The humble little dreidel is so part of our experience with Chanukah, and yet does anyone know why it's called a dreidel?
|Ester Shahaf design|
It's a Yiddish word, no doubt.
To "dre" is to spin. A dreidel spins.
When you add on the "el" that gives it diminutive, cutesy-ness element.
So it's a little spinning top.
The Whole Phamily loves Yiddish - it's part of our Ashkenasic heritage. And dreidel is in Yiddish.
But we like to say sivivon also, which is the Hebrew word for dreidel.
This is no Dr. Dre, but here's a familiar tune, "Oh Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah" in Yiddish.