I'm looking for a word that describes the following:-

"When they left the room, it was as if someone else entered".

I vaguely recall reading a Yiddish term that described this in a novel many years ago, but all I can find is Nephesh - soul.


2 Answers 2


Closest I can think of (and it's not Yiddish):

  • Conspicuous by his/her absence

see http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/conspicuous+by+absence

  • Ta. It's on those lines, but this term had 'feeling' to it - as if the temperature had changed. Jun 15, 2015 at 6:50

The Yiddish word you're referring to is Nebbish:

a timid, meek, or ineffectual person - Merriam-Webster.com

Possible alternatives: Complete Non-entity, Oxygen-thief.

  • Nebbish could be possible, although something (perhaps a false memory after all these years) suggests a two-word term. Oxygen-thief seems a bit crude for what I'm after - is there something more elegant, that reflects a change in temperature, if you will? Jun 15, 2015 at 6:49
  • 1
    "Nebbish" is the canonical answer, with OP's description appearing almost verbatim in the book "The Joys of Yiddish"
    – Rocky
    Mar 7, 2017 at 0:13

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