The Meaning of Kosher: What It Is and How To Use It

What is the meaning of kosher, and why is the tradition of keeping kosher important in the Jewish faith? This article is about kosher eating.

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The word kosher has a couple of different meanings. First, it can refer to laws surrounding food that people who practice Orthodox Judaism must keep. It can also be used as an informal slang term. Keep reading to learn all about the different definitions of the word kosher!

What Does the Word Kosher Mean?

The word kosher refers to dietary laws that are maintained by many Orthodox Jewish individuals. These laws involve what types of food people can eat, when they can eat them, and how they are prepared.

According to Dictionary, the word kosher can also be used as a slang or informal term to mean proper, genuine, or legitimate. 

Keeping Kosher: Types of Foods

Many types of foods are considered kosher. For meats, kosher mammals must chew their cud and be cloven-hooved. Sheep, ibex, goats, giraffes, gazelle, deer, cow, bison, antelope, and addax are all considered kosher and have the right type of hooves. Animals like pigs, horses, rabbits, camels, kangaroos, and squirrels are not kosher. 

Poultry that is considered kosher includes goose, duck, turkey, and chicken. There are twenty-four different species of birds that are not considered kosher, but people find it easiest to stick to the aforementioned kosher fowl. Eggs that come from non-kosher birds are not kosher.

The only fish that are kosher have fins and scales that can be removed without damaging the skin. Therefore, no types of shellfish are considered kosher, such as shrimp and crab. While fish and meat may be eaten during the same meal, they may not be eaten together and require changing the cutlery and dishes. 

For dairy products, meat and milk may never be mixed in the same meal, in cooked products, or even by using the same utensils, dishes, or cooking equipment. Many kosher kitchens have separate sinks and ovens. Dairy includes products like milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream. 

To eat meat and dairy, kosher people may only eat meat after eating a hard cheese that is over six months old after waiting six hours. All fruits and vegetables are kosher and considered pareve foods, meaning they do not contain meat or dairy.

Keeping Kosher: Food Preparation

There are many food preparation guidelines that manufacturers must follow to be kosher certified. Just like people must use separate utensils for meat and dairy if they are kosher, manufacturers must have kosher equipment. 

What Are Translations of the Word Kosher?

People all around the world keep kosher, whether in their home country or when traveling. Therefore, it is very important to know how to explain the fact that you are kosher in different languages. By looking at these translations of kosher, you will be able to tell other people that you are looking for kosher products or read the packaging to see what is kosher.

  • Hungarian: kóser
  • Portuguese (Portugal): kosher.
  • Estonian: kosher
  • Japanese: kher
  • Ukrainian: кошерний
  • Bulgarian: кошер
  • Indonesian: halal
  • Danish: kosher.
  • Hebrew: כשר
  • Spanish: comestible según la ley judía
  • Croatian: košer
  • Italian: kosher
  • Icelandic: kosher.
  • Latvian: košers
  • Slovenian: kosher.
  • Tamil: கோஷெர்
  • Catalan: kosher
  • Finnish: kosher
  • Malayalam: കോഷർ
  • Norwegian: kosher
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 猶太猶太人
  • French: kascher
  • Filipino: Kosher.
  • Marathi: कोशेर
  • Polish: koszerny
  • Korean: 적법한
  • Greek: αγνός κατά τον μωσαϊκόν νόμο
  • Basque: kosier
  • Portuguese (Brazil): kosher.
  • Romanian: cuşer
  • Swedish: koscher
  • Telugu: కోషెర్
  • Malay: halal.
  • Gujarati: કોશેર
  • Urdu: Kosher.
  • Serbian: кошер
  • Hindi: कोषेर
  • Welsh: kosher
  • Arabic: كوشير
  • Turkish: Koşer
  • Czech: košer
  • Slovak: kóšer
  • Swahili: Kosher.
  • Lithuanian: kosher
  • Chinese (PRC): 犹太犹太人
  • Russian: кошерство
  • German: koscher
  • Bengali: কোশার
  • Dutch: koosjer
  • Amharic: Koser
  • Vietnamese: Kosher.
  • Kannada: ಕೋಷರ್
  • Thai: โคเชอร์

What Is the Origin of Kosher Eating?

The basic laws of keeping kosher are found in the Biblical books of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 17. Over the years, these have become Jewish law. The word kosher is a Hebrew word in origin and translates to fit or proper.

The purpose of being kosher is to conform to Divine Will, which is a concept that is covered in the Torah. If a person has questions on keeping kosher, they should speak to an Orthodox Rabbi.

What Are Synonyms of the Word Kosher?

While there are not many synonyms for the word kosher, there are words that a person could use in place of kosher as a slang term. If you believe someone may think that you are talking about the Jewish diet when you use the word kosher to mean “all good,” you can opt to use one of these synonyms from Power Thesaurus instead.

  • above board
  • aboveboard
  • acceptable
  • actual
  • admissible
  • allowable
  • allowed
  • appropriate
  • approved
  • authentic
  • authorized
  • bona fide
  • by the book
  • clean
  • correct
  • culinary
  • decent
  • ethical
  • factual
  • fair
  • fair and square
  • fitting
  • for-sure
  • frank
  • genuine
  • good
  • happy
  • honest
  • honest-to-goodness
  • just
  • justifiable
  • lawful
  • legal
  • legit
  • legitimate
  • licit
  • official
  • okayed
  • on the level
  • on the up and up
  • original
  • orthodox
  • permissible
  • permitted
  • proper
  • pure
  • real
  • real thing
  • reals
  • recognized
  • regular
  • right
  • rightful
  • sanctioned
  • sound
  • square
  • straight
  • true
  • trustworthy
  • truthful
  • upright
  • valid
  • veritable


The word kosher can refer to either the Orthodox Jewish practice of keeping certain food rules, or it can be used as an informal term for genuine or frank. Do you keep kosher?


  1. Kosher Definition & Meaning | 
  2. ​​What Is Kosher? Diet, Food, and Rules 
  3. Kosher synonyms – 956 Words and Phrases for Kosher | Power Thesaurus