From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Schmuck and schmück


Alternative forms[edit]


From Yiddish שמאָק (shmok, penis, foreskin, fool). Further origin uncertain. Probably from Old Polish ćmok (dim lighted), or Bulgarian смок (smok, grass snake). Perhaps akin to onomatopoeic Russian смоктать (smoktatʹ) smoktat ("to suck") according to old belief that snakes suck milk from animals. Alternatively a baby-talk corruption of Yiddish שמעקל (shmekl), a dissimilated form of שטעקל (shtekl, penis/willy, literally little stick). Alternatively from the verb Middle High German smucken, archaic German schmucken, which has several meanings allowing possible semantic connections: 1.) “to squeeze, press, fit into something tight”; 2.) “to hug, snuggle, kiss”; 3.) “to adorn, decorate”. The last of these three senses is perhaps less likely, but compare German Schmuck (jewellery) with English crown jewels.


  • IPA(key): /ʃmʌk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌk


schmuck (plural schmucks)

  1. (colloquial, derogatory, US) A jerk; a person who is unlikable, detestable, or contemptible because he or she is stupid, foolish, clumsy, oafish, inept, malicious, or unpleasant.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:jerk
    • 1995 September, “The Playboy Interview: Cindy Crawford”, in Playboy:
      One day my girlfriend, her boyfriend and I were sunbathing topless because that's Barbados - you can wear nothing if you want. And the Pepsi guy walks up and with my agent to meet us for lunch. I wondered if I should put on my top because I have a business relationship with him. I didn't want him to get offended because the rest of the beach had seen me with my top off. Meanwhile, as he's walking towards me he's saying to my agent "I hope she puts on her top.". He wasn't even being a schmuck, like wanting to see.
  2. (colloquial, derogatory) A deplorable, pitiful person.
    poor schmuck
    • 1971, Jules Feiffer, directed by Mike Nichols, Carnal Knowledge, spoken by Jonathan (Jack Nicholson):
      Bad vibrations? Sandy, I love you, but you're a schmuck. You were always young, Sandy, open. You were schmucky a lot of the time, but maybe schmuckiness is what you need to stay young and open.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



schmuck (third-person singular simple present schmucks, present participle schmucking, simple past and past participle schmucked)

  1. (slang, intransitive, rare) To behave like a schmuck.
    • 2004, George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?:
      [] there's actually a shortage of schmucks in America. As a result, there's big money in schmucking. The average schmuck earns $28,000 a year, plus benefits.
  2. (slang, transitive, rare) To mash or smoosh.
    • 2008, Richard Powell, Rode Hard and Put Away Wet, page 171:
      His buddy was supposed to be arriving from Helena that morning but had schmucked a mule deer buck with his vehicle so there was going to be a delay.
    • 2020, Joseph Heywood, Shadow of the Wolf Tree, page 130:
      “She schmucked three deer on M-95,” del Olmo said. “I was two minutes behind her. Man, she blew them up! []
    • 2021, Victoria Pearle Hart, Ladies of the Mountain:
      Everyone gathered around the cake as Mitch and Liz prepared to cut the cake. She took a small piece in her hand, and Mitch said, "What are you doing with that, babe?" and she schmucked it into his mouth. He did the same right back.

See also[edit]



Borrowed from Middle Low German smuk (supple, bendsome, pleasing, beautiful, petite, cute) (compare Middle Low German smuk (ornament, jewellery)), from Old Saxon *smuk, *smukk, from Proto-Germanic *smukkaz (flexible, bendsome, easy), from Proto-Indo-European *smewg- (to slip, glide, slide).



schmuck (strong nominative masculine singular schmucker, comparative schmucker, superlative am schmucksten)

  1. (dated) pretty, spruce


Further reading[edit]

  • schmuck” in Duden online
  • schmuck” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache