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Word of the Day
Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Definitions for schlimazel

  1. Slang. an inept, bungling person who suffers from unremitting bad luck.

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Citations for schlimazel
... the schlemiel is the one who spills the soup and the schlimazel is the one that's spilled on. Jeremy Dauber, Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, 2017
A recent and, even by its own lofty standards, especially hilarious and cringingly tasteless episode of “South Park” features the passionate and petulant schlimazel, middle-aged dad Randy Marsh, watching TV, when a commercial for a fictional consumer genetics company comes on the screen. Misha Angrist, "A History of Humanity Told Through Genetics," New York Times, November 17, 2017
Origin of schlimazel
The old joke goes, “A schlemiel is someone who spills soup in a restaurant; a schlimazel is the guy he spills the soup on.” The first element of schlimazel comes from the Yiddish adjective schlim “bad, evil,” equivalent to German schlimm, Dutch slim “bad, sly, clever”(the Dutch word is the source of English slim). The second element, -mazel comes from Yiddish mazl “luck,” from Hebrew mazzāl “(celestial) constellation, destiny.” Schlimazel entered English in the mid-20th century.