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Like most Yiddish expressions, this is Mediaeval Low German. In Modern German it would be spelled "Ach! Gewalt!" Gewalt is a word that means strength or force, But in this context means "violence".

I see others referring to the Yiddish expression "oy vay zmir". Again, in Modern German, "Ach! Weh ist mir!", literally, "oh, woe is unto me!" In all 3 cases, the pronoun is in the Dative case, which usage has long since vanished in English, except in antique sayings such as this.
by ProudPrimate July 10, 2013
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Sep 17 Word of the Day
Fredagsmys is pretty much the most holy tradition of Sweden. The word origins from two words; β€œfredag” and β€œmys”, which roughly translates to Friday and cozy. Every Friday, all Swedes drive by the supermarket to buy ingredients for taco, soda and chips. Then, they all sit down in their sofas with their families or friends and watch telly. Usually, the parents fall asleep after a few glasses of wine or beer while the kids stuff themselves with chips until they have a stomach ache.
Now it's the end of the week; it is time for fredagsmys!
by popsicle power June 19, 2011
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Yiddish phrase. exclamation of surprise, incredulity, or simply used to emphasize a statement. often used when kvetching. alt. spelling: oy gevaldt
oy gevalt! don't scare me like that.
oy gevalt, not again.
oy gevalt, that was a long drive!
by Shwaggy November 14, 2003
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A yiddish term meaning "Oh goodness!" An expression of utmost anxiety or shock.
"Oy Gevalt! Would you look at the tuchis on her!"
by Reb'Ke'ev March 17, 2005
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A Yiddish expression of alarm.
Oy, gevalt! I hear Sam Jones got a divorce and married his friend, David.
by Tippy Ray March 08, 2005
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"Oy vey zmir"... that doesnt say much either, but its a yiddish phrase, and you can not really translate yiddish to english. The best defintion would be "oh boy or oh my gosh!"
"Oy gevalt, im soo tired, i need to go to bed but i have too much homework."
by JBS May 07, 2003
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