from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A skullcap worn by Jewish men and boys, especially those adhering to Orthodox or Conservative Judaism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A skullcap worn by religious Jewish males (especially during prayer).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a skullcap worn by religious Jews (especially at prayer)


Yiddish, from Polish and Ukrainian yarmulka, possibly from Turkish yağmurluk, rain clothing, from yağmur, rain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Yiddish יאַרמלקע (yarmlke), from the Polish jarmułka ("skullcap"). This is probably from the Turkish yağmurluk ("rainwear"). The term is known from 1903. (Wiktionary)


  • Leo Rosten claims that the word "yarmulke" comes from the Tatar word for skullcap.

    Rabbi Jason Miller: Kippah Your Head Covering Outta My Office

  • He always wore a kipa -- that is Hebrew; the Yiddish word is "yarmulke" -- the traditional Jewish head covering. - News

  • “Adam Beckerman,” Lord Havelock called, and a fair amount of boys nudged one another and whispered as Adam stepped forward with his chin held high and his small circular hat he’d told Henry on the train that this was called a yarmulke clearly visible.


  • * Also commonly known as yarmulke (or variations thereof) and kapul.

    Menachem Kaiser: Why I (Sometimes) Don't Wear A Kipah*

  • The NBA Cap -- like the NFL Cap as it was -- is a soft cap; a "yarmulke" that teams can maneuver around if willing to pay the tax.

    Andrew Brandt: Could LeBron's Power Play Happen in the NFL?

  • There's all the typing, and sitting, and mouse-clicking, and more typing, and sometimes I even have to look up words like "yarmulke" in the dictionary.

    Easter Wreck Round Up

  • HPFacebookVoteV2. init (246716, 'Why I (Sometimes) Don\'t Wear A Kipah*', '* Also commonly known as yarmulke (or variations thereof) and kapul.

    Menachem Kaiser: Why I (Sometimes) Don't Wear A Kipah*

  • Saltzman is still wearing a yarmulke, which is appropriate to his religious beliefs, but which makes him look very foreign and strange to Anibal Gonzalez, who himself looks foreign and strange to a lot of people on the Cape, even though he’s an expert cabinetmaker.

    Alice in Jeopardy

  • It's one thing if you're black and everyone calls you "boy"; it's another if you're Jewish and people think the yarmulke is a little silly.)

    To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth

  • “Shabbat shalom,” responds the man, whose black sateen yarmulke stands up, tentlike, on his balding head.

    American Grace


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