meshuga

Alternative Spellings

meshugena, mishugge, meshugana, meshugge, mashugana, meshuge, mishugene, mishugenne, meshugene, meshugener

Definitions

  • crazy

Example Sentences

  • "Just now you discover that everyone here is meshugene?" (http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=204726;article=2920;)
  • "He really wants to climb Mount Everest? He's meshuge!"
  • "welcome to the meshugene world of Frume Sarah!!" (http://frumesarah.com/2011/02/22/beware-of-reform-rabbis/)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Heb משוגע meshugá, Yiddish meshúge (also, Yiddish משוגען* meshúgn, as in משוגענער, משוגענע meshúgener, meshúgene, 'crazy' in attributive or nominalized use)

Who Uses This

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

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

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).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)

Notes

This word originally stems from Hebrew (via Yiddish), but is more closely associated with Yiddish discourse. In Yiddish, meshugene(r) -- with the "ne(r)" ending -- is used as an attributive adjective modifying a noun (e.g., a meshugene froy, 'a crazy woman'), whereas meshuge is a predicative adjective (zi iz meshuge, 'she is crazy'). This distinction is preserved for many speakers of Jewish English (e.g., "He is absolutely meshuga!" vs. "He is such a meshgene (guy)!").

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