schmuck

See also: Schmuck and schmück

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Yiddish שמאָק(shmok, penis, fool). Further origin uncertain. Probably from Old Polish smok (dragon), akin to Bulgarian смок (smok, grass snake). Perhaps akin to onomatopoeic Russian смоктать (smoktatʹ) smoktat ("to suck") according to old belief that snakes suck milk from animals. Alternatively a baby-talk corruption of Yiddish שמעקל(shmekl), a dissimilated form of שטעקל(shtekl, penis/willy, literally little stick). Alternatively from the verb Middle High German smucken, archaic German schmucken, which has several meanings allowing possible semantic connections: 1.) “to squeeze, press, fit into something tight”; 2.) “to hug, snuggle, kiss”; 3.) “to adorn, decorate”. The last of these three senses is perhaps less likely, but compare German Schmuck (jewellery) with English crown jewels.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

schmuck (plural schmucks)

  1. (colloquial, derogatory, US) A jerk; a person who is unlikable, detestable, or contemptible because he or she is stupid, foolish, clumsy, oafish, inept, malicious, or unpleasant.
    Synonyms: twerp, twit, dope, dick, dork, prick, putz
    • 1995 September, The Playboy Interview: Cindy Crawford, Playboy
      One day my girlfriend, her boyfriend and I were sunbathing topless because that's Barbados - you can wear nothing if you want. And the Pepsi guy walks up and with my agent to meet us for lunch. I wondered if I should put on my top because I have a business relationship with him. I didn't want him to get offended because the rest of the beach had seen me with my top off. Meanwhile, as he's walking towards me he's saying to my agent "I hope she puts on her top.". He wasn't even being a schmuck, like wanting to see.
  2. (colloquial, derogatory) A deplorable, pitiful person; often in the form poor schmuck.

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GermanEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle Low German smuk (supple, bendsome, pleasing, beautiful, petite, cute) (compare Middle Low German smuk (ornament, jewellery)), from Old Saxon *smuk, *smukk, from Proto-Germanic *smukkaz (flexible, bendsome, easy), from Proto-Indo-European *smewg- (to slip, glide, slide).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

schmuck (comparative schmucker, superlative am schmucksten)

  1. (dated) pretty, spruce

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