Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A clumsy or stupid person; an oaf.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun vulgar The penis.
  • noun pejorative An item or person that is considered useless.
  • noun pejorative A jerk; an unpleasant or detestable person.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (Yiddish) a jerk

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Yiddish shmok, penis, fool, probably from Polish smok, dragon; akin to Bulgarian smok, grass-snake; perhaps akin to Russian smoktat’, to suck (since folk tradition holds that snakes suck milk from livestock), of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Yiddish שמאָק (shmok, "penis"), from Old Polish smok ("dragon") or from German Schmuck ("jewellery") .

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Examples

  • "He proposed a concept which he called schmuck insurance, which was to protect us from looking foolish," Ackman, 43, said in a deposition for the lawsuit.

    Bloomberg

  • "He proposed a concept which he called schmuck insurance, which was to protect us from looking foolish," Ackman, 43, said in a deposition for the lawsuit.

    Bloomberg

  • "He proposed a concept which he called schmuck insurance, which was to protect us from looking foolish," Ackman, 43, said in a deposition for the lawsuit.

    InvestmentNews.com Latest Headlines

  • "He proposed a concept which he called schmuck insurance, which was to protect us from looking foolish," Ackman, 43, said in a deposition for the lawsuit.

    Bloomberg

  • "He proposed a concept which he called schmuck insurance, which was to protect us from looking foolish," Ackman, 43, said in a deposition for the lawsuit.

    Bloomberg

  • "He proposed a concept which he called schmuck insurance, which was to protect us from looking foolish," Ackman, 43, said in a deposition for the lawsuit.

    Bloomberg

  • I don't know why I'm even bothering to feed the trolls, but technically "schmuck" is Yiddish, though its prejorative use has been widely adpoted into American nomcenlature.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Based on your love of using the word schmuck, it must be one or the other.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Bet for Climate Skeptics:

  • He's a friggin 'schmuck, and I will campaign even harder to defeat Kennedy than almost any other Republican, because he's an opportunist.

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • I got $5 that says that stupid schmuck is gong to wind up sueing someone over this.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - Another stupid kid

Comments

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  • I believe this word comes from Yiddish and means penis.

    April 3, 2009

  • Um, not to be rude, but schmuck is the Yiddish word for penis.

    April 7, 2009

  • Perhaps it's used the same way dick is, as in "That guy's a dick".

    April 7, 2009

  • Indeed, schmuck and dick are used in the exact same way.

    April 9, 2009

  • Except that one of them is ceremonially circumcised.

    April 9, 2009

  • Which doesn't mean they are not used in exactly the same way.

    April 9, 2009

  • What I find curious about this word is that in German it means "ornament, jewelry/jewellery" – a very different connotation indeed from its use in modern American English. I wonder if its establishment in Yiddish as "penis" was the result of a euphemism, like we say "the family jewels".

    April 9, 2009

  • Rolig's comment reminds me of an ad I once saw in some gay German magazine for, let's say, intimate male body piercings (think PrinceAlbertinacanistan):

    "Ein Schmuckstück für Dein Schmuckstück".

    Somehow it sounds even worse when you read it out loud.

    April 9, 2009

  • That's hilarious, Sionnach!

    April 9, 2009

  • While it's true that they are used in the same way, it is worth noting that more pleasure can be derived from one than the other.

    April 10, 2009

  • "More pleasure" for whom? That's a decidedly one-sided view.

    April 10, 2009

  • I wasn't really sure when I made that joke, I've only ever had one reference point. And now we've taken this page to a discussion that will make people uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2009

  • I understood that schmuck was the Yiddish word for the foreskin. See the Wikitionary entry on schmuck and eg Mel Brooks Starts Nonprofit Foundation To Save Word 'Schmuck'.

    In the UK helmet is used in a similar sense.

    April 12, 2009