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") .

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