WOLF EHRENFRIED VON REITZENSTEIN (d. March 16, 1778)
He offered one of the most exotic descriptions of the Yiddish language. In his work Der vollkommene Pferde-Kenner (The perfect connoisseur of horses) (Uffenheim, 1764), there is a chapter entitled: “Anhang, woraus diejenigen Redens-Arten können erlernet warden, deren sich die Juden in ihrem Umgang gegen einander und sonderlich auf Ross-Märkten bedienen” (Appendix, from which those types of speech can be learned, which the Jews use in their dealings with each other and especially at horse markets). This appendix (36 unnumbered pages) includes lists of the Jewish alphabet and of the system of using the Jewish alphabet for numerals, a Yiddish-German bilingual dictionary (in Romanization), and five dialects among the Jewish horse dealers. Aside from its historical value for the history of scholarship on the Yiddish language, Reitzenstein’s chapter on Yiddish is an important example of the Western Yiddish dialect of central Germany. He died in Uffenheim.
Sources: Ber Borokhov, in Der pinkes (Vilna) 43a (1913); Florence Guggenheim-Grünberg, “The Horse Dealers’ Language of the Swiss Jews in Endingen and Lengnau,” in Uriel Weinreich, ed., The Field of Yiddish (New York, 1954), vol. 1, pp. 49, 51.