American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A person regarded as weak-willed or timid.
- n. One who is fearful and timid, especially in making decisions and plans, in discussions, debates, arguments, and confrontations, and in taking responsibility.
- n. slang, mildly pejorative, US A loser.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A person who is ineffectual, timid, and often luckless; a person of no significance.
- n. (Yiddish) a timid unfortunate simpleton
- From Yiddish נעביש (nebish), from נעבעך (nebekh, "poor, unfortunate"), from Czech nebohý. (Wiktionary)
- Yiddish nebekh, poor, unfortunate, of Slavic origin; see bhag- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The character was described as the nebbish, not so great with the women, really kind of insecure, starting over.”
“The name-checking of Woody Allen on the cover of the first issue recalls the nebbish director's maxim that he would never want to join any club that would have him for a member.”
“(And the nebbish is the one who has to clean it up.)”
“Cusack is a very different kind of nebbish, and he avoids the pitfalls of too many actors who think that being in a Woody Allen movie means you have to fully inhabit the Woody persona.”
“I love the word 'nebbish' and celebrate every time it is used.”
“So like some kind of nebbish-y Nero he decrees, "All this pastrami is going straight to my thighs ...”
“The physically awkward but intellectually gifted nebbish was foregrounded in film and television by Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman, and Richard Dreyfuss, and later by Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Larry David.”
“Among the other numerous (at least one per page) lovable wisenheimer remarks is this definition: A nebbish doesn't know he's a nebbish ...”
“In flying other airlines as a nebbish I found the their treatment of me was not really different than I had as an American card-holder.”
“First is a brutally bullied nebbish who seeks revenge on the classmates who abused and humiliated him.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘nebbish’.
words I saw while reading the Bike Snob
There are a few short lists of Yiddish words, but none appropriate to the glory of the language, and none that are open. Thought I'd start one, and would love contributions. I'm tagging as I go, an...
Words I'd like to see enter common usage.
words of inaction
My Favorite Words
Things that I want to learn to widen my vocabulary.
Words I like.
Looking for tweets for nebbish.