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In the discussion thread: Face it, DU: Manny *loves* Putin. [View all]

Response to Post removed (Reply #48)

Fri Jul 18, 2014, 01:53 PM

60. Schmuck? Again with the insults, Manny?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmuck_(pejorative)

Schmuck or shmuck in American English is a pejorative meaning one who is stupid or foolish; or an obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person. The word entered English from Yiddish (‏שמאָק, shmok), where it has similar pejorative meanings, but its original meaning in Yiddish is penis.[1][2] Because of its vulgarity,[3] the word is euphemized as schmoe, which was the source of Al Capp's cartoon strip creature the shmoo.[4] Variants include schmo and shmo.

In Jewish homes, the word was "regarded as so vulgar as to be taboo."[5] Lenny Bruce, a Jewish standup comedian, wrote that the use of the word during his performances in 1962 led to his arrest on the West Coast "by a Yiddish undercover agent who had been placed in the club several nights running to determine if [his] use of Yiddish terms was a cover for profanity."[6]

Etymology[edit]
The German word Schmuck means "jewelry, adornments";[7] In German the pejorative "schmuck" would be Schmock, closer to the original Yiddish word. The transition of the word from meaning "jewel" to meaning "penis" is related to the description of a man's genitals as "the family jewels."[8]

The Online Etymology Dictionary derives it from Eastern Yiddish shmok, literally "penis," from Old Polish smok, "grass snake, dragon,"[9] but Leo Rosten cites Dr. Shlomo Noble of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research as saying that shmok derives from shmuck and not the other way around.

However, according to the lexicographer Michael Wex, the author of How to Be a Mentsh (And Not a Shmuck), the Yiddish and German "schmucks" are completely unrelated. "Basically, the Yiddish word comes out of baby talk," Wex said. "A little boys penis is a shtekl, a 'little stick.' Shtekl became shmeckle, in a kind of baby-rhyming thing, and shmeckle became shmuck. Shmeckle is prepubescent and not a dirty word, but shmuck, the non-diminutive, became obscene."[10]

You're not the only one who understands Yiddish personal insults, you know.

Name-calling doesn't become you...

ETA again: MannyGoldstein has deleted his insult from the post. That's good.
ETA: A jury hid that post, anyhow. Good for that jury.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply Schmuck? Again with the insults, Manny?
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