usually referring to a Purim costume or was being used in front of someone who might not now what “sheitel” meant.
When I first heard “wig” I thought it was more of a modern thing. But now I hear it everywhere, amongst the most yeshivish, and certainly all the sheitel machers I go to (who are all pretty yeshivish)
Is this a (relatively) new thing? Or have I been oblivious all my life?
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 2:39 am
I dont really get your question. Sheitel is yiddish and wig is english. Thats all.
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 4:14 am
You could always take the Hebrew word - פאה.

I always picture harvested wheat being twisted into a wig whenever I hear that word, and it makes me giggle. Smile
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salt




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 4:32 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
I dont really get your question. Sheitel is yiddish and wig is english. Thats all.



I think she was asking whether people have started using the English word more nowadays, whereas in the past, people would only use the yiddish word, and if so why.

To answer OP, I don't know.
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Raisin




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 5:24 am
To other frum people I say sheital, to non Jews I say wig, to Israelis, peah. But wig makes me think of judges and those powdered wigs people wore 200 years ago.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 5:35 am
Sheitelmachers sell to non-Jews as well (cancer patients, etc.), so perhaps they want to use wording in their advertisements that can be understood by as many of their potential customers as possible.
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iammom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 6:22 am
I completely agree! People (at least in the tri state area) have been using “wig” instead of “sheitel”.

Call me a traditionalist but I intentionally say sheitel, for some reason it bothers me to say wig even though it makes me look “nerdy” and “not with it”.

Ironically people who use the word wig still call the woman who washes and sets it a sheitel macher. We haven’t quite come up with a new name for that yet

There’s nothing wrong calling it a wig. It’s just something new(ish) that’s changed.
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kenz




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 6:53 am
Wig is quicker to type I.e. text. I honestly think that’s why it’s become more common. People got used to texting it so started thinking that way. And most people text them sheitel machers at least occasionally.
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BHYOMYOM1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 8:24 am
Thought it was just me.

But yes to your post, OP.

One idea is that when covering hair in the US took a stronger hold, it was after WW2 when many spoke Yiddish. Hence: shaitel became the word of choice.

Another possibility is that when it took hold, we needed a “unique” word for it, to make it special. Now B”H, it became the cultural norm and so many (in this generation of the litvish world), dont know even a word if yiddish so they are naturally starting to call it wig.

And still yet another thought is that in the sefardi world, the norm of so many covering their hair is more recent, and those glamorous sefardi women are calling it ‘wig’ as yiddish is not on their radar at all (even less than the ashkenazi litvish where there is still at least some cultural yiddish) and that also infiltrated into the frum lingo as the the chareidi Sefard and Ashkenaz worlds B”H collide.

Etc, etc, etc…

This is how language evolves over time…

Disclaimer to prevent any backlash: Yes, I know many on this site do not cover their hair at all and there is no judgement on you. We are simply discussing wigs here so I used the words “cultural norm” referring to those who do.
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happy7




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 10:02 am
People are speaking less frum all the time. It became a trend to say Israel instead of Eretz Yisrael too…
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mizle10




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 10:05 am
I noticed the same thing! "Sheitel" became nerdy. I'm sticking with it though!
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SG18




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 10:19 am
Using Yiddish words isn't inherently more religious. Our religion is not based out of Europe. Using English words makes as much sense at this point.
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mizle10




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 10:26 am
SG18 wrote:
Using Yiddish words isn't inherently more religious. Our religion is not based out of Europe. Using English words makes as much sense at this point.


True, but I feel like it comes from a desire to sound more secular.
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happy7




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 10:29 am
SG18 wrote:
Using Yiddish words isn't inherently more religious. Our religion is not based out of Europe. Using English words makes as much sense at this point.


Using English words is fine, but Yiddish or Latino, or whatever the more “frum” dialect is, creates refinement.
In my household, I have found that using the more “frum” terms brings a higher level of Kedusha and refinement to the home
When Bnai Yisrael were in Mitzrayim, they did not change their language. This was a tremendous zechus for them. Using Jewish words and Jewish phrases has a value.
Different cultures may have different terms, but there is still a value to refining our speech.
We are in America, but refining our speech has a value.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 10:51 am
happy7 wrote:
Using English words is fine, but Yiddish or Latino, or whatever the more “frum” dialect is, creates refinement.
In my household, I have found that using the more “frum” terms brings a higher level of Kedusha and refinement to the home
When Bnai Yisrael were in Mitzrayim, they did not change their language. This was a tremendous zechus for them. Using Jewish words and Jewish phrases has a value.
Different cultures may have different terms, but there is still a value to refining our speech.
We are in America, but refining our speech has a value.

So speak Hebrew instead of a pidgin language.
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happytobemom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 10:55 am
happy7 wrote:
Using English words is fine, but Yiddish or Latino, or whatever the more “frum” dialect is, creates refinement.
In my household, I have found that using the more “frum” terms brings a higher level of Kedusha and refinement to the home
When Bnai Yisrael were in Mitzrayim, they did not change their language. This was a tremendous zechus for them. Using Jewish words and Jewish phrases has a value.
Different cultures may have different terms, but there is still a value to refining our speech.
We are in America, but refining our speech has a value.

What makes sheitel more refined than wig?
If you speak all Yiddish, that's great.
But if you're speaking English, I don't think putting in the word sheitel brings any more kedusha.
I don't get what the issue is here - use whatever word you're comfortable with!
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 11:38 am
Saying shaitel brings more kedusha?
How in the world....
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 11:46 am
The person who cuts and styles wigs in my nabe is called a hairdresser. She handles live and dummy clients.
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zaq




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 11:48 am
happy7 wrote:
Using English words is fine, but Yiddish or Latino, or whatever the more “frum” dialect is, creates refinement.
In my household, I have found that using the more “frum” terms brings a higher level of Kedusha and refinement to the home
When Bnai Yisrael were in Mitzrayim, they did not change their language. This was a tremendous zechus for them. Using Jewish words and Jewish phrases has a value.
Different cultures may have different terms, but there is still a value to refining our speech.
We are in America, but refining our speech has a value.


Oh, please. Yiddish may be mammaloshen but it is merely a vernacular with no inherent holiness. You want to be holy, speak loshen-kodesh.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 21 2022, 11:49 am
happy7 wrote:
Using English words is fine, but Yiddish or Latino, or whatever the more “frum” dialect is, creates refinement.
In my household, I have found that using the more “frum” terms brings a higher level of Kedusha and refinement to the home
When Bnai Yisrael were in Mitzrayim, they did not change their language. This was a tremendous zechus for them. Using Jewish words and Jewish phrases has a value.
Different cultures may have different terms, but there is still a value to refining our speech.
We are in America, but refining our speech has a value.
interesting that you see speaking yiddish to be more refined. Thats definitely NOT how many see it.
And about bringing kedusha to one's home with language, im sorry, but yiddish is no more ksdosh than english. Really. Its just a langusge that was popular among jews before the war. Nothing inherantly kadosh about the language.
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