Definitions

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

  • noun A characteristic attribute, talent, or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention.
  • noun An entertainment routine or gimmick.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A person's special talent, line of business, or habitual activity.
  • noun (Show business) A comic routine or a specific gag inserted in a show for laughs.

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

  • noun A characteristic trait or theme.
  • noun A gimmick.

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

  • noun (Yiddish) a contrived and often used bit of business that a performer uses to steal attention
  • noun (Yiddish) a devious trick; a bit of cheating
  • noun (Yiddish) a prank or piece of clowning
  • noun (Yiddish) a little; a piece

Etymologies

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

[Yiddish shtik, piece, routine, from Middle High German stücke, piece, from Old High German stukki, crust, fragment.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Yiddish שטיק (shtik, "piece"), cognate to German Stück.

Examples

  • I kept getting distracted by how villain Growing Man looked like a Sentinel, although his shtick is the classic “every time you hit him, he gets bigger, so how do you stop him without engaging him directly?”

    Agents of Atlas » Comics Worth Reading

  • You know your shtick is as stale and inept as Bush when he left office patsy!

    Think Progress » San Francisco Commonwealth Club postpones O’Keefe event.

  • The whole problem with the RealAmerica shtick is the way they define it, RealAmericans are going to get consistently outvoted.

    Matthew Yglesias » Income Inequality and Low Savings Rate

  • Still, if you know me and have been paying attention to my thesis updates, etc, you'll know my shtick is all about what things are unique about videogames, and that we should be trying our best to capitalise on them.

    What speaks to me the most

  • Still, if you know me and have been paying attention to my thesis updates, etc, you'll know my shtick is all about what things are unique about videogames, and that we should be trying our best to capitalise on them.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • My whole shtick is putting twenty-six letters, ten numbers, and twenty-odd punctuation marks in an order that makes people cringe and guffaw and wet themselves and hide under the bed.

    A Man in Trouble

  • Lily Allen's whole shtick is light, happy music contrasted with her lyrics.

    Tim Mohr: Exclusive Valentine's Day DJ Mix From Doctor Rosen Rosen (Plus Q&A)

  • But you want to have a little respect for your elders, young man, and your whole “chagrin” shtick is a little sad.

    Take Warning | ATTACKERMAN

  • The show has perfected the formula of well-chosen guest stars (Daily Show vets Rob Corddry and John Oliver, alt-comedy god Patton Oswalt, and, yes, Betty White, who's better in small doses like this week's cameo); snappy, pop-reference-rich dialogue; physical shtick from the masterful likes of Chevy Chase and Ken Jeong; and unexpected moments of M*A*S*H/Scrubs-esque sincerity.

    Cheers & Jeers: Community Makes the Grade

  • Emmy nominations are out; Tina Fey's Sarah Palin shtick got a nod.

    Short Takes

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