Antedating of schliemiel (1889)
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Feb 23 16:17:04 UTC 2004
At 6:30 AM -0800 2/23/04, James Smith wrote:
>The character "SchlÈmil" is in Offenbach's "Contes
>d"Hoffman" that premiered in Paris in 1881
>(composition finished in 1880). SchlÈmil is certainly
>a schlimiel, and I've always considered the name as
>deliberatly and aptly chosen.
I wondered about that too when I saw it.
>--- Sam Clements <SClements at NEO.RR.COM> wrote:
>> 14 Oct. 1889 _Sandusky Daily Register_ 2/2
>> <<The ancient Israelites called a man who was
>> peculiarly unlucky a Schlemiel. No matter what his
> > opportunities he was sure to have ill luck. >>
Is "ancient Israelites" a joke here? Somehow "shlemihl" (like
"shlemozzle", "shmendrik", etc.) always struck me as a relatively
modern Yiddishism and not a Biblical term. Or is Abel described as
the first shlemihl in the Hebrew Pentateuch?
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