Schmooze (1884), Schadchen, Trefa Fresser (1885), Mazel, Oi Wai (1886)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Jul 31 04:31:49 UTC 2002

   This is a much earlier dating for "schmooze," which the OED and
Merriam-Webster date from 1897.  I realize that "schmooze" is completely
banned on ADS-L, but am providing the antedate anyway.
   I'm going through the first 20 years of THE AMERICAN HEBREW, and this will
be part of several posts from that periodical.

6 November 1884, THE AMERICAN HEBREW, pg. 206, col. 3:
   ANTI SHNORRING. (...)  If again, it is to benefit the professional
_shnorrer_, the less provision we make for him the better.

12 December 1884, pg. 69, col. 2:
   Mrs. Asher, that is to say, the _schwarze Riveah_, by which title she was
more generally known, did up her house-work; stood out in the hall gossiping
with neighbors; came in to do some mending; went out for another does of
_schmussing_; sat down to a bite for lunch; got up for more gossip, until
through the vast building there echoed a wild, demoniacal yell that brought
forth from all the doors a mass of womanhood that filled the corridors and
choked the stairs, until it reached the howling letter-carrier. who had a
letter for Mr. Asher.

20 February 1885, pg. 17, col. 2:
   Can you ever gaze unawed upon this sad plight of the lone and lorn
_schadchen_!  (...)  How could you with one fell blow strike at the roots of
such a hoary, remarkable institution as the mercantile _shiddich_!
(OED has 1890 for "schadchen"--ed.)

1 May 1885, pg. 177, col. 1:
   THERE runs a proverb (Hebrew--ed.) "who changes his place, changes his

15 May 1885, (The edges of the newspaper have been destroyed--page number not
available; it's in the "Grand Lodge" story--ed.), col. 2:
   After the Rabbinical conference at Philadelphia, he denounced his
colleagues as _trefa fressers_, he repudiated his own motion made at the
conference, he swallowed his own words, and now he denounces the colleagues
who would not eat _trefa_ and charges them with the terrific crime of
adhering to the "kitchen and stomach" religion.

19 June 1885, pg. 82, col. 1:
   The report is current that one of our metropolitan synagogues proposes to
issue a new eidtion of the _Machsor_, and at once the imagination suggests
one more edition to the long list of "Minhags" which already forms the
distinguishing feature of American Judaism.
(The revised OED has 1880 for "minhag," but then a 60-year gap--ed.)

31 July 1885, pg. 185, col. 3:
   _Chalitza_, or casting the shoe, is founded on the 25th chapter of
Deutoronomy, verses 7, 8 and 9, which provide that in the death of a man,
childless, it shall be the duty of a brother, if the husband have one living,
to marry the widow, and she must not take any one else until he shall have
declined, in the presence of the elders, to assume that obligation.
(There is only one "chalitzah" hit in the OED?--ed.)

15 October 1886, pg. 147, col. 1:
   But whether the reason of this change be ascertained or not, the fact is
incontestable, that our coreligionist, on his arrival on board ship, is
already manifesting the first signs of American patented "_Hutzpe_"
(colloquial, _cheek_).
(...)(Col. 2-ed.)
   His long shining beard, the winds of the ocean used to play with, was
reduced to a _minimum_, and of the beautiful _pyous_ (side-locks) nothing,
alas, was left but two thin bunches of hair ending in cork-screw points.

22 October 1886, pg. 163, col. 1:
"_Mamser tome_," (rascal) said Saloshitz with indignation.
(OED has "mamzer" meaning "bastard" from 1562, but the other sense of the
term is from 1929?--ed.)

22 October 1886, pg. 163, col. 2:
"_Oi wai geschreien un oi wai gerufen / may God have _rachmonus_ (pity) on
me!" was the natural exclamation of sorrow that slipped out of his oppressed

24 December 1886, pg. 104, col. 1:
They attached a particular importance to the peculair constellation of the
stars, called (_Mazel_), and thought that those men who were born under a
favorable star were more distinguished by the smile of fortune than others
who were not.  Thus it came that the word Mazel was adopted as the term for
luck or happiness. (...)  Nay, on joyful occasions it was, and it is still
to-day, a complimentary term to express our wishes in the words _Mazel Tov_,
that is: "good luck."
(The revised OED has 1898 for "mazel"?--ed.)

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