Did someone just tell you that their life is fakakta? What does that mean? “Fakakta” is another great Yiddish slang sayings adopted into English.
This post unpacks everything you need to know about this idiom’s meaning, use, and origin.
Fakakta Idiom Meaning
“Fakakta” describes a situation or person “messed up” and beyond belief. For example, when nothing is going right for you in life, it’s “fakakta.” When you’re boss fires you for no good reason, that’s fakakta.”
There is discussion over whether the correct term is “ferkakte,” “fakakta,” or “verkakte,” but they essentially all mean the same thing. “Fakakta” is the most westernized version of the idiom.
“Fakakta” refers to a situation that was going wrong from the start, with no hope of it turning out the way you expected. “Fakakta” is another word adopted from the Yiddish language. Yiddish is a Jewish dialect from the European Jews at the time around the end of the Second World War.
It’s a slang word in the language describing a problem where nothing seems like it’s going right. If your car is falling apart and keeps costing you money, it’s fakakta. If your wife left you and kicked you out of the house, that’s fakakta.
Fakakta is one of the most commonly used Yiddish slang cuss terms. You don’t have to be Yiddish to use the term or appreciate its use in the English language.
Fakakta Example Usage
“The geyser exploded overnight, and now the entire ceiling is fakakta. Someone call the plumber and the home repair people.”
“That exam was so challenging; I’m deep in the fakakta with this one; I should have studied harder.”
“The weather is fakakta today, and I don’t think it’s going to get any better.”
“Everything is fakakta today; I don’t even know why I bothered getting out of bed.”
The word “fakakta” originates from the Yiddish language. Yiddish is a language used by the Jewish people around the time of the Second World War. The language was unique to Jewish communities living around Europe at the time. Many language experts state that Yiddish combines many modern languages and Hebrew, resulting in a hybrid dialect unique to all other Jewish-based languages.
Some language experts believe that Fakakta is only a spelling mistake of the word “verkakte.” Verkakte has the meaning of crappy. However, the book “A Guide To Swearing In Yiddish” by C. A. Pinkham states that “fakakta” is, in fact, an independent word in the Yiddish language.
In Yiddish, Fakakta derives from the vulgarity “kakn,” meaning to shit. Fred Kogos was the first to define the term in his 1970 work, “Book of Yiddish Proverbs and Slang.” The book describes the meaning of fakakta as “shitty” or “dungy” the technical pronunciation of the word rolls off the tongue as “fec-kuck-the.”
Phrases Similar to Fakakta
- F**ked up.
- Messed up.
Phrases Opposite to Fakakta
- All good.
- No worries.
- Everything’s cool.
What is the Correct Saying?
Ways People May Say Fakakta Incorrectly
Some people may use the word around orthodox Jewish people, and they might find the use of their language by outsiders offensive. Fakakta might sound harmless in English, but it’s not a polite word to be used in Yiddish.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase Fakakta
You can use “fakakta” in various scenarios to describe your disdain for a current situation or outcome. Fakakta is a Yiddish term, and not many people will understand the literal meaning, but the sound of the word makes it obvious to everyone what you are saying. Using fakakta is a good way to avoid cursing or foul language around children.