Return of the Mazel Tov Cocktail

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Maya Rhodan, "A Donald Trump Surrogate Strangely Accused Jay Z of Promoting ‘Mazel Tov’ Cocktails", Time Magazine 11/7/2016:

A surrogate of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accused Jay Z, who performed at a rally for Hillary Clinton last week, of promoting police violence in a video that featured “mazel tov cocktails.”  

“One of his main videos starts off with a crowd throwing mazel tov cocktails at the police,” Scottie Nell Hughes said on CNN.

The obligatory audio:

Ms. Hughes is not the first prominent Republican to get these two mixed up: "Mazel Tov, Molotov, whatever", 12/11/2014.

See also: Maura Judkis, "The Mazel Tov Cocktail is real. And it's delicious", Washington Post 11/7/2016.


  1. pat barrett said,

    November 7, 2016 @ 6:26 pm

    OK. Maybe I'm naïve and way behind the times, but that is a very funny thing. It reminds me of the iceberg joke.

  2. Mara K said,

    November 7, 2016 @ 6:36 pm

    Kosher Cocktail has published a different recipe for the mazel tov cocktail.

  3. Cervantes said,

    November 7, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

    Oy vey.

  4. D.O. said,

    November 7, 2016 @ 9:44 pm

    For me, police violence without context is violence perpetrated by the police. But, I guess, this is an improbable reading in the circumstances.

  5. Noscitur a sociis said,

    November 8, 2016 @ 12:17 am

    Sounds more like "Movoltov" to me.

  6. Andrew (not the same one) said,

    November 8, 2016 @ 8:45 am

    D.O.: One could encourage violence by the police by showing people throwing mazel tov cocktails at them; it could be read as implying that they needed to take action to defend themselves. I doubt that is what Trump meant, though.

  7. KeithB said,

    November 8, 2016 @ 10:30 am

    I imagine folks think that they named these during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

    "Mazel Tov THIS, you Nazi scum!"

  8. Andreas Johansson said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 4:01 am

    I guess I'm seriously out of sync with most Americans in that I had to look up "mazel tov". The name Molotov, OTOH, is quite familiar from youthful reading.

  9. KeithB said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 9:21 am

    I know it from _Fiddler on the Roof_.

  10. cameron said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 11:56 am

    The British band The Wildhearts released a song called "Mazel Tov Cocktail" on their 2009 album ¡Chutzpah!:

  11. philip said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

    Are all you USAers in shock? or has Trump shut down LL bigly?

    [(myl) It's clear that linguists interested in current events (along with comedians, cartoonists, political philosophers, political organizers, and students of motivated reasoning) can look forward to an increasingly rich environment in the next few years…

    So our future is bright, at least until the new Alien and Sedition Acts go into effect.]

  12. Mara K said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

    From personal experience, I'm going with shock, and frantic "what now"ing.

  13. Philip said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

    Mara K … sure it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government gets in anyway. I have lived for years under incompetent political leaders and it does not make that much of a difference.

  14. cameron said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 4:52 pm

    as the chorus of the song I linked to above has it: "just a whole lot of shakes going on"

  15. Andrew Usher said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 8:39 pm

    I agree that that does not sound like an intended pronunciation of 'mazel tov', though there may have been mental confusion. I would think any American that knows 'mazel tov' at all should know to final-devoice it /'mɑzl̩ tɔf/. Of course, 'Molotov' should be too, and indeed I'll say /'mɔlə,tɔf/ for the name, but an anglicized pronunciation is established in 'molotov cocktail'.

    Also, D.O. is right that 'police violence' can't possibly mean violence toward police and that that use is just ungrammatical; [NOUN] violence always means violence by [NOUN](s), not against them (cf. 'black violence').

    k_over_hbarc at

  16. Jerry Friedman said,

    November 9, 2016 @ 9:07 pm

    Philip: I think there's a lot of gloating and commiserating going on in my country, and academia has more than its share of commiserating, but that may not be why you're not seeing much activity here.

    However, I'm writing because I finally noticed that you had answered my question about "The tea has me destroyed". Thank you.

  17. philip said,

    November 10, 2016 @ 6:06 am

    Jerry: That tea was brewing a long time!

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