n. A commiserating but useless bystander.
“Dopes served a need for those who wanted a word to convey, with both precision and subtlety, a character type known in all cultures: the useless observer who, in a crisis, does nothing more than offer obligatory sympathy.” (NJY)
"The shlemiel, a Yiddish designation for a simpleton, is best portrayed by a waiter who spills a bowl of soup on a shlemazel, a hapless restaurant patron; the doppes, a commiserating bystander, communicates his dismay with the verbal expression 'tsk, tsk, tsk'; the shmegegee, a kind of graceless, petty individual, laughs at the scene; the shmendrick, often described as an unimpressive apprentice to the shlemiel, asks, 'What kind of soup was it?'; and the nudnik, the perennial annoyer, explains in excessive detail to a disinterested audience how the entire incident occurred." (source)
Languages of Origin
uncertain; perhaps a variant of טיפּש tipesh
- Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
- Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage
- North America
- The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
Who Uses This
doppes, doppess, dopess, dopis, doppis, doppiss, dopiss
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