nebbish

[ neb-ish ]
/ ˈnɛb ɪʃ /

noun Slang.

a pitifully ineffectual, luckless, and timid person.

Nearby words

Origin of nebbish

1890–95; < Yiddish nebekh poor, unfortunate, probably < Slavic; compare Czech nebohý poor; spelling with -sh perhaps < Western Yiddish forms of the word
Related formsneb·bish·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nebbish

Word Origin and History for nebbish

nebbish


n.

1905, nebbich, from Yiddish (used as a Yiddish word in American English from 1890s), from a Slavic source akin to Czech neboh "poor, unfortunate," literally "un-endowed," from Proto-Slavic *ne-bogu-, with negative prefix (see un- (1)) + PIE *bhag- "to share out, apportion" (see -phagous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper