From the Yiddish; one of several words Anglicized and popularized by the original writer of MAD Magazine, Harvey Kurtzman. The word comes from shlogn ("to hit") with the prefix far- which often indicates the one so described is taking on the quality named. Thus, in Yiddish it means something that is old, battered, or junky. Because many American Jews had only a sketchy knowledge of Yiddish, and due to the vagaries and difficulties of transliteration, words changed in spelling and consequently in pronunciation. The word should have been transliterated as "farshlugginer" for a more accurate pronunciation.
furshlugginer (not comparable)
- (informal) Well-worn, beat-up, piece of junk.
- 2001, Glen David Gold, Carter Beats the Devil:
- I trust you, I just don’t trust that furshlugginer hunk of junk over there.
In English, "furshlugginer" can also have creative meanings when the user deems necessary. Often used in a negative sense (e.g. "You furshlugginer robot! Can't you do anything right?"), it came into popular usage in the 1950's when it began to be used by MAD, the comic book predecessor of MAD Magazine. Some Americans pronounce it without the first /r/.