schmaltz

or schmalz

[shmahlts, shmawlts]
|

noun

Informal. exaggerated sentimentalism, as in music or soap operas.
fat or grease, especially of a chicken.

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. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for schmalz

schmaltz

schmalz

noun

excessive sentimentality, esp in music
US animal fat used in cooking

Word Origin for schmaltz

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 schmalz

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].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper