Where does Shmoop come from?
Officially called Shmoop University, Shmoop was founded in 2009 by David and Ellen Siminoff, who wanted to bring fun, accessible online learning guides to students. Shmoop was a term David Siminoff's Yiddish-speaking grandmother used for "moving something forward a bit." The Siminoffs thought Shmoop was the perfect name for their efforts to give students a little push with keep-it-simple-stupid homework help.
Early on in the website, shmoop was used as an in-house verb meaning "to do" (e.g., don't forget to shmoop your homework). It also inspired variations like Shmoopers (or people who use Shmoop—students). These usages largely fell out by 2015.
Students have developed their own sense of shmoop for "reading book summaries on Shmoop in lieu of the actual book" (e.g., I shmooped The Great Gatsby ... hope it's enough for the quiz).
Who uses Shmoop?
Shmoop was made for students, so the term is generally popular with students. It's used among high-school students (the night before that essay is due; we know what you're up to, Carl).
Naturally, use of Shmoop drops quite a bit when everyone is on summer break. No one is dying to read summaries of The Catcher in the Rye in July, apparently.
CLASS OF 2018 WE OUT THIS BITCH ID LIKE TO THANK MY MOM, PHOTOMATH AND SHMOOP FOR GETTING ME HERE
— IB Problems (@IBProblemss) May 18, 2018
Shmoop is sometimes used as a shortened form of shmoopie, a term of endearment (almost as degrading as honey-poo).
thanks to shmoop I just finished a three page analysis on a book I didn’t even read
@abigailmarie_27, January, 2018
Today, this little shmoop is a month old, but all she wants to talk about is why is housing considered a commodity, not a human right
@elamin88, May, 2017
It’s a site that combines Victor Frankenstein with a hipster, refers to George Orwell “ROFL-ing” and suggests that Lady Macbeth try a little hydrogen peroxide for her damned spot...Shmoop, an online learning resource that provides bulleted summaries and reference pages with a thorough dose of academic sass, has gained popularity with students...
Eliza Llewellyn, Inklings, November, 2013