Alternative Spellings

schmoe, shmo, shmoe


  • a fool; a jerk

Example Sentences

  • He is such a schmoe that he believes everything he reads on the internet.

Languages of Origin

Yiddish, English


May derive from שמאָק shmok 'schmuck'

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
JPS: The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)


Joe Schmoe is an 'average person; a nobody'

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