Kippah vs Yarmulke: Difference and Comparison

Many civilizations and traditional customs call this world home. A wide range of customs and traditions can be found everywhere, from languages to culinary preferences, clothes to celebrations.


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Clothes, like any other phenomenon, play an important role in cultural identification. They not only determine it, but they also aid in the preservation of the culture.

Key Takeaways

  1. Kippah is a Hebrew term; Yarmulke is Yiddish, but both describe a skullcap worn by Jewish men.
  2. Wearing these skullcaps shows respect, reverence for God, and acknowledgment of a higher power.
  3. Styles, materials, and designs vary across communities and occasions, reflecting cultural and personal preferences.

Kippah vs Yarmulke 

Kippah and yarmulke are two words for the same head covering worn by Jewish men. The word “kippah” is Hebrew, and the word “yarmulke” is on Yiddish language – a language once spoken by Jews. They both refer to a small, round cap worn to cover the head as a sign of respect and reverence.

Kippah vs Yarmulke

Taken from the Hebrew language, Kippah is a word that literally means ‘dome.’ In some other languages and areas, people refer to it as prison also because the prisons used to have domes on their roofs earlier in history.

While on the other hand, Yarmulke refers to a similar variety of headcaps but gets categorized differently due to being taken from another language, Yiddish.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKippah  Yarmulke  
Meaning  This word literally refers to ‘dome’ in meaning. This word literally refers to ‘trepidation of the ruler’ in meaning. 
Origin  Originated from the Hebrew language. It originated from the Silvis language and further derived from the Yiddish language. 
Purpose  As per the religious texts and lectures, Jews are presumed to wear this cap to fulfill their obligation towards their religion. As their religion mandates it to cover their heads during all times.  No such specific purpose is mentioned anywhere. It is just a cultural showcase.  
Mostly Worn By Orthodox Jews community is mostly seen wearing this head cap. Ashkenazic community of the people professing Judaism is mostly seen wearing this cap. 
Another Name Kippot is another term used for this head cap. Yamalka or Yamalki are some of the common names used in place of Yarmulke. 

What is Kippah? 

In the Hebrew language, Kippah is a word referring to a dome.

It denotes this particular meaning because it is a cap to be worn over the head, and it symbolizes the shape of a dome. In another language which is Talmud, it also means Prison.

Certain sections of the community of Jews were raised to believe that the head caps were necessary to wear because the head was supposed to be covered due to religious obligations.

When multiples of Kippah caps are referred to, the word Kippot is used to convey the meaning. With the passage of time, these caps have seen multiple evolutions and upgrades.  


What is Yarmulke? 

Yarmulke is just another term referring to the Kippah caps only. The main difference between this particular cap and Kippah is that Yarmulke is the term denoting another linguistic concern.

The Aramaic language has two primary words: Yarei Malka and Yarei Malka. It essentially indicated the king’s fury. This headgear was worn by the Ashkenazic group of persons who practiced Judaism on a daily basis.

It used to be the ethnic clothing of those who professed their religion, but with time, this cap has evolved into a variety of colors and textures, including yarn, wool, and silk. 


Main Differences Between Kippah and Yarmulke 

  1. Orthodox Jews community is mostly noticed to wear Kippah, while Yarmulke is mostly found in the Ashkenazic community of the people professing Judaism.  
  2. Another name for Kippah is Kippot, while Yamalka or Yamalki are some of the common names used in place of Yarmulke. 
Difference Between Kippah and Yarmulke

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