Definitions for oy gevalt
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uh-oh!, "woe is me!"
Origin: From אױ גװאַלד (oy gvald). This comes from Gewalt (power, force violence); the similar Polish gwałt ("violence") is also from German, (the Polish and Ukranian word has since gravitated into "rape"). On the other hand, in usage of Polish Jewry, the word was used for harm of any kind (including being given an unfavourable price when haggling)--here, the meaning is, more literally, "Oh, may a great power intervene on my behalf!"
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