"the whole schlemiel"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 20 17:45:20 UTC 2009

When I was in the fifth or sixth grade in NYC I knew a kid who frequently
said "the whole /Smil/" for the whole thing, the whol deal, the whole
schmeer, etc.

Am too lazy to check, but I don't think I've encountered more than once
since then.


On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 1:38 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "the whole schlemiel"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Unless it's a NYC thing or some Seinfeldianism, it makes little sense to
> me too. "The whole shmear" just doesn't sound right... Of course, there
> are a lot of yidcorns out there that have little to do with their
> Yiddish origins. This could be one of them--kind of like the evolution
> of "mano a mano", which far too many American monolinguals think means
> "man to man". (And no, I did not mean to imply that "mano a mano" has
> anything to do with Yiddish ;-)
>    VS-)
> Laurence Horn wrote:
> > At 11:23 AM -0500 8/20/09, Jim Parish wrote:
> >
> >> Seen in an online discussion of health-care reform:
> >>
> >> "I don't get it. Even if some Democrats want the whole schlemiel...
> >> [laundry list of possible features], it still doesn't change the fact
> that
> >> none of these things are in this particular bill."
> >>
> >> Google gives about 1470 hits for "whole schlemiel"; some are spurious
> >> ("the whole 'schlemiel, schlemazel' thing"), but most seem to use it in
> >> place of "the whole schmear" or something similar.
> >>
> >>
> > Or, to switch ethnicities, "the whole shebang".  At least I assume
> > that's Hibernian, although the AHD says origin unknown.  "The whole
> > enchilada" is possible semantically, but unlikely to be a blend
> > source phonologically.  "The whole shmear"?  Really?  That seems
> > impossible to me, but then I know what a shmear is, at least in New
> > York.  "The whole megilla", yes, but again the phonology is off.
> >
> > LH
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