schlemiel


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schlemiel

slang A bumbling, inept, incompetent person; someone who always tends to fail or do things wrong. From Yiddish. What a bunch of schlemiels! First they get my order wrong, then they send it to the wrong address, and now they're trying to refund me the wrong amount of money! Jeff is managing the project? That schlemiel couldn't manage his own sock drawer.

schlemiel

and schlemihl and shlemiel (ʃləˈmil)
n. a gullible person; a loser. (From Hebrew Shelumiel via Yiddish.) See if you can get that schlemiel to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.
References in periodicals archive ?
Learn the difference between a schlemiel and a mensch or when to kvetch rather than kibbitz and find out why a lot of Sol Meyer customers leave the place feeling downright schmaltzy.
A three essay "Schlemiel Studies" section proves emblematic of this approach, proclaiming the Schlemiel as a distinctive Jewish character and then labeling Allen's characters as Schlemiels-by-presumption.
Torture Another Schlemiel While Imagining They Are Dylan's True Heirs', Tablet, 21 November 2013, <http://www.
18) The existence of God is easily contested by the clumsy schlemiel that renounces Him, but, at the same time, needs Him, both to assuage his doubt and pain and to take care of more pragmatic aspects of life, such as a Swiss bank account.
The historical Jewish losers--the schlemiel (unintentional perpetrator of wrongdoing) and the schlimazel (unlucky recipient of wrongdoing) of European Yiddish humor--found few counterparts in the American nineteenth-century age of manifest destiny and an early twentieth-century age of empowered masculinity.
Its hero is a lovable schlemiel opposed by a wincingly evil character.
Archetypal Silk: Wily Trickster, Tragic Mulatto, and Schlemiel in Philip Roth's The Human Stain.
Weingast's futile bid to unsettle divine authority is a Promethean narrative rewritten to place a schlemiel in the starring role.
Sanford Pinsker, in The Schlemiel as Metaphor, links Roth and contemporary comedy to Kafka by citing Roth's reference to a "sit-down comic named Franz Kafka and a very funny bit he does called "The Metamorphosis.
Along with a group of friends called "the Whole Sick Crew," the self-styled schlemiel revels in his victimhood, allowing life to wash over him while becoming attached to "Shock," a crash-test dummy at a research facility where he works as a night watchman.
Thus, the neurotic schlemiel from the shtetl is whisked away to be planted firmly in Manhattan (1979) for all to watch.
Clearly, the story and its morals weighed on Andrew Bodnar, a former senior vice president at Bristol-Myers Squibb, who writes in his memoir that he was tempted to start his own work with a similar, and clever, phrase: "Call me Schlemiel.
A good deal of frantic maneuvering takes place around Gruner's bedside: For instance, his son Wallace, a lifelong schlemiel, is convinced that his father has hidden cash in the pipes in their New Rochelle home and nearly wrecks the place trying to find it.
Whatever the source of Chamisso's understanding, there appears to be no malevolence in his or the opera's use of the Schlemiel character.
Looking back on those years and her former comrades, she admits "the majority of us were just well-meaning half-educated schlemiels, and none a bigger schlemiel than I" (79-80).