The History of Hamentashen

The History of Homentashn

Where does the word hamantaschen come from? The Yiddish word homentashn is a Yiddishized version of a German pastry name, mahntasche. Mahn - in Yiddish mon - is poppy seed, the original (and, some say, best) flavor of these pastries, and tash is a pouch or pocket. Somehow this pastry became associated with Purim, and Jews recognized the similarity between the word mon and the name of the Purim villain, homon (Haman - boo!). Eventually these pastries became known as Haman pouches - homentashn.

Some rabbis have continued this wordplay and assigned Hebrew meaning to both words: Haman tash (תש) - Haman is weakened.

haggadah Section: Tzafun
Source: Jewish Language Project -