- n., such content
- adj., of or relating to printed material, such as a book or even an audio recording, that contains the name of God, and therefore must not be erased, put on the floor, etc., out of respect for the Divine Name
- "I think I'm going to drive to work today because it's raining and I don't want my sheymes books to get wet on the way."
- "Don't put those books on the floor, sweetie--some of them might have sheymes in them..."
Languages of Origin
Textual Hebrew, Yiddish
Yiddish שיימע sheyme (pl. שמות sheymes) 'a stray leaf of a Jewish holy book, or any book with Hebrew characters', derived from Heb. שם shem (pl. שמות) 'name'
Who Uses This
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage
North America, Great Britain
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
According to Max Weinreich, the meaning of 'a torn or stray page of a sacred book' is unique to Yiddish, although the root of the word is Hebrew; hence its unusual Yiddish spelling in the singular.
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