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schmaltz

or schmalz

[shmahlts, shmawlts]
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noun
  1. Informal. exaggerated sentimentalism, as in music or soap operas.
  2. fat or grease, especially of a chicken.
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Origin of schmaltz

1930–35; < Yiddish shmalts or German Schmaltz; cognate with smelt1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for schmaltz

Historical Examples

  • Schmaltz and Lachaumareys gave orders to take the route for Senegal.

    Perils and Captivity

    Charlotte-Adlade [ne Picard] Dard

  • Schmaltz and Lachaumareys, were at the port to receive us from our boats.

    Perils and Captivity

    Charlotte-Adlade [ne Picard] Dard

  • And again the fortune of Schmaltz was swept away and again he was kicked.

    The Boy Grew Older

    Heywood Broun

  • He and Schmaltz they couldn't have it whole because "half of the back is on the front."

    The Boy Grew Older

    Heywood Broun

  • Somehow or other the story of Schmaltz and the shirt had made him sad.

    The Boy Grew Older

    Heywood Broun


British Dictionary definitions for schmaltz

schmaltz

schmalz

noun
  1. excessive sentimentality, esp in music
  2. US animal fat used in cooking
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Word Origin

C20: from German (Schmalz) and Yiddish: melted fat, from Old High German smalz
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

Word Origin and History for schmaltz

n.

"banal or excessive sentimentalism," 1935, from Yiddish shmalts, literally "melted fat," from Middle High German smalz, from Old High German smalz "animal fat," related to smelzan "to melt" (see smelt (v.)). Modern German Schmalz "fat, grease" has the same figurative meaning. First mentioned in English as "a derogatory term used to describe straight jazz" ["Vanity Fair," Nov. 1935].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper