What's A Balabostah?: Women - Misc. Issues Response on Ask the Rabbi
click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​




What's A Balabostah?

I recently became married, and in setting up my first home, my elderly grandmother keeps referring to me as a "balabostah." Is that a compliment? Exactly what is a "balabostah"?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

I wish I could show your question to my dearly departed grandmother. She was a real balabostah!

Balabustah is one of those jerry-rigged linguistic anomalies – two Hebrew words welded together with a Yiddish suffix. "Bal" means boss, "bayis" means house, and "tah" is an endearing suffix.

So there is nothing negative at all. Balabustah connotes a woman in charge of her domain. In fact, the Dutch language has incorporated the word "bolleboos" to mean someone who is very talented, clever, and a master of his/her domain.

More Questions

Ask the Aish Rabbi a Question


Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
Sign up today!