bub·​kes ˈbəp-kəs How to pronounce bubkes (audio)
variants or less commonly bupkes or bupkus
plural in form but singular in construction
: the least amount : beans
won't win bubkes this yearIvan Maisel
also : nothing
received bubkes for their efforts

Word History


Yiddish (probably short for kozebubkes, literally, goat droppings), plural of bubke, bobke, diminutive of bub, bob bean, of Slavic origin; akin to Polish bób bean

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bubkes was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near bubkes

Cite this Entry

“Bubkes.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bubkes. Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?