Song: Pretty Fly For A Sheikh

Running Time: 3:03

Year: 1999

Album: Running With Scissors, Pretty Fly For A Rabbi

Parody of: Pretty Fly For A White Guy by The Offspring

Lyrics: Lyrics

Video: None

Download/Listen: AOL Music

Forum: Forum Discussion Page


  • The song contains many references to Arab culture, but despite common belief, Al is not Arab; he's a lifelong observant Christian.
    • The lyrics employ several Arabic words and phrases; Arabic is a Semetic language that was the main language of the Arabic diaspora as a spoken language. Many Arabic words and phrases were introduced overtime into the general English lexicon, especially in the United States.
  • The original song's "uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, cinco, seis" is parodied as "واحد اثنان ثلاثة اربعة خمسة ستة سبعة"
  • The song was released as a single in US, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Italy and UAE, the video was filmed in Edgeware Road, Paddington, London, UK.
  • Al originally wanted and he then hired voice actress Lauren Tom to record in the voice of her Dexter's Laboratory character Soyen Chen. ("How ya doin' Bernie?")
  • Finally, Al called in Grey DeLisle, who had previously voiced Yumi Yoshimura, to record her Riley Daring impression.
    • Lauren Tom eventually ended up recording the high-pitched "for a sheikh" vocal.


Word or phrase Meaning Notes
Vern zol fun dir a blintshik "May you turn into a blintz" Half of a traditional Yiddish curse; the full curse is "Vern zol fun dir a blintshik, un di kats zol dikh khapn"; "May you turn into a blintz and be snatched by a cat."
Oy vey! "Oh, woe!" A common Yiddish phrase, short for "Oy vey iz mir" ("Oh, woe is me").
Goyim Gentiles (non-Jews) Literally means "nation" in Hebrew, but has long been used to refer to non-Jewish peoples in general.
Nudnik A nuisance; an annoying or boring person From the Yiddish verb "nudyen"; "to bore".
Kosher In line wish Jewish dietary law; or more generally, something suitable or allowable
Schtick Routine; characteristic skill Literally means "piece" in Yiddish. Often used to refer to a comedian or performer's particular persona or gimmick.
How's by you? How are you? What do you think? A direct translation of the Yiddish "Vi geyts bay dir?"
Torah The main Jewish holy scripture Refers specifically to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
Synagogue A Jewish temple or church
Toum Toum; spread Refers to a condiment spread on chicken shawarma, often garlic sauce.
Yarmulke A cap worn by religious Jewish males, usually during prayer Called a "kippah" in Hebrew and more generally a "skullcap" in English.
Meshuge Crazy or irrational
Schlemiel A foolish or clumsy person
Hza tayibana wafaqak allah Good luck A common expression of celebration/congratulations.
Macher An important person; a doer Literally means "maker" in Yiddish.
Mukhara Butt Commonly spelled "Mukhara" in English.
Shul Synagogue; temple Cognate with the German word for "school"; emphasizes the temple as a place of study.
High holy days Important Jewish holidays Also called high holidays, usually refers to Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement, the most important Jewish holiday).
Bar mitzvah Male coming-of-age ceremony A ceremony usually held on or around a Jewish boy's 13th birthday to celebrate his entrance into adulthood.
Schlep To go From the Yiddish word for "to drag".
Bris Circumcision A ceremonial circumcision traditionally performed on the eighth day of a boy's life.
Chutzpah Gall; audacity; self-confidence Literally means "insolence".
Mohel One who performs a bris
Kvell To be delighted; to boast
Yente A female matchmaker Can more generally refer to a gossip or busybody.
Shiksa A young non-Jewish woman/girl Comes from the Hebrew word for "abomination".
Shalom "Hello"; literally "peace" A standard Hebrew greeting.
Oy gevalt "Oh my lord!"
Verklempt Overwhelmed; flustered
Plotz To faint From the Yiddish for "to crack or explode"
Hanukkah Eight-day long Jewish holiday usually taking place close to Christmas

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