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Schmuck (pejorative)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, searchSchmuck or shmuck in American English is a pejorative meaning an obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person, or one who is stupid or foolish. The word entered English from Yiddish, where it has similar pejorative meanings, but its original meaning in Yiddish is penis.[1][2] Because of its vulgarity,[3] the word is euphemized as schmoe, which was the source of Al Capp's cartoon strip creature the shmoo.[4] Variants include schmo and shmo.

In Jewish homes, the word was "regarded as so vulgar as to be taboo"[5] and Lenny Bruce wrote that saying it on stage got him arrested on the West Coast "by a Yiddish undercover agent who had been placed in the club several nights running to determine if my use of Yiddish terms was a cover for profanity".