Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yiddishology: How Good Is Your Yiddish? "Shmegegge": Fifth of a Series

The good folks at the Tampa Jewish Community have once again volunteered to be tested by Man-in-the-Street Yiddishologists about their understanding of colorful Yiddish words.

If you haven't been following our posts in this series, we've already covered shtipper/shtupper, kenahora, ungapatchka, and shlimazel.  Today's word on the street is shmegegge.  We've always spelled it with two g's at the end.  The Tampa Yiddishologists use only one g.  Either way, a shmegege is a shmegegge.

We weren't entirely satisfied with the final definition in the video clip below, so we did some independent research.  Remember our explanation last week that the shlimazel is the one that the shlemiel spills soup on?  Well, it turns out that the shmegegge is the one who cleans up the soup that was spilled on the shlimazel by the shlemiel.  Who knew?


  1. I was taught that after the shlemiel spills the soup on the shlimazl, the shmegegge says "I told you so! "

  2. Notice how our man above, bless him, gets the shlimazel and shlemiel backwards? It should be the shlemiel is the clumsy one, while the shlimazl is the perennially unlucky sad-sack.