shmendrik

Alternative Spellings

schmendrick, schmendrik, shmendrick

Definitions

  • jerk, stupid person

Example Sentences

  • "Tell that shmendrik downstairs to turn down his stereo." (http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/features/community/article_30c668c2-6955-11e1-a649-001871e3ce6c.html)

Languages of Origin

Yiddish

Etymology

שמענדריק shmendrik, 'fool', named after an idiotic mama's boy character in a Yiddish play by Avrom Goldfaden

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).

Notes

Generally used to refer to a hapless, unintentional jerk, rather than someone who is deliberately or stubbornly so (to distinguish from "schmuck")

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