What’s a shababnik?

I tend to think I have a fairly good grasp of Jewish lingo, but this YNet article on a real-life haredi West Side Story used a word I’d somehow never come across: Shababnik.

YNet defines this as “a yeshiva dropout.” FailedMessiah defines it as “a kid who hangs out on the streets and doesn’t learn.” According to a TalkBack post on YNet, a shababnik is “a person from a haredi family who thinks secular but for cultural reasons dresses with a Kippa and like a Hareidi.”

Two questions I haven’t answered yet: Can a girl be a shababnik or does it specifically refer to haredi young men? Where does the word come from?

Posted on April 10, 2008

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