n. "An incompetent person who is deserving of pity but also likable." (JPS)
n. "A customer easily persuaded, a sucker." (H.L. Mencken, American Language)
"What's a good-looking dame like her doing with a shnook like him?" (dictionary.com)
Languages of Origin
perhaps from Yiddish שנוק shnuk 'snout, muddle, (elephant's) trunk'
- Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage
- Ethnic: Jews whose Jewish identity is primarily ethnic
- North America
- The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
- Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
Who Uses This
shnuk, schnook, schnuck
Likely from Yiddish shnuk, meaning "elephant trunk, snout." The current usage seems to have originated in the US (Rosten).
May be used endearingly. In the musical "Flower Drum Song", Sammy (a Chinese American) sings to his girlfriend, "Schnookie, don't marry me!"
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