schmooze

Pronunciations

schmooze (shmooz)

Definitions

  • v. To make small talk or informally chat; to network, kiss up.

Example Sentences

  • "I went to a party the other night and schmoozed with my boss."

  • "Avoid that conference at all costs. Total shmooze-fest."

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish

Etymology

  • from Yiddish שמועסן shmuesn 'to converse, chat' (verbal stem is שמועס shmues), originally from Hebrew שמועות 'things that are heard'

    • 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]).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).

      Alternative Spellings

      shmues, shmooze

Notes

  • Originally used only with the Yiddish meaning ('chat'), this word has changed in American English and now also means 'network'. It has also changed from being intransitive to being both intransitive and transitive (now we can "shmooze with somebody," "shmooze somebody," or "shmooze up" somebody we want to curry favor with).

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