the (ambivalent) schneid

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Sep 20 00:03:13 UTC 2010

At 4:51 PM -0400 9/19/10, Laurence Horn wrote:
>In my experience, being "on the schneid" is to be on a losing streak,
>or more specifically to get shut out (in sports contexts).  Today,
>one of the commentators in the Fox Sports post-game show (Curt
>Menafee?) introduced his wrap-up of today's big win by the Atlanta
>Falcons (who had lost and not scored a touchdown in their season
>opener last week) commented "Atlanta got ON the schneid", clearly
>contrasting it minimally with "off the schneid", which normally
>refers to breaking a winless streak, which is what they did.
>I assume that this reanalysis was motivated by the fact that "on"
>*seems* more positive than "off", and that "schneid" is pretty opaque
>for those who don't know German and/or Yiddish.  Googling "got on the
>schneid" pulls up 3 hits, all involving the same reanalysis (they'd
>pretty much have to), e.g. "Duke finally got on the schneid last
>night. They played great for the first 30 minutes, and completely
>squashed the spirit of BC".
>(There were 635 actual hits for the compositional "get/got off the
>schneid" version.)

More on this, from a blog exchange on (of all things) the Washington Nationals,
[It may help to know that Brian Schneider is the Nationals' catcher.]

MikeHarris said...

... I'd say Clippard is back on track but the last time I raved about
him, he went off the schneid so I won't say anything good about him
ever again. [...]

June 5, 2010 9:27 AM
Anonymous said...

Going off the schneid is a good thing, dude. Being on the schneid is bad.

For reference, consult that old Seinfeld episode with the joke about
being on or off the wagon.

June 5, 2010 10:40 AM
MikeHarris said...

Well, hell. Can't believe I messed up my slang.

Going off SOMETHING is a bad thing. I thought it was schneid. Now I'm
really confused!

June 5, 2010 12:56 PM
Anonymous said...

It is the schneid, you just had the direction wrong. When a player is
going bad, it is said that he needs to get off the schneid. (I'm sure
Brian Schneider just loves the term.) No one ever wants to get on the
schneid, except maybe for Mrs. Schneid. But if he's on the schneid,
even she probably doesn't want to hop on.

June 5, 2010 3:31 PM

The American Dialect Society -

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