• n. A simpleton.

Example Sentences

  • "What is a 'Kuni-Leml'? Nahma Sandrow couldn’t believe the question. 'It’s like discovering spring or summer,' she replied. 'You can’t avoid it.' Nor should you try. A Kuni-Leml, it turns out, is the name of a lovable person--a poor schlemiel with a hump, a limp and a stammer who is also a leading character in a classic Yiddish farce by Avrom Goldfadn, widely considered the grandfather of Yiddish theater." (source)

  • "In my travels attending international education conferences across the world, I have observed two other kinds of idiot: the infamous kuni leml...and the notorious nudnik..." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • קוני־לעמל kuni-leml 'a sucker'

    • Who Uses This

      • 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[1968]).

      Alternative Spellings

      Kuni Lemmerl, Kuni Lemmerel, Kuni Lemerl, Kuni Lemerel, Kuni Lemmel, Kuni Lemel

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