Definition of ganef in English:



  • A dishonest or unscrupulous person.

    • ‘I loved reading how Cohen's grandmother would tease her and call her a ganef, meaning a thief, for trying to grab matzoh balls from the kitchen and then how, many years later, Cohen found an old cookbook that referred to a kind of matzoh ball actually called a ganef.’
    • ‘Now in Yiddish, a ganef is a thief, but I knew that this kindly Scot in his late 60's or 70's, up here in the Hebrides, gripped by sudden frustration, was not speaking Yiddish.’
    • ‘It's a miracle that he has survived the corrupt processes controlled by rodential ganefs whose artistic talents start and stop with the wearing of shoes made from skins of rare animals.’
    • ‘Junkies, hookers, drag queens, derelicts, ganefs and hit men rub up against Joe and Darlene, a couple too amiable or dense to survive the Nighttown scene till morning.’
    • ‘That the sequels continue after the critically disappointing Ocean's Twelve, only proves that these ganefs will try to get away with this theft as long as they can bring in the shekels.’
    • ‘Although that one interpretation may indicate a lenience towards general abstention from the death penalty, Pre-diasporic Judaim's track record shows that many many ‘whores’ and thieves (ganefs) were terminally judged by the Sanhedrin and executed.’


1990s: Yiddish, from Hebrew, literally ‘thief’.