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EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

UK late-19th century.[1][2] Borrowed from Yiddish שלימזל (shlimazl, misfortune), from Hebrew שלא מזל (shellōmazzāl), של (shel, from, of) + לא (, not) + מזל (mazzāl, luck). Cognate with US English schlimazel (unlucky person). Compare German Schlamassel.

NounEdit

shemozzle (plural shemozzles)

  1. (slang) A state of chaos or confusion.
    • 1962, Christie, Agatha, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side:
      "No end of a shemozzle there’s been there lately," he said. "Marina Gregg's been having hysterics most days. Said some coffee she was given was poisoned."
    • 2017 June 23, Moore, Charle, “This country has come through many a crisis, but this one is a true shemozzle”, in The Telegraph[1]:
      I always found it helpful that we retained one elderly member of staff who could offer a different perspective. “Well,” he would begin, “the last time we had one of these shemozzles…”. The mere fact that he could remember past disasters – and had lived to tell the tale – was reassuring.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:shemozzle.
  2. (slang) A quarrel or rumpus.
    • 1901, Cobban, James Maclaren, The Golden Tooth:
      If Will comes out of this shemozzle.
    • 1939, Joyce, James, Finnegans Wake:
      [] but tarned long and then a nation louder, while engaged in swallowing from a large ampullar, that his pawdry's purgatory was more than nigger bloke could bear, hemiparalysed by the tong warfare and all the shemozzle, (Daily Maily, fullup Lace! Holy Maly, Mothelup Joss!) his cheeks and trousers changing colour every time a gat croaked.
    • 2018 February 8, O'Riordan, Ian, “GAA Congress to separate a melee and a shemozzle”, in The Irish Times[2]:
      When does a melee actually become a melee? And what differentiates a melee from a shemozzle and a free-for-all? Or indeed minor physical interference? Hardly the most pressing of national matters, but probably the most interesting question going before Congress later this month.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:shemozzle.

SynonymsEdit

Related termsEdit

VerbEdit

shemozzle (third-person singular simple present shemozzles, present participle shemozzling, simple past and past participle shemozzled)

  1. (slang) To scarper; to run away; to flee.

SynonymsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • OED 2nd edition 1989
  • Macquarie 2nd edition 1991
  • Farmer, John Stephen (1903) Slang and Its Analogues[3], volume 6, page 172
  • shemozzle n.”, in Green’s Dictionary of Slang (Digitial edition), Jonathon Green and Abecedary Limited, 2018
  1. ^ schlemazel (n.)” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018, retrieved 2 May 2018: “British slang shemozzle 'an unhappy plight' (1889) is probably from the same source.”
  2. ^ shemozzle” (US) / “shemozzle” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press: “Origin: Late 19th century”.