or shmoop [shmoop]
What does Shmoop mean?
Shmoop is a digital publishing company that makes study guides, book summaries, and other academic resources for students. They are known for the up-to-the-minute sense of humor they bring to their materials.
Shmoop can also be used as a term of endearment à la shmoopie.
- Please just read the book, kids
- baby doll
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).
Examples of Shmoop
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).
This is not meant to be a formal definition of Shmoop like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Shmoop that will help our users expand their word mastery.