Sorry, no definitions found. Check out and contribute to the discussion of this word!


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • June 29th, 2004 at 11:46 am my father suggests that “A shlimazl is the recipient of unlucky events, not someone who is unlucky.” perhaps that relates to the suggestion way above, that the shlimazl is the person upon whom soup is split.

    A Shlimazl ain’t no ne’er-do-well

  • Jason at Positive Liberty begs to differ with a group of linguists who have declared that the yiddish word shlimazl is the second-hardest word in the world to translate.

    A Shlimazl ain’t no ne’er-do-well

  • I can easily translate "shlimazl" into German "Pechvogel", and that seems to express exactly the same meaning although I don't know about the finer points of the cultural references associated with "shlimazl". THE MOST UNTRANSLATABLE WORD.

  • In second place was shlimazl which is Yiddish for "a chronically unlucky person". THE MOST UNTRANSLATABLE WORD.

  • McCain is nothing but a nebish and shlimazl ... just like this shlump of a preacher ...

    McCain officially rejects Hagee endorsement

  • Call me a shlimazl, or even a klloshar, but i have this altahmam, this saudade for gezellig.

    Archive 2004-06-01

  • Also, a jinx spreads bad luck around–while the shlimazl seems to be the chief recipient.

    A Shlimazl ain’t no ne’er-do-well

  • German does have a word that would translate “shlimazl” as it is used in (American) English very well though: “Pechvogel” (literally “pitch-bird”, “Pech” (pitch) being a common expression for “bad luck”, presumably because it sticks to a person like pitch).

    A Shlimazl ain’t no ne’er-do-well

  • I saw an interview with Penny Marshall, and when asked to translate “shlmiel, shlimazl,” said the shlmiel was a clumsy person lacking intelligence who would trip and fall, and the shlimazl would trip over the shlmiel and fall too.

    A Shlimazl ain’t no ne’er-do-well

  • This seems to be especially appropriate for a person who is both a “Pechvogel” (shlimazl) and an “Ungluecksbringer” (bringer of bad fortune, jinx, Jonah).

    A Shlimazl ain’t no ne’er-do-well


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A chronically unlucky person, a recipient of bad luck, but not unlucky.

    April 25, 2011