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[puhts] /pʌts/
noun, Slang.
fool; jerk.
Vulgar. penis.
Origin of putz
early modern German
1900-05; < Yiddish puts literally, ornament, finery, probably noun derivative of putsn to clean, shine; compare early modern German butzen to decorate (German putzen to clean, brighten) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for putz
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Most Moravians have a putz in their houses at Christmas time.

    Over Here Hector MacQuarrie
  • But let me tell you about the putz that belonged to my friend of the club catacomb.

    Over Here Hector MacQuarrie
  • All I could see then was a bunch of black ropy arms tangled around what looked like, as putz described it to you, an ostrich.

    A Martian Odyssey Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  • I let out a yell and dashed for the rocket; putz opened the door and in I went, laughing and crying and shouting!

    A Martian Odyssey Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  • He looked comically bewildered and then a fellow explained that a putz was a decoration of German origin.

    Over Here Hector MacQuarrie
  • He stared at putz, who had come in silently, his face and hands blackened with carbon, and seated himself beside Harrison.

    Valley of Dreams Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  • Before I finish wearing you out with these descriptions of my friends I must tell you all about the "putz."

    Over Here Hector MacQuarrie
British Dictionary definitions for putz


(US, slang) a despicable or stupid person
Word Origin
from Yiddish puts ornament
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for putz

"obnoxious man, fool," 1964, from Yiddish, from German putz, literally "finery, adornment," obviously used here in an ironic sense. Attested in writing earlier in slang sense of "penis" (1934, in "Tropic of Cancer"). A non-ironic sense is in putz "Nativity display around a Christmas tree" (1873), from Pennsylvania Dutch (German), which retains the old German sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for putz



  1. A detestable person; obnoxious wretch; prick, schmuck: Here comes the Moravian putz (1964+)
  2. An ineffectual person; nebbish: There wasn't much that worried him. Dying like a putz in a fucked-up gag was one thing that did (1964+)
  3. The penis (1934+)

[fr Yiddish, literally ''ornament'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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